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Digital communication can sometimes get a bum rap for being a poor substitute for in-person socialization. While it’s true that nothing can replace face-to-face relationships, there are plenty of times when it’s not possible or practical to be in the same room. That’s when technology can really shine and play an important part in keeping loved ones close.

 The following are fun little gadgets that don’t require a lot of tech-savviness to use, and as such, they make great gifts for seniors:

  1. The Lovebox Messenger

This adorable little gizmo was originally intended for long-distance lovers but is also perfect for people who don’t text. It’s a Wi-Fi-enabled bamboo box with a mirrored screen that can display short love notes, sent via text message. When the box receives a message, the interchangeable wooden heart spins to let the user know a message is waiting for them. The user can then spin the heart to “text back” a shower of hearts to the sender’s phone.

  1. Amazon Echo Show 10

A smart display screen like this might just be the next best thing to being there, according to reviewers. The 10-inch screen is mounted on a motorized, cylindrical “neck” that pivots and rotates, so you don’t have to stay in one place while chatting. This makes it extremely easy and convenient to have organic conversations, as you would have if you were in the same room. You can use the Show to make video calls to users with other apps, like Alexa, Skype, and eventually, Zoom.

  1. Friendship Lamps

Long-distance, Wi-Fi-enabled friendship lamps are another great gift idea. You pair your lamp to one or more other lamps; each person in the group can be assigned his or her own color. When you touch your lamp, it lights up your loved one’s lamp with your personal color, so they know that you are thinking about them. If only two lamps are connected, they’ll cycle through a full-color spectrum when you touch them. 

  1. Portable Signal Booster

Sometimes, no matter how good your cell service is, you occasionally cross into the dreaded “dead zone” —  whether it’s an area of your house, inside a store or at certain outdoor locations. You can easily install a signal booster inside your house, but did you know that you can also purchase a portable version? Having a portable signal booster allows you to stay in range, whether you’re out walking in the neighborhood or lounging on the beach. For seniors, this is especially important as a safety precaution, particularly when paired with a phone that has a safety service enabled. 

  1. 2-in-1 Hybrid Laptop

One of the best, all-around gadgets to have is a hybrid laptop because it gives you all the convenience of a tablet with the added functionality of a laptop. Every year, manufacturers improve upon the previous year’s model, resulting in faster machines with better screen resolution and longer battery life. If your current laptop is lagging or frequently freezing up, it might be time for an upgrade. There are many brands and options available, so the price is usually quite competitive, especially when you take into account sales and online coupons. 

Nothing can ever replace face-to-face communication or living in the same city or neighborhood as your treasured family and friends. When you can’t just stop by in person, it’s so important to touch base regularly to let them know that you care and that you’re thinking about them. Fortunately, there are countless ways to do that, thanks to digital communication technology. Any of these fun gadgets would make amazing gifts for your parents, family members or friends to help keep in touch and stay close at heart, even when you’re miles away.


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