Discuss as:

Gadgets that help seniors stay independent

High-tech devices can make it easier for senior citizens who live on their own while also easing the mind of relatives and caregivers. NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

With retirement lasting 20 or even 30 years these days, high-tech devices can streamline the job of checking in on an older relative -- and help a parent or grandparent retain their independence. 

According to a study conducted by the Knowledge Network in 2007, older adults and family caregivers are willing to use, and learn about, these new technologies as they age -- but both groups are concerned about the costs associated with these devices. Below, find a sampling of products in a variety of price ranges. 

AARP expert Amy Goyer discusses how technology helps her care for her parents in their home.

 And for more high-tech devices, check out these gadgets featured on the AARP's website. For more caregiver resources, visit www.aarp.org/caregiving 

Please note that NBC News does not endorse the use of any of the following products. 

BeClose wireless monitoring system


The BeClose home monitoring system includes motion sensors and a panic button. And a bed sensor allows caregivers to monitor movement and sleep patterns. A package that includes a base station and three sensors costs $299 and the 24/7 monitoring service is $49 a month. Learn more at http://beclose.com/ 

Aside from BeClose there are several other kinds of monitoring systems out there including Medical AlertGrandCare, Care Innovations, HealthSense, Sonamba and Y-Cam. Another company, Medtronic, offers a remote pacemaker monitoring device. 



Telekin.com provides an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends. The all-in-one computer features a large-print keyboard, video chat, free updates and a DVD/CD player for $699.

For seniors who have trouble accessing email, a company called PawPawMail simplifies the process with large icons, a high-contrast interface and spam filters.



Epill medication reminder


Epill.com offers a variety of devices that help people remember to take their medication ranging in price from a $24.95 weekly pillbox that has four daily alarms to a $789.95 automatic pill dispenser. 

Learn more at http://www.epill.com/


GPS shoes


These shoes -- available in a variety of styles and designs -- use GPS technology embedded in the base of the right heel. It sends a signal to a central monitoring station that provides location information on a website, acting as a tracking device designed for people with Alzheimer's. Each pair costs $299.99 plus the cost of any additional monthly service tracking plans which range in price from $34.99 to $39.99.

Learn more at http://www.gpsshoe.com/ and to check out other kinds of GPS tracking devices, visit ecaregps.com

Jitterbug Plus


This easy-to-use cell phone with large numbers, a long-lasting battery and a loud speaker retails for $99. The phone uses GreatCall's wireless service and features medical apps displayed on a big bright screen, as well as an urgent response service. 

There are no contracts or cancellation fees and nationwide coverage plans start at $14.99 a month.

For more information visit http://www.greatcall.com/