When you think about tablet computers, or other high tech gadgets, you may think of them as toys for the young or tools for business. Whilst there are certainly many teenagers who spend their time poking and prodding touch screens to get their kicks, and just as many business types who do something similar to get their e-mails, senior citizens are definitely in the target market for these devices – and rightly so.
The thing is, tablet computers, like most touch screen devices, are just so easy to use, that anyone can get by with them – even someone who does not have a great deal of computer knowledge or experience.
Seniors can use these devices to check e-mail, communicate on VOIP, take part in social networks, watch videos, listen to music and keep up with the news. A tablet, or any computer for that matter, can be a real window on the world for some elderly people.
It’s also interesting to note that more and more seniors are discovering the joy of computer games. They might not be the exact same games that teenagers play – but there are plenty of diverting games which some seniors may enjoy.
Some studies even suggest that this type of activity helps to keep the brain active and prevents, or delays, memory loss and other deterioration of mental faculties. It’s good fun, entertaining and good for mental faculties – what more do you want?
What To Look For In A Tablet For Seniors
As with any gadget, you will want an acceptable level of performance, ideally at a reasonable price. However, seniors are much less likely to be interested in having the latest and greatest gadget available on the market. The cool factor is unlikely to be very important – and Gramps probably doesn’t care all that much if his processor is running at 1.8 or 2.2 GHz.
The factors that are key to letting a senior citizen get the most out of their tablet computer are:
Ease of Use
One of the great things about touch screen tablets is the fact that they are so easy to use. After initial set up, a single touch will take you to your e-mail, social websites, video sites – whatever you like.
There are no menus to trawl through. Everything is there at the end of your finger. There is some initial set up time usually, but that’s not too lengthy or demanding. Do it once and you’re done.
Choose a user interface that you’re happy with. Amazon’s carousel style interface is very easy to use, although some people prefer Apple’s iOS system. It is very much a matter of personal preference.
The display should be good, clear and easy to read. The touch screen should be responsive and intuitive to use. A 7″ tablet will be perfectly fine in most cases, but if the end user has any serious vision impairment, then a larger screen may be beneficial.
You should choose a tablet that is reasonably fast. It doesn’t need to be the very latest, super fast model on the market – but seniors don’t enjoy waiting for things to happen any more than the rest of us.
Fortunately, most of the modern tablets are really quite powerful now. Some of them offer the equivalent of desktop/notebook speed and power – but in tablet form.
Bigger isn’t always better – but, on the other hand, sometimes it is! More often than not, a 7″ tablet will be a good choice. These are small enough and light enough to be easy to hold and to take from place to place.
On the other hand, where eyesight is failing, there may be some benefit in opting for a larger display model.
Make your decision based upon the end user’s needs.
Tablets For Seniors – Speaking From Experience
When my mother-in-law’s seventy-fifth birthday rolled around a few months ago we were pretty stumped as to what to get her. In the end, we took what, at the time, felt like a bit of a chance and got her a Kindle Fire HD.
We needn’t have worried. Best. Present. Ever.
She absolutely loves it and uses it all the time. She takes it everywhere. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s probably the most used gift she has received in all of the many years that I’ve known her.
She Skypes, she watches movies, she listens to music, she keeps in touch by e-mail. She is now friends with all of her kids and grand-kids on Facebook! Her knitting has been set aside as she spends so much time on her Kindle now. To say that it is a gift that was gratefully received would be a huge understatement!
Originally we set her accounts up for her – so that she could access them easily. However, having used it for a while now, she is more than confident enough to set up most of her own entertainment these days. She even shares music with us remotely!
In summary, it’s a very enjoyable hobby for her. She keeps in touch with all of her extended family and she is engaged and entertained much more than previously.
Tablets Are A Great Gift Idea For Seniors
Set up the tablet initially for them and then just sit back and watch as they explore their different options. Different people will get into different things of course, but these devices offer a such wide range of possibilities that there really is something for everyone.
Check out this short video regarding the AARP tablet computer, especially designed for seniors: