A Christmas list guide: The best fitness wearables for your aging parents this holiday season

Fitness wearables for your aging parents

The technology world is ever-evolving, and in today’s market, you can find some excellent fitness wearables for your aging parents.

Many wearables include your standard fitness metrics such as step counting, heart rate monitoring, and workout logging. In addition to these, other senior-specific features can consist of fall detection, emergency medical alerts, and other safety measures to keep its users safe and independent.

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a great time to consider some gift ideas while you still have plenty of time! We’ve created a list of five of the best fitness wearables for your aging parents.

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Our five picks for the best medical alerts and fitness wearables for your aging parents

 This unique market for a combined medical alert and fitness wearable has been becoming increasingly popular. As more older adults embrace the tech world, it makes sense to have some options that are a bit more useful for that population.

Say goodbye to the bulky, ugly, and stigmatizing medical alert devices. Say hello to their sleeker, stylish, and “smart” counterparts.

Our top pick for people who want a smartwatch: Withings ScanWatch Withings ScanWatch 2021

If you or your loved one is looking for a traditional watch that offers the health insights of a smartwatch, look no further than Withing’s ScanWatch.

The ScanWatch is what we call a hybrid smartwatch, including the style of a traditional watch with many of the features found on wearables like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, or Fitbit.

What makes the ScanWatch a good choice is that, unlike others, much of its onboard health technology, including its medical-grade EGG and oxygen sensor, is clinically validated and FDA cleared and has CE medical certification in Europe!

Plus, it’s one of the only smartwatches that don’t require daily charging. In fact, its battery life can last around 30 days on a single charge.

If your loved one suffers from a serious health condition, this watch may be the right choice. Withing’s ScanWatch monitors and notifies users of health conditions including irregular heart rhythm, AFib, sleep apnea, and other heart rate variations (low and high.)

You also get sleep tracking, activity tracking, elevation tracking, and a unique Respiratory Scan feature that tracks your oxygen saturation, heart rate, breathing frequency, and sleeping movement.

The ScanWatch connects to either Android or Apple phones using Withing’s Health Mate app, consistently rated as one of the best health monitoring apps on the market. The app offers users insights into their health and fitness and provides tips and suggestions to improve and maintain good health.

Plus, you can pick up a ScanWatch for less than USD 300.

Withings ScanWatch - Hybrid Smartwatch with ECG, Heart Rate Sensor and Oximeter (38mm, White)
  • ELECTROCARDIOGRAM ON DEMAND — Detect atrial fibrillation or normal heart rhythm in just 30 seconds...
  • WRIST-BASED OXIMETRY — Provides on demand clinically validated oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in...

Pros:

  • Traditional and elegant watch design for those not wanting the look of a smartwatch
  • Medical grade oxygen sensor and ECG that are clinically validated
  • Amazing battery life that lasts up to 30 days between charges
  • Excellent and highly-rated Health Mate companion app
  • No ongoing subscription costs

Cons:

  • No built-in GPS tracking
  • Small screen for smart features
  • It does not offer automatic fall detection
  • Reviewing notifications requires scrolling with the watch’s Digital Crown

Looking for a large and user-friendly interface? Check out the Freedom Guardian 2.0

Medical Guardian Freedom 2.0

The Freedom 2.0 from Medical Guardian is one of the best all-around smartwatches for seniors. Its simplified design makes it very user-friendly, but its integrated medical alert capabilities will provide you – and its user – with greater peace of mind.

This smartwatch does lean more towards a medical alert system and less towards a super high-tech smartwatch. But it still has a good blend of features to make it appealing.

One of its praised features is the integrated mobile phone support. The companion Caregiving App allows its users to have support anywhere at any time.

Family members can be given access to the mobile app to enable the GPS tracking capabilities of the watch. The Freedom 2.0 can also be programmed to send reminders and alerts for medications or other calendar events.

The user also has access to an emergency touchscreen or tactile button to summon for help if ever needed.  

With its cool design and integrated smart capabilities, it makes for a fantastic, all-around fitness wearable for your aging parents.

Purchase your Freedom 2.0 from Medical Guardian directly.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Desirable smartwatch design
  • Companion app
  • GPS tracking for safety

Cons:

  • No automatic fall detection capability
  • Monthly subscription required

For those without phones, try the Reemo Health smartwatch

Smartwatch by Reemo Health

This smartwatch is advertised as a personal emergency response system (PERS) because of its live call-for-help mechanism. Reemo’s integrated technology allows its wearer to call directly from the watch’s internal cellular technology with a built-in speaker and microphone.

Reemo Health also details the extensive research they did in developing this particular wearable. They trialed their watches throughout many assisted living facilities to pinpoint the most essential and needed features.

The watch doesn’t pair with a mobile phone, which some low-tech individuals may prefer. However, some users may view that as a drawback.

You can, of course, measure some of your standard fitness metrics, such as step count and heart rate, and no wifi is needed to operate the watch due to its internal GPS tracking features and cellular capabilities.

Reemo Health has tried to help older individuals safely maintain their independence by giving them access to an on-demand emergency system that is accessible 24/7.

Purchase the Reemo Health watch directly from the company.

