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The Best (and Worst) Technology for Seniors to Buy

Updated: June 3, 2024
By: Dr. Steven Rydin
Dr. Steven Rydin
Director of Product
As the former director of product, Steven oversaw Retirement Living’s product and marketing efforts for four years. His digital marketing expertise helped launch senior-focused buyer’s guides and a wide range of products surrounding finance, insurance, healthcare, and lifestyle. Steven holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from George Fox University.
Director of Product
Edited by: Lauren Hamer
Lauren Hamer
Sr. Editor
Bringing more than a decade of editorial experience to Retirement Living, Lauren focuses on reporting senior-related issues, including retirement planning, finance, consumer protection, and health and wellness. Lauren has edited consumer content for Credible, Angi, Slickdeals, Jobs for the Future, and more.
Sr. Editor
senior technology

Having seen every marketing trick in the book, most seniors are sophisticated buyers. Nevertheless, new technology that appeals to seniors can be difficult to understand, which is frustrating when trying to make informed decisions.

Two recent technology products have grown in visibility among seniors, so this article will tell you which one to buy (and which one to avoid!).

Good Technology to Buy: Self-driving Cars

Whether you enjoy a Sunday afternoon drive or want to travel across the country, a self-driving car might be a good buy for you. Of course, you may have legitimate concerns about personal safety in a self-driving car, but suspend judgment for a moment. First, a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report examined Tesla’s autopilot feature, and found no “safety-related defect trend” in the case of the car manufacturer’s self-driving technology. In other words, self-driving technology has been tried, tested, and is ready for the public.

Coming Soon
Reaching the highest safety ratings, the Model 3 starts at only $35,000 before incentives.

In fact, there is evidence to support the idea self-driving technology is a safer alternative to human drivers. The vehicle’s complement of cameras and sensors can probably detect a risk before you, take evasive action and keep you on the road longer into your golden years.

How Can It Help You?
These vehicles are capable of changing lanes, steering, emergency braking, making informed decisions about how to avoid traffic, and more. One feature can be really helpful for those with limited mobility – some Tesla vehicles even have a “park seek” mode, enabling you to get out of the car at your destination and letting the car go park itself. No more needing to remember where you parked! It’s like parking valet – without the tip.

Bad Technology to Buy: Hearing Amplifiers

If you’re having trouble hearing, you’re not alone. 1 in 3 seniors between the ages of 65 and 74 also struggle with hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. The trouble of seeing a doctor and the high cost of hearing aids or other interventions might dissuade you from getting the treatment you need. In response, some seniors are turning to hearing amplifiers as a cheap and over the counter alternative.

Wear at your own risk
Unlike hearing aids, hearing amplifiers are not recognized by the FDA for treating hearing loss.

If you have considered hearing amplifiers as a solution, you may end up doing more harm than good. Hearing amplifiers are essentially a microphone that raises the volume level of ambient noise. But hearing loss can be the result of a variety of issues, because interpreting sound is a multistep process that includes several organs including your brain.

Listen to the experts
Hearing amplifiers could end up doing damage to your ear and may not address the core issue involved in your hearing loss. If you’re having trouble hearing, it’s best to see your audiologist first to find out what’s going on.


Headphones – Source: Retirement Living