Tell me about your experience buying an iPad for an elderly person
December 2, 2013 12:29 PM Subscribe
My mom, who recently sold her home and moved into senior housing, has expressed interest in owning some sort of computing device. She's basically computer illiterate, has never been on the internet, and has trouble using my TV remote control sometimes. Am I crazy to even consider getting her an iPad?
posted by bondcliff to Computers & Internet (35 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
She's smart enough and sharp for an 81 year-old. She's figured out her cell phone enough to make and answer calls and she even took a photo and sent it once. So there's hope. But things like swiping the wrong way and accidentally opening the notification center might confuse her.
She's interested because her housing unit uses email and/or web for a lot of communications and of course family and friends do as well. I don't imagine she'd have much use for Facebook or Twitter but who knows. I really don't want her friending me on Facebook.
I'm also seeing it as a way to send her photos. I think I can set up a photo stream for her.
Immediate uses would probably be email, photos, the camera, maybe weather.
1) In your experience, is an iPad something an older, not-very-technical person would be able to use? Would they even find it useful?
2) What are some best practices for setting it up, other than hiding icons she might not need or use?
3) What are some things to look out for? Pitfalls?
4) Any other tips?
5) Is this just a bad idea?
6) What am I forgetting to ask? I realize this if a vague, open-ended question.
Complication: She doesn't currently have internet access and all the WiFi access points I see from her apartment are locked. She'd need to pay for access, which means I'd probably pay for the first few months.
My son would probably be able to answer most of her questions. I can set it up for her initially but when it comes to guiding her along I have all the patience of an over-caffeinated Tasmanian Devil in line at the DMV.
I think I'm only considering an iPad. We're an Apple household and my son has an iPad mini and would be able to help her out. I like the idea that if she gets stuck she pushes the home button and she's back at the main menu. If there is an argument to be made for another make/model tablet that would be better suited to an elderly person, I'm willing to listen. I generally like and trust Apple products though and think they are worth the premium.