November 2015: Most older people I know who have shunned computers in the past are happily and capably using an iPad or tablet. And not surprisingly 2-3-year-old grandkids run in and grab those iPads, quickly finding the kiddie games.That said, computers are a way of life for many, but not all. For the latter–
4 options worth looking at:
A-Plus Senior Computer: 2015 update-Check Cyber Monday Specials http://www.aplusseniorcomputer.com/
Big Screen Live: http://bigscreenlive.com/. “Software to turn a pc into an easy-to-use senior computer.” Click YouTube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja_6VpxqUpc&feature=related for details. 2015 available from HSN: http://www.hsn.com/products/big-screen-live-computing-solution-software/6345429
Telikin: http://www.telikin.com/ 22″ large screen for seniors with vision issues– can read email out loud, has HD. 18″ most affordable, not HD, doesn’t read email. All 3 models have virus protection and software preloaded into computer. Black Friday 2015 special on all–$100 off 22.” $75 off 18″ and laptop.
WOW! computer: www,mywowcomputer.com — easy to use with a touch screen (mouse pops up), can read out loud, linux virus protection, is updated daily. “Ready to go–just plug in after delivery.” Only sold through firstStreet. 2 month trial period. Nov. 22, 2015 SALE GOING ON: $200 off reg price
In our efforts to help aging parents, a senior-friendly computer could be a most welcome gift.
Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.
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Are your parents fond of reminiscing? Do you hear about “the good ole days” or the “not-so-good old days” often enough that you know some of the stories by heart? Our connection to the past is, of course, part of our present–it contributed to shaping who we are. As people age doesn’t it seem that they talk more about the past?
Introducing aging and old parents to this new site, http://www.vpike.com/, should have special appeal. A virtual drive through their old neighborhood and even zooming in on the home (if it’s still standing) they grew up in–or lived in while they were growing up–is something my parents, if still alive, would have loved. It would have been the catalyst for a string of memories and stories they would relish telling and no doubt I’d learn some new tidbits about our family history. (Also check out this You Tube presentation, highlighting the ease of use and variety of possibilities vPike offers.)
So that’s the “any day” little thing. Additionally, for a Father’s Day gift, think about combining a link to vPike and You Tube with a subscription to Dad’s hometown newspaper or with an album of family photos…..perpetuating a connection to the past for dads who value this.
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PS. If you haven’t shared the NY Times live-streaming link to the red-tailed hawk’s nest (on the ledge outside the window of the president of New York University’s office), with its recently-born hawk, it’s another “any-day” gift that should bring weeks of pleasure to nature-loving, computer-using older people. If the nest looks empty, the baby hawk (Pip) has walked out of camera range. She won’t be able to fly for several more weeks, but she does explore around the nest.
A Heads-Up Before Buying an iPad for Aging Parents
At the Apple Store I asked for help selecting an iPad for an older person. If you’re thinking of gifting an aging parent with an iPad, keep the following (learned in response to my questions to the Apple person assigned to me) in mind. You need to have a compatible computer in order to install iPad updates or trouble-shoot problems, according to him. Phone support is also available–$79 for 2 years. It doesn’t seem to me that the iPad can substitute for your parents’ computer. In addition:
1. A compatible HP printer is necessary to be able to print something from the iPad. The Apple Store sells the HP compatible models (least expensive is about $150).
2. Since the iPad is wireless it’s necessary to bring wireless to the house/apartment if it isn’t already there (and of course there’s a monthly charge). If cable has already been installed “it’s probably OK.”
3. The iPad comes in several models. The 3G model has the capability of being used anywhere (but requires an independent contract with Verizon or AT&T, thus becomes more expensive). If the iPad will be used primarily at home where there’s wireless, no need for the 3G model.
4. A $69 keyboard is available for people who touch type and find the smooth surface of the iPad a difficult adjustment.
5. Because, as I understand it, it’s necessary to have a compatible computer in order to install updates or trouble-shoot problems on the iPad, it may mean buying a new computer for your parents–probably a Mac.
6. Anyone who has changed from pc to Mac, knows it’s an adjustment. Older people usually find change more difficult. I know it took me a while to feel comfortable when I made the change (even the vocabulary changes–ie. “favorites” become “bookmarks”) so being available to answer aging parents’ questions and being supportive during the transition makes sense.
7. Purchasing the One to One year’s worth of help ($99) at an Apple store is an option although a short period of free help at an Apple Store comes, I believe, free.
If you’re considering an iPad for an older person’s gift, you might double-check the questions I asked the Apple person who was assigned to me with the Apple person who will be assigned to you. And if you should get different information, please let me know. After all– we want to help aging parents, not give them more problems
Tomorrow I’m visiting my 89-year-old friend. Our goal: to make her a more comfortable, knowledgeable iPad user. (Check my last post–Aging Parents’ Computer Capabilities–1. She inspired it.)
Related: Why an iPad for Seniors