Pros:

  • Simple user interface
  • On-demand access to a live emergency agent if ever needed
  • Built-in cellular technology means no reliance on wifi or other signal

Cons:

  • More on the “low-tech” side of current smartwatches
  • No companion app may be seen as a negative for some
  • Monthly monitoring subscription required

Already own an iPhone? Get the Apple Watch Series 7 LTE

The Apple Watch – no matter what model or series – is a smartwatch force to be reckoned with. Its stellar performance and abundance of features have made it a frontrunner for all fitness wearables.

Though it is not a senior-specific fitness wearable, it’s hard not to mention the Apple Watch when selecting a list of top performers.

Even though the Apple Watch isn’t particularly a medical alert device, it can definitely be used as one. For example, the emergency SOS Alert feature allows its senior users to quickly contact family or emergency responders in case of an emergency.

It’s no surprise that the Apple Watch is a leading fitness wearable that can monitor everything from workouts to heart rate and daily steps. Beyond that, you can pair it with its ECG App for increased electrocardiogram monitoring.

In general, the Apple Watch provides an extremely easy way for its user to stay connected with friends and family. This often gives peace of mind knowing that you can reach that family member regardless if they have their phone on them or not.

An entire in-depth review of Apple’s latest smartwatch is beyond the scope of this article, but it has easily made our list as one of the best fitness wearables for your aging parents.

So if your loved one is already an Apple or iPhone user, this may be the easiest and most streamlined option for you.

We recommend getting the larger model due to its larger screen and font! And if your loved one does not own a companion iPhone, remember to purchase the cellular-capable model and set it up using your iPhone with Apple’s family setup feature.

Apple Watch Series 7 GPS, 45mm Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band - Regular
  • Always-on Retina display has nearly 20% more screen area than Series 6, making everything easier to...
  • The most crack-resistant front crystal yet on an Apple Watch, IP6X dust resistance, and swimproof...

Pros:

  • Feature-rich including health and fitness monitoring and lifestyle apps
  • Streamlined option if already using Apple devices, like iPhone and iPad
  • Has many advanced fitness metrics without any ongoing membership or monitoring fees

Cons:

  • Initially expensive
  • No on-demand support agents

Lively Wearable 2

Wearable 2

The Lively Wearable 2 is another excellent option that not only boasts its features as a smartwatch but also doubles as a medical alert device.

Some of Lively’s most appealing features include its ability to wear either as a watch or around the neck on a lanyard. If wearing the device as a lanyard, it is equipped with a special fall detection alert that will automatically call for help, even if its wearer cannot.

If the device is worn as a watch, you still have access to Lively’s Health and Safety Services through the companion Lively Link App. A simple press of a button on the watch connects your smartphone to the Lively Urgent Response in case of an emergency.

Family members and caregivers will also be alerted if its user calls for an urgent response. This ensures ongoing communication with family members if help is ever needed.

With a built-in step counter and daily health tips, you get the benefit of also having a basic fitness wearable in addition to its medical alert features.

Overall, Lively has received great reviews for its easy set-up, 24/7 urgent response, and streamlined alerts and notifications sent to family members via its companion app.

Sale
Lively Wearable2 Mobile Medical Alert for Smartphones
  • FASTER WAY TO CALL FOR HELP: One press and you’ll be connected through the Lively app on your...
  • GET HELP 24/7 in any emergency, big or small. Urgent Response Agents will confirm your location,...

Pros:

  • It has a user-friendly companion app
  • Water-resistant
  • Up to four months of battery life (no charging, replaceable battery)
  • Interchangeable. Wear as a watch or around the neck on a lanyard

Cons:

  • Requires a smartphone and use of the Lively Link App
  • Requires monthly payment of $14.99 for ongoing monitoring

Good if you can find it: MobileHelp Smart

smartwatch by Mobile Health

This watch is hard to find but is one of the more stable watches for seniors. Samsung powers the MobileHelp smartwatch with a robust number of features.

Feel safe and secure knowing that you’re covered by their U.S.-based emergency monitoring that is only a simple tap and call away.

MobileHelp also boasts that they are covered by the nation’s largest 4G cellular networks and GPS location tracking to ensure safety and knowledge of the user’s whereabouts.

If help is ever needed, the watch is equipped with a two-way speaker that allows you to connect with an emergency operator instantly.

Because it is a Samsung device, the watch comes with a built-in Samsung Health App that monitors steps, heart rate, calories burned, and more! You always have the option to select a custom workout that includes everything from cycling to hiking and Pilates.

The MobileHealth smartwatch has made an effort to transform how we view medical alerts. Enjoy the look of having a fully-equipped fitness watch with the added safety features of a comprehensive medical alert system.

Purchase the MobileHelp watch here.

Pros:

  • Most balanced watch with both medical alert and fitness features
  • Built-in, comprehensive Samsung Health App
  • Two-way speaker for direct conversations in emergencies

Cons:

  • Only two days of rechargeable battery life

Wrapping up

The fitness wearable world is booming, and sometimes narrowing down your search can be a daunting task.

Whether you’re looking for a fitness tracker or a medical alert device (or both!), we hope this list of the best fitness wearables for your aging parents highlighted some of today’s most valuable tools.

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I am an occupational therapist and kinesiologist with a long history in the health and fitness industry. Plus, I'm also an avid cyclist with a passion for writing and travel that have helped shape my interest in the fitness tech world. You can catch me in a nearby cat café planning for my next road route or bucket list destination!

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