Coffee makers can be tricky and not so straightforward to use. Many seniors can find them too complicated to operate. So what should be the features to look for in a coffee makers for seniors? What are the coffee makers available on the market that are easy for a senior to use but doesn’t skimp on essential features or brew quality? Is caffeine good for seniors? If so, what are the benefits? That’s right… this post is all about coffee. We tried to answer all the possible questions you may have about coffee and seniors. If you want to learn more, keep reading!
Top 10 Features to Look for in a Coffee Maker for Seniors
Choosing an ideal coffee maker for seniors means sorting through several different features. So, before picking a unit, consider these characteristics to find the right mix that suits seniors and their preferences.
1. Simple Controls and Auto Shut-Off
Featuring simple controls is a big benefit for seniors, as many more sophisticated coffee machines have displays that are overwhelming and confusing.
Moreover, the auto-shutoff feature on a coffee maker is an excellent way to prevent the machine from getting left on and coffee burning to the bottom of the carafe.
2. Easy-to-Use meaning fewer and large buttons
When it comes to appliances for the elderly, it’s better always opt for a coffee maker with just a few buttons that are large, prominently displayed, and easy to press.
Also consider whether a senior will want to set their brew times using the programming feature and – if this feature is important to them – ensure that it’s not too difficult to set up.
3. Easy-to-Read Buttons and Numbers
Many coffee machines and other devices will have a mix of different sized buttons, some of which will be on the smaller side and difficult for some seniors to read.
However, there are some coffee makers with few or no small buttons, opting instead for just one or two large buttons, and these can make using this device much faster and less complicated.
Besides, make sure that any numbers on the device that indicates measurements are easy to read. These markings are often found on the carafe and indicate the number of ounces left in the pot. You can also see them on the side of the reservoir, so you know if you have enough water for your brew.
4. French Press is usually easier to use than Drip Coffee Maker and Percolator
There are many different types of coffee makers an elderly individual can use to prepare a fresh cup of brew. But the French press is the simplest way to make coffee if the individual has access to boiling water.
With the french press, all you need to do is to put the coffee grounds and hot water into the carafe, let it sit for a few minutes, and then press down the plunger filter to enjoy. Besides, the French press doesn’t even need electricity.
However, drip coffee makers are often more familiar to seniors and are also relatively simple to set up and use. A drip coffee maker also offers additional features that can make life easier for a senior such as programmable brewing that isn’t available on a french press.
Percolators can be a bit more dangerous from a burns perspective, but many senior are familiar with the percolator design and may prefer this option over others.
5. Ergonomic and Comfortable to Use Handle
An easy to grip handle is essential for elderly individuals, as it needs to be ergonomic and comfortable to use. Moreover, some carafe handles come with knuckle-guards and dripless spouts, which can also minimize the potential for burns. A poor handle can increase risks of dropping or spilling the carafe.
6. Fully Removable Filter Basket
Accessing, emptying, and refilling the filter basket can be strenuous for those with arthritis or carpal tunnel. One way to make this process easier is by choosing machines where the filter basket is fully removable or, at the very least easy to access.
7. Programmable Coffee Makers and Timers
Many coffee makers also come with a timer or an option to brew a beverage at a set time which allows you to program them to turn on a set number of times during a 24-hour period.
Programmable coffee makers have been around a while, and these devices are helpful for those who want a cup of coffee ready at a set time each day.
8. Plastic (transparent) Carafe
You can find glass, plastic and stainless carafes on the market, the stainless steel being less common. And here are some details of each.
Although the stainless steel carafes keep your coffee warmer for a more extended period and don’t break as easily as glass. The drawback is that you can’t see through it the way you can with a glass carafe, so you aren’t able to see how far along in the brewing process the coffee maker is.
Glass carafes are easier to clean, compared to stainless steel carafes. But they break to easily.
The safest material for a carafe should be plastic. But the glass ones are the most common, so stick to glass.
9. A Bright Display
Many coffee makers will have an LCD display, and these should be brightly lit and large enough to be easily visible. Often, the display area will include backlit buttons, which are an excellent feature if the individual will be using this coffee maker in less than ideal lighting.
10. Loud & Clear Sounds
Many coffee makers are silent, but a few have an alarm to indicate when they are ready. These alarms may be in addition to buttons beeping as you press them and help seniors with navigating more complex machines.
Best Easy Coffee Makers for Seniors
Our list of best coffee makers for seniors highlights some compact options that make brewing an excellent cup of coffee a straightforward process.
These brewers have most of the features mentioned above for good coffee makers for seniors. Besides, they all feature a brand-established reputation for producing good quality kitchen products.
1. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy high-quality coffee and espresso but don’t want to deal with complicated buttons or cleaning regiments.
