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How Technology Can Be the Difference Maker in a Senior’s Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic

A comparison of the Grandpad and Sirona.TV; two elderly-friendly devices designed to improve the lives of seniors.

As the Covid-19 epidemic is forcing more and more individuals to self-isolate, seniors are put in a particularly difficult situation. While the majority of seniors stay connected with their family and friends through face-to-face interaction and keep their brains stimulated by getting out of the house, many seniors are now having to adapt to living alone at home or alone in their nursing home bedroom. For the majority of the population, technology is a key tool for improving the quality of life at home and maintaining social connections, however, for many seniors it is difficult to keep up in a world of rapidly advancing technology. Thankfully there exists a variety of senior-friendly devices that can greatly improve the quality of life of seniors who are forced to stay socially isolated at home during the Coronavirus global pandemic.

This article introduces and compares two devices designed for seniors, the Grandpad and the Sirona.TV . The Grandpad is a tablet for seniors that also includes a companion app along with the standard features of a tablet in a senior-friendly format. The Sirona.TV is a television add-on that includes a variety of smart device features such as a virtual assistant, safety and health monitoring, and a companion app for connecting with friends and family. Both devices greatly improve the lives of the elderly, however, which one is more suitable depends on the senior.

Features and Applications

Both the Grandpad and Sirona.TV include a variety of commonly used smart device features and applications such as voice and video calling, a photo album, a music player, and brain games that help to keep the mind sharp and active. The Grandpad also includes a 4G LTE connection enabling seniors to take their tablet wherever they go and use it as a cellphone. Family members can also take photos and easily share them with their elderly loved one with the included Grandpad companion app.

The Sirona.TV features a virtual assistant that can help seniors with daily tasks like playing music, checking the weather or answering questions and setting reminders. Sirona.tv also doubles as an in-home remote health and safety monitoring device With the Sirona.TV health kit, seniors can monitor their vitals, get medication reminders, and view exercise videos that are custom-tailored to their personal needs. Some models of the Sirona.TV even feature a personal emergency response system so that caretakers can be notified remotely of any emergency or accidents that may occur when a senior is at home alone. The Sirona.TV is a particularly useful safety device during the current Corona virus pandemic as it acts as a replacement for many in-home care services so that seniors can stay safely socially isolated at home.

The Grandpad, a tablet for seniors

Accessibility

A major frustration that seniors have with today’s technology is that it can be overly complicated to learn and use. The Grandpad and Sirona.TV both solve this problem by featuring easily maneuverable menus, large fonts, and senior-friendly accessible control schemes.

Upon booting up the Grandpad, seniors are met with a menu featuring large application icons and easily readable text fonts. The Grandpad features an 8-inch touch screen display, allowing for easy navigation across applications and an enjoyable viewing experience. The device can be conveniently set up and managed remotely by the caretaker of a senior so that the senior does not need to deal with the hassle of entering the contact information of their loved ones or uploading photos to the photo album application. With the use of the companion app, the family and friends of a senior can connect their Facebook accounts so that a senior does not need to go searching online to find pictures of their loved ones. Rather, they receive a seamless stream of photos and videos that come directly from their loved ones.

Video chat on any TV you want with the Sirona.TV

The Sirona.TV features many of the same applications as the Grandpad, but in a television format. If a tablet is difficult to use or has too small of a screen for a senior in your life, then Sirona.TV is a great option for those who want to use common smartphone and tablet applications but on larger screen format that is intuitive and easy to operate. The Sirona.TV can be operated by any television remote, so seniors can keep using whatever remote that they are familiar with. If pushing the small buttons of a remote is difficult, the Sirona TV also features voice command functionality. With just the use of their voice, a senior can send a text, play music, check the weather, or even get their vitals monitored.

Cost

The Grandpad can be purchased both brand new or used for a one-time payment of $250 or $75 at ConsumerCellular.com. The Grandpad monthly service fees include unlimited data usage, video calling, and ad-free music streaming runs at $40 per month.

The Sirona.TV has an introductory price of $149.00 and a monthly fee of $14.99, however, it is currently on sale at Sirona.TV for $129.00 and includes the first 3 months of service and shipping costs for free.

Both the Grandpad and Sirona.TV can greatly improve the lives of seniors and keep them safe and connected socially. Especially when they are forced to self-isolate during the Covid-19 global pandemic. However, it is important to evaluate the needs of the senior in your life and decide which device is most suitable for them. If a senior in your life needs a smart phone, click here to see our comparison of the Jitterbug Smart2, a smart phone for seniors, the Grandpad ,and Sirona.TV. To read more about why a television is the preferred smart device format for seniors over tablets, click here.

If you are interested in purchasing a device specifically for remote health monitoring, Tytohome is also another great device. The TytoHome Kit can be used by families and seniors or senior’s loved ones to quickly connect with a doctor and complete physical examination from the comfort of one’s own home. Similar to the Sirona.TV Health kit, with the TytoHome Kit seniors can also regularly keep up to date with their health by measuring vitals.

For seniors living at home alone, the Sirona.TV is the better option as along with social connectivity, games, family and other apps it also provides remote health monitoring and a variety of other smart device functions. The TytoHome Kit is more suited for younger families who need to do virtual health check at home with their doctors in real time in order to avoid visiting a doctor’s office. The GrandPad is best for seniors who are mobile and want access to their applications no matter where they travel to.