Aging in place with caffeine: which Keurig?

bpathomeDecember 8, 2013

We've had a couple of threads on aging in place, but here's a question that didn't come up. My parents love their morning coffee, and a cup with Jeopardy! in the mid-afternoon. But it's getting much harder for them to pour water into the coffee maker, deal with the filter (whether paper or gold mesh), scoop the coffee in, etc. Dad is intrigued by the Keurig in one drs' waiting room, especially that you can make a cup with one hand, and he's been browsing them on Amazon. So I'm thinking if I can keep him from ordering one, *I'll* get him one for Christmas.

I know the pods are pricey, ignore that fact. We can give them pods for birthdays, mother/father day, etc! Now that they gave up golf, we need something to replace the "golf-ball-gift-pack" ;)

So, for ease of use, which model? I'm pretty sure he'll want Keurig over another brand. Can he fill the reservoir with the watersprayer at the sink? (Don't worry about the periodic cleaning, I'll probably take care of that.)

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I got the Platinum model from Costco. It includes 60-70 K-cups. I haven't had any problems but I bought from Costco in the event I had problems. They will take it back & give you a new one, no questions asked. I could have used a coupon elsewhere & gotten a better price but wanted the ease of returning it, if it malfunctioned.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 5:04PM
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I was looking at the Keurig Elite as a good choice, but then moved up to the Special Edition when it went on sale. I like the Special Edition's digital display and the ability to have it turn on with a timer in the morning (saves waiting about 5 minutes for it to heat up). You can also select the water temp and length of time before it shuts off automatically. However, your parents may not even use those features.

Many places sell K-cups and the prices vary quite a bit. Its not unusual to find them for $5-6 for a 12 pack, so you are paying about 45-50 cents per cup. You can also get K-cups for tea and cocoa, and I use it with no K-cup to just get a cup of hot water to use with a tea bag.

The reservoir is removable, but relatively tall. A sink sprayer should work fine, but it also fits under the faucet in my kitchen sink.


This post was edited by bcarlson78248 on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 17:13

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Ooh, a timer. So Dad could fill it the night before and it's ready in the a.m. They might actually like that. Can you leave it sit with warm water 7-8 hours, so you can have another cup say with lunch or Katie Couric?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 5:24PM
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The reservoir holds 48 or 72 oz depending on the model. Each time the Keurig is used, it sucks up another cup of water to heat. So if it has been sitting for a while (when we are out on vacation) I will run it without coffee to clean out the water in the pot itself, and rinse and refill the reservoir. Otherwise I don't worry about it since my husband makes several cups a day. If the water sprayer can reach the reservoir you can certainly do that.

Costco has bulk pods that are variably rated, the Pacific Bold is really good.

As for tea, you can just put a tea bag into the holder, (no pods), and the Keurig will dispense a perfect cup of tea for pennies a serving (the price of the teabag). Much cheaper and easier than buying pods!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:21PM
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The Keurig I have can be set to go on at a certain time and will turn off after a set amount of time. I love how your parents coffee break go along with what's on TV. I can see that happening to me when I'm retired. :)

We purchase the k cups online in boxes of 48. At this point I bring them to work for our machine there plus have them at home. The company I order from gives free shipping for orders over $75.

Will the coffee maker be located close to the sink? If so, they should be able to fill the reservoir using the hand sprayer. Different models have different reservoir capacities. That's a consideration you should look at.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I'm on my third Keurig in four years, and here's my advice:

1) The bigger the reservoir the better. My current one is the Cuisinart branded Keurig which I bought in part because it had the biggest reservoir at the time. Something about constantly having to refill the water defeats the convenience of these things.

2) Did you notice I said I'm on my third Keurig in four years? I think anyone who says these things last is lucky. ONLY buy it someplace like BB&B or Costco who will exchange it no questions asked when it fails. Keurig has zero interest in helping you out after the warranty period. You can't even get them to discuss fixing it. They'll just offer you 20% off a new one or something.

By the way, the Cuisinart came with a 5 year warranty, more than any "Keurig" at the time. Cost a bit more than the Platinum though. And while this might not interest your parents, for anyone else reading, I recommend getting a model that has the 4oz iced coffee option. Coffee from the Keurig is ok, iced coffee is great. IMO.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Thanks for the tip on buying from Costco or BBB, we have both (and need to justify my "executive" membership)

They do keep the coffeemaker next to the sink, so filling with the sprayer would be handy I should think. The countertops are a little lower than standard so even lifting the reservoir isn't as hard as with regular counters, but even that is getting harder.

