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With more than 47 million people over the age of 60 living in the United States, you're bound to have at least one special senior on your gift list this season. Jim Miller, editor of Savvy Senior, shares some of the latest products.
Jitterbug cell phones
The Jitterbug is the perfect gift for seniors who struggle with cell phones because they’re hard to see, confusing to operate or difficult to hear on. Jitterbug is a new simplified cell phone that offers large buttons, simple operation (no confusing icons), easy-to-read text, a cushion that cups around your ear to improve sound quality, a volume control and more. They also offer the OneTouch cellphone that has three preprogrammed buttons if you just want the security of having a cell phone in your car, purse or pocket for an emergency. $147 for the phone with optional service plans costing between $10 and $40 per month. www.jitterbug.com, 800-550-6649
For aging boomers and seniors who enjoy mind challenging games, you can’t beat Brain Age. Made by Nintendo, this fun, electronic game provides a series of mind-boosting games, like solving simple math problems, counting people going in and out of a house simultaneously, drawing pictures on the touch screen, reading classic literature out loud, Sudoku puzzles and more. It also has a fun element that calculates your “brain age,” based upon your speed and accuracy. $19.99, but to play Brain Age, you’ll also need to buy a palm-sized Nintendo DS Lite game unit — cost $129.99. www.brainage.com
By the age of 50, everyone needs help with up-close reading. A great stocking stuffer is a nice choice of handy magnifiers. Great Point Light (www.biggerandbrighter.com) offers a variety of stylish new magnifiers to meet almost any need, including:
- Wallet Magnifiers: Two super-slim, credit card-sized magnifiers in one package. Provides 2.0X magnification with 4.0X bubble. Ideal for menus, wine lists and fine print everywhere you travel, $4.99.
- Pocket Lighted Magnifier: Slide it open to activate the powerful LED light. The square lens provides 3.0X magnification, great for menus in restaurants, programs in theatres, maps while traveling and more, $9.99.
- 4-inch Lighted Magnifier: This nifty dual-task magnifier lights and magnifies and should be in every drawer in the house. The lens is 4” in diameter and provides 2.0X magnification with 4.0X bubble on lens, $14.99.
- 5-inch Jumbo Magnifier: This jumbo-sized, five-inch magnifier has a comfortable rubber grip and fun color options. Great for reading and projects and perfect for books, maps, crafts and more, with 2.0X magnification, $16.99.
Healthy living gifts
Could your elder loved one use a little motivation to get moving? The New Lifestyles Digi-Walker SW-401 is the most popular and accurate pedometer on the market. This simple-to-use device tracks steps and also calculates distance. With the touch of a button you can alternate between totals for steps and miles. $19.95, www.new-lifestyles.com
Omron blood pressure monitor
More than half of all Americans over age 65 have high blood pressure, but because there are no symptoms — many of those who suffer from it don’t know they have it. For these reasons, a home blood pressure monitor makes a great health enhancing gift for any senior. The Omron HEM-780 is one of the most accurate, easy-to-use home monitoring systems available. Just wrap the cuff around your arm, press one button and your blood pressure and pulse will be automatically taken and displayed in large numbers in a matter of seconds. $99.99, www.omronhealthcare.com, 800-634-4350
Helpful household gifts
For seniors who enjoy cooking, gardening or tinkering around the house, but who suffer from arthritis pain in their hands or limited hand strength, OXO is a perfect gift. OXO offers more than 500 household products that are comfortable to grip and easy on the hands. Everything from kitchen and cooking utensils to gardening, cleaning and hardware tools. Items can be purchased individually or in gift packages. Prices start around $5 per item. www.oxo.com
It’s a common problem for many seniors: the television is far enough away that you need to turn up the sound to the point of disturbing others. TV Hear is a new wireless listening device that brings the sound closer to you so you can enjoy your programs at a reasonable volume without headphones. TV Hear is also helpful for listening to the TV in other rooms. It works up to 30 feet away. $75, www.brookstone.com, 866-576-7337
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