Dear Savvy Senior,
Can you recommend any products or devices to help seniors track down lost or misplaced items, like car keys, wallet, cell phone, etc. My husband has become forgetful in his old age, so we spend a lot of wasted time looking for things.
There are actually a wide variety of tracking devices that can help you and your husband find items that are commonly misplaced or lost. Here are some top options to consider depending on how tech savvy you are.
Smartphone or Tablet Users
If you or your husband uses a smartphone or tablet, you can easily track down lost or misplaced items like keys, a purse, wallet, remote control, smartphone, tablet or laptop with a Bluetooth tracker like TrackR ($25 or $30 per tag) or Tile ($25 per tag). Both of these products pair with an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet app, which will help you locate the missing item.
All you do is attach a small TrackerR or Tile tag to the items you want to keep track of with an adhesive sticker, a key ring or you can just slip it inside the item.
Then, when a tagged item goes missing, you simply access the app on your smartphone or tablet to see how far away you are from the item or last known location on the map. If you’re within 100 feet, you can make the tracking device ring so you can follow the sound.
Or, if you or your husband loses your phone or tablet, both TrackR and Tile work in reverse, allowing you to press a button on the device to make your phone or tablet ring (even if it’s on silent) as long as it’s nearby. And to help you avoid leaving items behind, TrackR can be set to sound an alarm when there’s too much distance between your phone and device.
If, however, you or your husband don’t have a smartphone or tablet, there are radio frequency devices like Click ‘N Dig that can help you find lost/misplaced items. This device comes with one finder fob/remote and four or six tags for $26 or $39 respectively. Attach a tag to the items you want to keep track of with adhesive or a key ring. Each tag is color-coded and corresponds to a colored button on the finder.
When an item goes missing, you simply press the colored button on the finder fob and the tag will flash and beep. The signal will go through walls and cushions, but you’ll need to be within at least 60 feet of your lost item. Make sure you keep the finder fob in a safe spot, because if you misplace it, you won’t be able to find the tagged items.
Another good option, and one that doesn’t require a finder fob, is Find One Find All or FOFA. This device can manage up to six items. It comes in a key-fob finder and/or a flat, credit card sized finder for your wallet, remote, phone, tablet, etc.
These finders can be attached to items you wish to keep track of, and because each finder is also a transmitter, as long as you can find one FOFA tagged item, you can locate the rest.
FOFA finders sound an alarm when signaled so you can follow the sound to locate the missing item, but the range for this device is only 30 feet. Cost: $25 for two finders.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.