8 Helpful Home Products For Older Folks Who Live Alone

Reviewers say these items are worth their weight in gold for older people.

Older folks living alone face unique challenges, ranging from loneliness and social isolation to worries about safety should an emergency occur. Family members may also worry about older loved ones who live solo, wanting to find ways to let them know they are being thought of and are loved, or looking for items to help mitigate a potential medical or environmental crisis.

From smart home devices to digital picture frames and medical alert systems, these eight products are vouched for by Amazon reviewers who use them for themselves or purchased them for a loved one. Read one for more — you just might find, as one reviewer did, that you wish you’d bought these sooner.

HuffPost may receive a commission from some purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently curated by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

An ADT medical alert and fall-detection system
This portable medical alert system connects to ADT's 24/7 monitoring service so you or your loved one can get care immediately in an emergency. With the press of a button on this wearable, waterproof pendant (it is also available as a wristband), the wearer is connected with ADT's sensitivity-trained monitoring agents who can speak with them directly. The device also has GPS location tracking and automatic fall detection capability for added peace of mind. Note: In addition to the physical devices, the monitoring system requires a monthly service fee that begins at $39.99.

Promising review: "I bought this unit for my 89-year-old father who is continuing to fall more and more. I was shocked when I got a call the afternoon after I set it up. Sure enough he had fallen in his room and the folks at the care home were able to get him up. That night it went off again and he had fallen in the bathroom. For the fall detection the overall price is something like 45 bucks a month. Worth its weight in gold at this point being able to get help quickly to him. It's a company that's been running here in America for decades and they have a solid product with solid service. What else can you ask for?" — Dallas
A Ring video doorbell
This popular device allows anyone to see, hear and speak to someone at their front door through their smartphone, tablet or computer. It also sends mobile notifications when anyone sets off its built-in motion sensors or rings the doorbell. It provides an extra sense of security for those living alone, and promises to easily connect to Wifi and even pair with Alexa-enabled devices. Reviewers say they don't know how they lived without this. It's available in two colors.

Promising review: "The battery life is incredible! Worth every penny. It's honestly been so nice having this, I did so much research before buying and it did not disappoint. I charged this when I bought it WEEKS AGO. I am always checking my camera and the battery has yet to die! I'm a single woman living alone, so being able to monitor my packages and house in general is so relieving. No more coming home worried." — Mary Krauss
An Alexa-enabled Echo device
The Echo promises to help folks living alone feel more secure and at ease whether at home or on the go. This Alexa-enabled smart home device features an expanded 5.5-inch display that older adults will enjoy for a myriad of uses: setting alarms and timers; streaming music, shows and podcasts; controlling compatible lights and thermostats; and videocalling friends and family. They can also check in on their home while they're away via the Echo's camera, and set the background to a rotating slideshow of their favorite photos when the device isn't in use to remind them of loved ones. It's available in three colors.

Promising review:
"I didn't know I needed this!! This product is great. I have never had any type of Echo, or smart device similar to it, so I didn't know what to expect. The set-up was a breeze, even for this senior citizen! I was able to set up the Echo, and add 6 cameras! I love the feeling of security it gives me. I would highly recommend this to anyone!" — Babeaux
A customizable digital picture frame
If you're intrigued by the Echo's rotating photo slideshow capabilities but aren't ready to commit to a smart home device, or simply want the option of incorporating more pictures into a slideshow, the Skylight digital frame is a great choice. You can easily load new photos from your phone for display on the digital frame as long as you're connected to Wifi, and the frame's touchscreen capabilities make it easy to use.

Keeping up-to-date with loved ones' special moments and milestones may help older folks living alone feel more connected to those in their life, in turn potentially helping them maintain wellness and quality of life. This is available in three colors, two sizes and in packs of two.