But, you can keep water in the reservoir for days at a time? Only the next cup of water is heating?

foodonastump, you've had 3 in 4 years, so they're not durable BUT you like it enough to get another. As an optimist, I take that as a good sign! And they like Cuisinart; their current coffeemaker is Cuisinart. I didn't know they market a Keurig! Although, my parents are very disappointed in their single-long-slot toaster that died after 20 years; they're having trouble finding a satisfactory replacement. Fortunately their marriage has a longer warranty; we just celebrated their 60th!

Anyway, it sounds like the Keurig models are all pretty much the same, varying only in the size of the reservoir and presence of a timer?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Yes, keep it filled, only the next cup is heating. I leave mine on 24/7 which is probably a bit wasteful but the unit doesn't get particularly warm so it's probably not too bad.

I don't know how the lower models are now, but I bought Platinum from the start because it's quieter. I have friends whose cheaper models we're wake-the-house-up loud. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but they were pretty bad.

Brew size options - it's really the only way to control strength, so the more sizes to play with the better. I typically use 6 oz, but my inlaws just bought me big box of Green Mountain medium roast which tastes like water to me unless I double up 4oz servings.

Internal water filter - these were optional on some and standard on others last I looked. Something to consider if their water needs it.

Yes I like it "enough" but I can't say I've ever had a cup of Keurig that I've particularly loved. But the convenience can't be beat.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:57AM
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One thing to consider for older parents and timing and heating functions is their ability to use those features. I know that when my FIL hit his mid-80s such things flummoxed him. He was convinced that machines in general, and his computer in particular, had it out for him - literally. He wasn't suffering from dementia in any way, but technology just got out ahead of him. My mom had similar problems except that she didn't think there was a machine plot out to get her, she just didn't get it. My mom who graduated from a top college in 1938 could never figure out how to use the "mail" button on her iPad, much less how to use email. While timers are more familiar, they can require a fair amount of setting and fussing, so that is something to consider.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:57AM
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This sounds like an excellent gift idea! I might think about it for a future gift for my mom.

My mom also has issues with technology. Small buttons are difficult to use. I try to find the most basic model of any type of electronics. I'm taking a big leap this year in that I got her a kindle paperwhite. She is an avid reader. I discussed it with her and she thinks we are going out soon to look at them. I chose the paperwhite as it seemed to be the most basic without little buttons. There will be a learning curve and I probably with be the one downloading the books.

For the coffee maker I would keep it simple.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:54PM
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When we bought ours at Bloomingdales, the sales associate was giving a demo. He suggested that you always run the first cup without coffee. It makes your next cup hotter and also clears away some of the rinds etc. left over.
If you use filtered water, you don't have to worry about changing the filter.
We had to exchange ours and we actually had a good experience. Keurig was supposed to replace ours with a reconditioned one, but sent us a brand new one.
Even if this one goes, I will replace it. Once you get used to this method, it would be hard going back.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 3:26PM
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robo (z6a)

Re: technology, depends on the person. My step-grandmother is 92 and she got me to teach her to use a computer in her 80s ... her son got her an iPad last year which we thought was a ridiculous idea but she told me the other day she just loves reading her emails on her iPad. She is an amazing lady! Keeping in touch with the grandkids and great-grandkids is a powerful motivator for her. I should get her a facebook acct....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Dad is more comfortable with modern technology; Mom varies between "use it but don't like it" and "want to use it, just don't understand it". I suppose you don't have to use the timer if you don't want to. But whatever is going on inside the Keurig, it doesn't get much easier than popping in a pod and a cup and pressing a button.

Robotropolis, get her the facebook acct. She'll be amazed at the groups she'll find, there's probably one for her high school days.

Remember, all technology once was new; have you seen this sketch? (you can turn off the sound, it's in Norwegian)

Here is a link that might be useful: Help Desk

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 4:25PM
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I received an email from Costco today, Platinum Keurig is on sale, $20 off. Not sure if it is just an online sale.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Thanks, Romy, for the nudge to check. I got one! Going shopping tomorrow (and maybe I'd better disable Dad's computer so he doesn't order one. He'll call my hubby to fix it, and I just have him disable Amazon hee hee).

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 7:03PM
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My Mom hated computers. But it only took a little while to get her used to her Kindle. Once I showed her how to find the books she wanted (author or title search), she was hooked.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Romy, went to Costco the other day and picked one up. There was a fellow handing out Caribou samples, and he was using the Keurig Platinum to make it, so I asked him about it; he said he has it at home, too. Looked good, so I brought one home to wrap (and had a sample of Caribou, too).

I know my mom will not like that it's all done from the Platinum menu screen, but the demonstrator said that once you set your favorite cup size and strength it's a one-button breeze--just don't unplug it or the memory's erased. And Dad makes the coffee, anyway.

Thanks for the tip! One gift down!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:24AM
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