This machine has a generous 40-ounce water reservoir that is easy to access on the side, and a complimentary set of twelve Nespresso Vertuo capsules to get you started. These capsules are hermetically sealed, recyclable, and contain carefully chosen coffee and espresso varieties designed to help you find your favorites.
The Nespresso Vertuo is simple to use, but the inner workings are part of a cutting edge brewing process that results in a distinguished cup of coffee! The machine pre-wets the coffee for superior taste, and users an internal laser to read each pod barcode and brew the drink uniquely based on whether the pod is for a dark or light roast, flavored or unflavored, etc.
Check this item on Amazon.
2. Cafetiere French Press Coffee Maker by VeoHome
The Cafetiere French Press coffee maker features stainless steel construction with double walls for better insulation – it even claims to be unbreakable! This means that if an elderly individual happens to drop the carafe, there will be no dangerous glass pieces to clean up – this carafe should be just fine!
The handle for this carafe is large and prominent, with a shape that’s easier for seniors to grasp than the more standard straight-handle commonly seen with traditional french press brewers. No filters, capsules, electricity, button-pressing, or an understanding of electronics needed for this device.
This french press utilizes an unusual design to maximize the aroma and flavor of the coffee while also taking up just a small amount of counter space and requiring minimal cleaning.
Check this item on Amazon.
3. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Classic is a pod-style coffee maker that’s simple and easy-to-use for any senior. Just press the power button, insert your pod, and press one of three buttons based on which size cup you want to brew. It takes less than a minute to have your coffee made!
The Keurig K-Classic features an easily accessible water reservoir on the side of the device that holds up to 48 ounces of water. The drip tray can also be easily removed, making room for larger cups or travel mugs. This device allows you to choose from 6 oz, 8 oz, or 10 oz brew sizes, with 6oz making the strongest cup of joe.
This coffee maker also features an auto-off function that turns off the device once it has been idle for two hours – a handy safety feature that helps save energy.
Check this item on Amazon.
Pros and Cons of caffeine for seniors
According to The National Coffee Association (ClearCare), older adults drink more coffee than any other age group. Clearly, America’s seniors love their coffee. And not only American seniors, coffee is a common drink that is often used as a stimulant all over the world. That is to say, that taking coffee is an everyday routine among the elderly especially while connecting with friends and family. Nevertheless, despite it being so common, it has its effects both positive and negative. In other words, there are pros and cons of caffeine intake for seniors. So the question of whether or not to use coffee in senior health remains a significant topic of discussion.
But what is the effect of caffeine on the older adult? What are the Pros and Cons of caffeine for seniors? Can too much of a good thing really be bad? The short answer is yes. Even if taking caffeine with moderation brings benefits, too much caffeine, in matter of fact too much of anything, can have serious side effects. Moreover, excessive caffeine consumption can be harmful – especially for seniors.
So when can caffeine be too much for Seniors?
But what is “excessive”? Several studies have addressed coffee’s impact on older adults and concluded that drinking caffeine “in moderation” is fine for most seniors. Yet, according to ClearCare, Just like overindulging in sweets or alcohol, ignoring the risks associated with caffeine would be irresponsible for the health-conscious senior.
So what, exactly, is “in moderation”? According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams per day for healthy adults. That translates to one 12 oz. serving of black coffee with 240 mg. Plus all the food and beverage containing caffeine that we consume throughout the day.
But please note that because seniors are far more susceptible to the harmful effects of caffeine, it’s important to consult with doctors about how much, if any, is appropriate for a senior in particular. That’s to say that although medical experts agree that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is just fine for average seniors, doctors can help each individual patient determine the right levels for them. Besides, doctors can also provide guidance on how to reduce caffeine intake in seniors, if needed, and keep consumption to appropriate levels.
Just how good is caffeine for seniors?
According to Medical Pros on Call, most seniors start their morning with a cup of coffee and consume caffeine regularly throughout the day. That means that, from tea, energy drinks and soft drinks to chocolate and some chewing gums, caffeine can easily be found in common foods and beverages. Plus, even some medicines have caffeine in them.
Consuming caffeine in moderation can provide elderly adults a lot of health benefits. However, studies show that too much caffeine can be harmful to the body and increase the risks of certain conditions in elderly adults. Therefore, ignoring the risks associated with caffeine can negatively affect their health. That’s why it’s important to seriously consider how much caffeine seniors have each day and how too much of a good thing can end up being so bad for them.
Pros and Cons of Caffeine for Seniors
Cons of Caffeine for Seniors
Medical Pros on Call also adds that caffeine is a stimulant that works on the nervous system. However, the same chemical reaction that helps people feel more energetic with moderate caffeine intake can turn to jitteriness, restlessness, agitation, irritability, headaches, nausea, increased heart and breathing rates and muscle spasms with overconsumption.
