Video: Gadgets for Grandparents

Grandparents and gadgets don’t really go together, but this week on TVNZ Breakfast I took a look at few gadgets that might just fit the bill. Helpful or historical, these devices will come in handy for the age-challenged individuals in your life.

Click below to watch the video.

Item: St John Lifelink Medical Alarm
Price: $39 per fortnight
Rating: 5 / 5
Info: I expected a medical alarm to be as difficult to install and set up as a regular house alarm, but not so! The Liflelink system just plugs into the power and phone socket and it’s ready to go. It has a standard “pendant” activation button that can be worn around the house and garden, and pressed to raise a call for help. Additionally, the Lifelink has a built-in motion sensor (no extra sensors required), which can be programmed to ask for help if no movement is detected, and no response is given, after a certain time.The Lifelink is simple to use, easy to set up, and provides fantastic peace of mind. Depending on circumstances, the cost may be covered by Work and Income under a disability allowance.
Item: Vintage Calculator
Price: Depends on age and condition
Rating: 2 / 5
Info: If your grandparents reminisce for the “good old days”, perhaps they’d like some good old technology? We forget how far we’ve come, but a nice vintage calculator is a great reminder. The Casio I demonstrated today even has 6 digits!
Item: LogMeIn Ignition
Price: Free for web use, $39 for iPhone application
Rating: 5 / 5
Info: I’ve use a few different “remote desktop” applications, but none has been as simple to set up and easy to use as LogMeIn. Install a basic application on your grandparent’s computer (PC or Mac), then you can access their computer from any web browser, or even your iPhone using the Ignition application. The system even works perfectly over 3G. Security is good, and you get an email if someone attempts to log in without your permission. You can also configure multiple PCs under one account – one for each set of grandparents perhaps!


  1. Hi Ben

    It was great to see the St John Lifelink alarm (The Personal Response Unit, designed and manufactured in Christchurch by Chiptech), featured last week on Breakfast.

    I was however disappointed to see very little range in Grandparent gadgets. There are so many products out there to help the elderly, like medication reminders, environmental monitors, temperature and faucet controls to prevent scolding and flooding, GPS locaters, and automated products like robot vacuums and can openers.

    The New Zealand elderly cherish their independence and we should encourage and support them in their own homes with as many devices and service as we can.

    Cheers for the 5/5, we work hard to provide the best solutions we can to help people stay safe, independent and healthy in their homes.

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