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With the inevitable and constant development of new technology, with each year, more elderly people decide that they too want to keep up with the new trends. Amongst many things, that means moving from traditional timepieces to more advanced and conventional smart wearables.
In this article, we are going to settle the issue of what is the best smartwatch for seniors, taking into consideration some specific features. When preparing the list below, I made sure all the smartwatches were durable, easy-to-read and came with a plethora of apps that help keep track of senior’s wellbeing.
The list includes my top 3 senior watch models. If none of the smartwatches caters to your taste (which I doubt will be the case), at the bottom of this page you will find an easy-to-grasp buying guide that will help you find the right product on your own.
Ready? Steady? Let’s go.
Best Smartwatch for Seniors (Top 3 Reviewed)
Apple Watch 6
If you are looking for the best all-round smartwatch that will satisfy the needs even of the most demanding senior, you can’t go wrong with the Apple Watch.
The best thing about the series is the versatility of these smartwatches. Apple Watch can be a great servant of pretty much everyone – from kids to business folks to sports enthusiasts to seniors. Since this article is dedicated to the last group, let’s focus on all the features dedicated to elderly people.
The first attribute thanks to which Apple Watch 6 stands out from other products in the article is the Fall Detection app. The application, also available for Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 5, is able to detect a hard fall while the senior is wearing the watch. If it does, it taps the wearer on the wrist and displays an alert. Then the person can choose whether to contact the emergency services or dismiss it. You can read more about it here.
If a senior requires assistance in any other situation, the Emergency SOS feature comes in handy. With a single tap, it allows you to call 911 (or another emergency number when outside of the US) to seek medical help. To make the process as seamless as possible, the app informs the emergency services about your location.
Furthermore, the Health application in the Apple Watch allows you to set up your Medical ID. Doing so will allow first responders quick access to your medical information such as medications, allergies, blood type, etc.
Apple Watch 6 can also function as an ECG device. At this moment in time, the Apple Watch is the only series that has received the FDA clearance to do so, meaning it can effectively and safely monitor the work of a senior’s heart. The model is a popular choice for people diagnosed with a form of heart arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation.
Another two apps worth mentioning here are the heart rate monitor and the sleep quality tracker. The built-in GPS allows for easy navigation as well as helps relatives be aware of senior’s surroundings. Naturally, Apple Watch 6 comes with an endless list of fitness apps dedicated to those still active physically.
Additional two health-monitoring apps you can download for free from the App Store are ElderCheck Now and Mango Health. The first one lets your relatives or caregivers check on your well-being with information such as your current heart-rate and blood pressure available with a single tap on the screen. Medication reminders are the main function of the second app.
CPR Guardian II
CPR Guardian might not be on everyone’s lips, unlike some of the brands included on this list. Nevertheless, the tiny collection of the products on offer is excellent at what they do. And by that, I mean protecting elderly people at every step.
For all the other brands on the list, smartwatches are just one of many ranges of products they specialize in. In contrast, CPR has been putting all the effort into designing a proper medical guardian watch. The latest version of the smartwatch, Guardian II, comes with many useful features for seniors and provides excellent value for money.
Perhaps the trait that stands out for me the most is the SOS emergency assist. Just by clicking the SOS button on the smartwatch, an elderly person can notify relatives about the emergency, with the alert (including the GPS location of the senior), immediately displaying on the person’s mobile thanks to the Guardian APP. The application is available for both Android smartphones and iPhones.
What’s more, the smart location tracking provided by the GPS feature allows relatives to always be up-to-date with the whereabouts of their loved ones. Another useful feature includes the heart rate monitor, although the frequency of checks is lower than in other models on this list. CPR Guardian II checks the heartbeat every 10 minutes. In case of a heart rate below 30 beats per minute, the medical watch will send a warning notification message to the app.
CPR Guardian II is IP67 waterproof, meaning it’s fine to wear during a brief shower or while washing hands. The smartwatch comes with an adjustable silicone band. The screen is made from Corning Gorilla glass, providing solid protection against cracks and scratches.
Before considering the purchase, be aware that Guardian II functions as a stand-alone mobile phone. Crucially, it only works with T-Mobile 2G networks if you are living in the USA. For more information visit CPR Guardian’s official website.
The right smartwatch for a senior doesn’t have to break the bank and Amazfit GTR backs up that statement with aplomb.
The brand behind the Amazfit smart series is Huami. For most, that name doesn’t ring a bell. Nevertheless, the company is the most preferred partner of the Chinese mogul Xiaomi and is responsible for the development of Xiaomi’s line of smart wearables that include smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Amazfit GTR comes with many features and apps that seniors will appreciate, at a price considerably lower than the two models above. Amongst many, the smartwatch enables 24/7 heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking.
Seniors that are active physically will embrace the fact that the model has as many as 12 different sports modes to choose from, allowing you to record and store your running, cycling or swimming performance.
