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Smart Home

6 reasons to get a Google Home for your grandparents

Any elderly relative in your life can benefit from a smart speaker.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Anyone who's watched an older family member struggle to navigate their smartphone might completely write off the idea of gifting them a smart speaker.

But Google Home ($129 at Walmart) speakers and other smart options aren't just for the generations who grew up on the internet. Because they are easy to set up and use, they are a great addition to anyone's household, including your parent's or grandparent's.

Here are six reasons why. 

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1. Easy and hands-free

Even the most tech-savvy of us can get stuck trying to navigate through an app or our phone's settings. By and large, Google Home eliminates a lot of this because you can use straightforward, natural voice commands to interact with it.

What's better is that you only need your voice to activate Google Home's features. This is especially helpful for anyone with mobility issues, vision loss, or reduced dexterity.

Once the speaker is set up, your loved one can ask it to set timers and alarms, play music, add items to a to-do list and do so much more.

2. Search the internet without a screen

For elder family members who don't already interact with the internet through a smartphone, tablet or computer, Google Home provides an easy entry.

Again, they won't need to fuss with an app or mobile browser to get help or info. Anyone, young or old, can use a Google Home speaker to hear the latest news, get weather updates and sports scores, search the web for anything and even make purchases.

Check out our full list of Google Home commands to learn more.

Read more: Why your aging parents need a smart home.

3. Stay connected with loved ones

While Google Home cannot call 911 during an emergency, it can call any other phone number. In the event your parent or grandparent needs help but cannot get to the phone, this can be a lifesaver.

Outside of emergency situations, Google Home also works as a great speaker phone to chat with family and friends.

We have all the details you need to know to make calls with Google Home here.

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The Google Home Hub has a touchscreen that displays info and is easy to navigate.

Angela Lang/CNET

4. Help around the house

My grandmother got a Clapper in the '90s to make it easier to control a few of her lamps. While that device got the job done most of the time, there's a more sophisticated option today.

If you get a Google Home speaker for your grandparent or parent, consider also investing in a smart light bulb or plug. With that combo, they'll be able to speak a simple command, like "OK Google, turn off the lights" to control their lamps hands-free.

5. A personal archive

Google Assistant (the voice assistant built into Google Home) has a handy feature that will remember important information for you.

Your older loved one can say "OK Google, remember that my keys are on the hook by the door," or "Hey Google, remember that Sarah's birthday is April 1."

Later, they can ask "OK Google, where are my keys?" to get the info. Check out other things Google Assistant can remember here.

6. Hours of entertainment

No matter your age, a Google Home is a great device for staying entertained.

First, there are hundreds games you can play with your voice to engage the mind. There are classic options like Blackjack and Tic Tac Toe, and even popular real-world games like Jeopardy. Check out our 43 favorite Google Home games.

Whether your parent or grandparent is struggling with vision loss that makes it harder to read books, or they just prefers to listen to them, audio books can be purchased through the Google Play and then streamed through the speaker. Learn more about playing audiobooks on Google Home here.

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