Insomnia can also be triggered or worsened by too much caffeine, especially close to bedtime. Because it is a diuretic, which means it stimulates urine production in the body, it can cause seniors to quickly become dehydrated as well. Furthermore, since seniors are more sensitive to fluctuations in the amount of fluid in their body, dehydration can become a very serious problem; it can cause lightheadedness – even falling.
Several studies have also linked caffeine to gout attacks and development of breast cysts in women. Also, too much of it is believed to cause stomach upsets due to indigestion. Besides, while occasional consumption of caffeine is known to reduce headache, overconsumption could cause problems and migraines. Furthermore, frequent use of coffee in senior women has proven to worsen symptoms of menopause.
In addition, sometimes, caffeine can even interfere with certain medications that seniors might be taking, reducing the effectiveness. In addition, for seniors that have certain chronic conditions, caffeine can enhance the symptoms or cause more irritation. Below there are some examples of these health issues:
- high blood pressure
- and fluctuations in the parasympathetic nervous system
Moreover, excessive consumption has also been known to cause:
- Reduced bone strength: It can lead to a higher risk of bone fracture due to increased ossification.
- Increased blood pressure: It can also raise blood pressure, so those with high blood pressure already should take caution in drinking coffee.
- Increaser risk for serious issues: It can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
- In rare occasions, an overdose could lead to death.
Caffeine Pros for Seniors
Caffeine and other properties found in coffee are often thought to have a negative effect on elderly health. Nevertheless, in moderation, coffee can have a number of positive benefits for your aging loved one.
Studies have shown that coffee contains antioxidant elements as well as minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which are essential to one’s health. So the staff at Home Care Assistance in Vancouver has put together a list of healthy reasons for a senior to include coffee in his or her diet.
1. Enhanced Neurological Functioning
Moderate coffee consumption can have a positive impact on how the brain works. When a senior drinks coffee, caffeine enters the bloodstream and travels to his or her brain. So this popular psychoactive substance helps block adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. And this facilitates an increase in other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. The result is a noticeable boost in cognitive functioning, mood, memory, energy, vigilance, and reaction times.
2. Lowered Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Several studies have discovered a significant decrease in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for people who drink one or more cups of coffee per day. Besides, one report suggests regular coffee drinkers may be as much as 23 to 50% less likely to develop this illness. However, this is only true if consuming coffee that has not been loaded with fatty creamers and large amounts of sugar.
3. Reduced Risk of Degenerative Diseases (such as Parkinson and Alzheimer)
Coffee may offer protection against both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. According to recent research, seniors who drink up to two cups of coffee per day can cut their risk of developing Parkinson’s by as much as 60%. Also, routine consumers of this beverage may be up to 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
4. Increased Liver Protection
This rich, aromatic brew can protect the liver from various forms of disease, including cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. The key to recognizing this benefit lies in how the coffee is consumed. Coffee with milk, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other additives can actually have an adverse effect on both the liver and the kidneys. However, drinking black coffee in moderate amounts can reduce your loved one’s risk of cirrhosis by up to 80 percent. So, for optimum benefits, seniors should be mindful of both how much coffee is being consumed and how it is being served.
5. Boosted Energy and Lowered Fatigue
Coffee is a stimulant that can give seniors a quick boost of energy when they need it most. That means that seniors can feel less tired as it increases the levels of adrenaline in the blood.
Besides, its aromatic properties alone are believed to be therapeutic, given many people feel instantly more alert as soon as the scent of freshly brewed coffee hits the air.
However, too much of this stimulant can leave a senior overcharged and restless. And this could disrupt his or her sleep patterns, which is why this brew is best served in the morning.
6. Lowered Risk of Developing Depression
Studies also showed that the risk of depression as a result of caffeine intake actually fell when individuals increased their daily intake of caffeine.
7. Lowered Risk of Having a Stroke
According to Caffeine Informer, coffee can reduce the risk of stroke as much as 22%.
8. Lowered Risk of Developing some Cancers
Caffeine Informer also point out that coffee cuts mouth and throat cancer risk by 50%.
9. Improved various aspects of brain functioning such as memory and concentration
According to studies, caffeine enhances memory and concentration performance.
10. Helps in burning calories
Well, this is true in the short term. According to an article on Healthline, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning. But after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working. Nonetheless, even if coffee doesn’t make you expend more calories, in the long term, there is still a possibility that it blunts appetite and helps you eat less.
11. lower the risk of premature death
Synergy home Care explains the reason why coffee may be able to prevent these medical conditions. This is because it contains antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and it may even have the effect of an antidepressant.
Caffeine Informer adds that some medical sites say than caffeine can help with hair loss, alertness, muscle strength, and endurance.