Dear Savvy Senior: Can you recommend any good devices that help seniors with tracking down misplaced items? My wife misplaces everything, including her car keys, eyeglasses, cellphone, purse and more. — Always Searching
Dear Always: There’s actually a wide variety of tracking devices that can help you and your wife find items that are commonly misplaced. Here are some top options to consider, depending on how tech-savvy you are.
If you or your wife uses a smartphone or tablet, you can easily track down lost or misplaced items like keys, a purse or wallet, remote control, smartphone, tablet or even a laptop with a Bluetooth tracker. While there are several different types of tracker products on the market today, the best is Tile (TheTileApp.com), which pairs with Apple and Android apps to help you locate missing items.
All you do is attach a small battery-powered Tile 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 150 to 200 feet, you can make the Tile ring so you can follow the sound to easily find it.
Or, if your wife loses her phone, the Tile works in reverse, allowing her to double-press the button on her Tile to make her phone ring (even if it’s on silent) as long as it’s nearby.
Tile also works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri to find misplaced items. All you have to do is ask.
To fit your tracking needs, Tile offers a variety of different-sized trackers, including the Tile Mate ($25), which is ideal for keeping track of keys, purses or backpacks; Tile Slim ($25), which is the size of a credit card and can be put into a wallet or attached to a laptop; Tile Sticker ($40 for a two-pack), the smallest finder, can attach to things like remotes, bikes and more; and Tile Pro ($35), which is the most durable tracker and has a 400-foot range and extra-loud ringer.
Since Tile doesn’t offer a glasses tracker, a great product to help your wife keep tabs on her eyeglasses is Orbit Glasses (FindOrbit.com; $40). This is a tiny, rechargeable Bluetooth device that sticks to the inside arm of the glasses so it’s not noticeable.
When your wife’s glasses aren’t on her head, but are nearby, she can use the free Orbit app to make them ring so she can find them quickly. Or, if she’s out of Bluetooth range, she can check the last known location, which will be shown on the map.
Radio frequency finders
If you or your wife don’t have a smartphone or tablet, there are also radio frequency devices like the Esky Key Finders (EskyNow.com), sold through Amazon.com, that can help you find misplaced items.
These devices come with an item locator remote and four to six tags with prices ranging between $20 and $30. Attach a tag to the items you want to keep track of with a key ring or adhesive. 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 locator remote, and the tag will flash and beep. The signal will go through walls and cushions and has a tracking range of around 100 feet. 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.
Jim Miller is a contributor to NBC-TV’s “Today” program and author of “The Savvy Senior.” Send your questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070; or visit savvysenior.org.