As well as making our lives easier and more convenient, technology can provide potentially life-saving support. This is especially true for the elderly.
We've rounded up six of the best gadgets for older people. If you're worried about an ageing friend or relative, or you are just looking some useful tech, these gadgets will provide some reassurance...
Stay in the loop
There are plenty of mobile phones targeted towards the grey market and the Binatone SM800 is a good budget option.
A simple phone with clearly labelled functions, it will appeal to those who want their phone to perform basic tasks in a straight-forward manner.
The 3.5-inch LCD touch screen is easy to navigate and, in addition to making calls and sending text messages, it also comes with a two-megapixel camera and FM radio.
There is even hearing aid compatibility and an extra loud speakerphone. Which should ensure calls come through loud and clear.
The main benefit is on the back of the phone, where you'll find an SOS button. If you hold it down for three seconds, a pre-programmed text message will be sent to five emergency chosen contacts, before calling them one by one. Peace of mind should the unthinkable happen.
Gtech AirRam MK2
If you're sick of having to lug a heavy vacuum cleaner around, this device will make light work of the chore.
Founder Nick Grey developed this gadget out of concern for his grandmother, who was struggling with vacuuming. The result is this upright cleaner weighing just 3.5kg.
You charge the battery beforehand, then pop it in and it works wirelessly, so there's no lead to trip over. It also means it's easy to get around those awkward corners.
This model is surprisingly powerful and feels like it's gliding around the floor.
The Gtech AirRam is easy to empty and doesn't take up much room when not in use.
Help is at hand
Centra Pulse Limmex Emergency Watch
Price: £264 plus monitoring subscription £17.98 per calendar month (excluding VAT)
To the unknown eye, this is a sophisticated Swiss watch that simply helps you keep track of time. However, the clock face is just the start of its tech capabilities.
If you're out and about but come into difficulties, press the button and you'll be put in touch with a healthcare professional who you will be able to talk to you through the watch. With GPS, they can track where you are and arrange help. Whether you want a family member to be alerted to your problem or you need medical assistance, both can be organised.
There are several styles (the classic is particularly appealing) and the watch itself is of a high standard.
A discreet service for those of a certain age who want the security of having help at hand.
You can do it
Morphy Richards Multifunction Can Opener
If you find opening jars, bottles, cans and ring pulls difficult, this six-in-one device is perfect. It's sturdy enough to not topple over on the counter and it is easy to get to grips (literally in some functions) with the various tools.
Pop the can inside the unit, press the button and it will do the hard work for you. On top of the above functions, we particularly like the tool to remove plastic packaging - it's great if you suffer with dexterity issues.
Rise and shine
This two-in-one gadget will help you wake up in the morning without feeling groggy, and also give your body a boost of energy during the day.
Set the alarm and in the morning, your room will gradually fill with light, meaning you'll wake up naturally before the alarm sounds.
During the day, you can also benefit from light therapy provided by the Zest. Use for 15 minutes in the morning and the same at lunchtime and you'll feel full of beans.
A great gadget, especially for those who struggle to get out, or when it's a cold, miserable winter day.
Unforgettable Personal Alarm & GPS Tracker
Getting lost is a constant worry for those suffering from dementia. Thankfully, this alarm and tracker is here to help.
One press of the button, and you can speak to your emergency contacts in a two-way call. You can also receive calls from them at any time.
Thanks to built-in GPS, family and friends can keep track of the user's location, and even set up location-based alerts if they stray too far. There's also a fall detection system onboard that notifies the user's support network even if they become incapacitated.
It's small enough to fit on a keyring too, so it won't be forgotten at home.