The smartwatch can also function as a GPS although you will need to stay connected to your mobile phone to use the feature. Naturally, Amazfit GTR helps you stay informed and up-to-date throughout your day with the notification settings that include texts, calls, social media alerts and more. The fact that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices is crucial.
When describing the GTR smartwatch it’s impossible not to mention the amazing battery life. The smartwatch can run for 28 days straight on a single charge and the result is unmatchable for any other product on the list.
Moving on to the physical qualities of the smartwatch, it has a pretty elegant look with a combination of leather and silicone elements on the band. The 1.39” AMOLED display ensures easy reading. The display is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is pretty tough to break.
The water resistance of this GTR model is rated at 5ATM (50m), allowing for swimming sessions in shallow water.
Picking the Best Smartwatch for Seniors: Buying Guide
Now I’m pretty confident that at least one of the smartwatches on the list has managed to catch your eye.
Whether you are a senior yourself or a young person looking for the best smartwatch for elderly relatives, I know that coming to the final decision might be quite a task. If more than one product appeals to you, check the metrics again and decide what is it that you prioritize in wearable technology for the elderly.
On the other hand, if the unthinkable happens and none of the smartwatches included in the article looks good enough for you, don’t worry. Below I have prepared a buying guide that will help you pick the right product on your own. The guide is easy to understand, points to the most important metrics in smartwatches dedicated to seniors. It also won’t consume more than a few minutes of your time.
It’s not unusual for seniors to be visually impaired or farsighted. Consider smartwatches that come with fairly big display size, allowing for easy reading and navigation.
The batteries in smartwatches are nowhere near as long-lasting as those used in standard types of wristwatches. Luckily, they are all rechargeable – just like other smart devices. Nevertheless, make sure the senior smartwatch can go at least 18 hours on a single charge (with most of the useful features enabled).
While pairing the smartwatch with a mobile or navigating it, the owner shouldn’t break a sweat. Many popular models on the market come with an endless list of functions, most of which might never be used. What we want to avoid here is confusion. A smartwatch that is supposed to suit a senior should be as user-friendly as possible and should come with a clear manual.
Oftentimes smartwatches aren’t the cheapest products. Once you decide to invest in one, it should be able to serve you for years, not months.
No matter how old or young you are, hands are probably the busiest part of your body. Whether it’s time for weekend house cleaning or preparing dinner for your loved ones, your smartwatch is always at some risk of damage. That’s why it needs to be rugged.
When browsing for smartwatches for seniors, make sure the product is water-resistant. At the very least the water-resistance should have an IP68 rating that would easily withstand occasional splashes of water. If you still enjoy your swimming sessions, aim higher. In such a case, the smartwatch should be water-resistant at least up to 50m.
The watch face is equally important. Consider models that come with dials made from one of the following materials: mineral crystal, sapphire crystal or Corning Gorilla glass. Each of these is tough to break and should be more than enough to get you safely through your everyday chores.
Just to be clear – the perfect smartwatch for a senior doesn’t have to come with all features that are listed below. But it should at least include some of them.
Like with anything else in life, different people will have different needs. For example, a senior struggling with atrial fibrillation should pick a smartwatch that can function as an ECG. One that has been diagnosed with low or high blood pressure should make sure the product can measure oxygen levels in the blood, and so on and so forth.
- Heart Rate Monitor
Most smartwatches released in the last few years come with fairly reliable HR monitors. The technology used in the majority of smart wearables is called photoplethysmography (PPG). It works by projecting green light on your skin. The light that’s not absorbed by the tissue is then reflected back to the sensor which subsequently measures the disparities to calculate the heart rate.
Seniors who have been diagnosed with heart arrhythmias can additionally consider getting a watch that can successfully detect irregular heartbeat patterns. At this moment in time, the list of smartwatches able to do this is slim. In fact, the Apple Watch is the sole series that has received the FDA clearance so far. To learn more, read my article about the best smartwatches for AFib.
- Sleep Quality Tracker
The importance of the night’s rest, especially for the elderly, is still being undervalued. The sleep tracker can help measure the quality of sleep by calculating the amount of the so-called “deep” sleep, responsible for how rested we feel the next day. This feature is said to be great for measuring the effectiveness of your sleep aids (if you supplement any).
- Fall Detector
A senior smartwatch with fall detection goes a long way. If an elderly person is prone to falls, a smartwatch with this feature allows the owner to summon help without pressing any buttons. Any fall automatically activates the sensor and sends a medical alert.
Physical activity in any form is essential for people in all age groups. Pedometers, also known as Step Counters, can help keep track of the distance traveled and calories burned during your day.
Last but not least, a simple smartwatch for seniors should definitely come with a dependable GPS function. Not only can this help find the shortest path home but also help relatives be aware of the senior’s whereabouts.