Promising review: "I purchased a Skylight Frame for my 95 yr old mother who lives alone, and I have to say, set-up was just as easy as they said it would be. It only took a few minutes and it was up and running. I immediately started sending pictures from my cell phone to the Skylight Frame, and my Mom was happily amazed to see pictures start appearing on the screen. She loves it. I called my son in Maryland, and he sent photos as did my sister in Dominican Republic. My Mom loves to call me each day and tell me what new photos she has received. My cousin is also going to get one for her Mom, who is my Mom's sister, lives on her own and is 91 yrs old." — Jayne Knorr
A Google Nest smoke and carbon monoxide detector
This sleek smoke and carbon monoxide detector gives a verbal warning and issues phone alerts when it detects smoke or carbon monoxide so everyone can have peace of mind. It promises to pinpoint the location of carbon monoxide and detect both fast and slow-burning fires. Older reviewers especially appreciate that this smoke alarm does not require them to climb a ladder to shut it off — instead, it can be hushed from a phone. This version requires six lithium batteries, which are included; a wired version is also available.

Promising review: "A wonderful find for the elderly who live alone. After much research it is clear that there are currently no smoke/co alarms that never have a false alarm. Given that is the case, for elderly individuals who live alone and do not want to mount a ladder, especially in the middle of the night, to shut the thing off, this app-controlled device is very important! After having to shut off several false alarms in the middle of the night with howling frightened dogs leaping all around I had come to the decision that it was better to risk fire than falling off a ladder (esp after hip surgeries!). In addition to its safety value, the product has lots of extra features like lights and voices that add to its value." — Dina Zinnes
Portable bed rail
This sturdy bed rail offers extra support for anyone who needs help with mobility and getting out of bed, but does not have someone at home to assist them. It promises to fit easily underneath a mattress and includes a safety strap and anti-slip foam along its railing for secure installation.You can adjust its height from 17 to 21 inches or extend its width from 23 to 31.5 inches for a customized fit. It's available in two sizes. This bed rail is also a great option for those recovering from surgery or other medical procedures.

Promising review: "I got this for my 91 yr old mother to help her get out of bed as she had fallen. This has turned out to be a great help to her in feeling safe getting out of bed. I wish I would have gotten it for her sooner." — Sandra K. Fullington
An Alexa-enabled Amazon Fire tablet
This handheld tablet is a great addition or alternative to tabletop smart devices, giving you the functionality of the Echo with the reading function of a Kindle, plus the ability to enjoy streaming movies and television. Users can also set reminders, check email, video call friends and family and use Microsoft Office, Dropbox, OneNote and more. Older reviewers appreciate its intuitive apps, large font size and clear, bright touchscreen. It makes it easy to stay connected with loved ones while enabling productivity and organization.

Promising reviews:
"I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TABLET! I still haven't accessed all programs and applications, but what I have opened up is wonderful. This tablet is very user friendly and easy to access apps and info which is a valuable learning tool for senior citizens like me. I learn so much each time I open the tablet, not to mention how lightweight it is. The cover and finger key added the perfect touch! Thanks much!" — Rhonda Sculfield
A Jackery portable power station
The prospect of a power outage may be especially nervewracking for older people living by themselves. This versatile power station backup promises to help ensure that they are able to charge their phones and laptops and use necessities like lights or portable fans should anything happen.

Powerful yet weighing only 6.6 pounds, this power source is lightweight enough for many older folks to maneuver while supplying an impressive amount of power due to its 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack.

Promising review: "I bought this because I was going to be driving cross country and possibly camping. I didn't camp, but the area I move too has frequent power outages. My power is out right now from high winds and flooding. I am using my Jackery right now to charge my phone. I work online, so if my power is not back on by the time I need to work, I can use it to charge my laptop and a light. As an older woman, this thing is easy to carry around my house and to use. Thank God that I bought it." — ociana

Before You Go

An indoor-safe space heater

24 Emergency Preparedness Items To Buy For The Older People In Your Life

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.

Go to Homepage

MORE IN Shopping