iPod choice
November 2, 2011 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Which iPod for my bedridden elderly father?

My elderly father has been in the hospital for months, and I'd like to send him an iPod filled with music. Now which model?

I've narrowed it down to either the iPod classic or the Touch, based on the fact that the navigation controls on the other models are too tiny.

Capacity isn't really an issue, and I don't expect him to use any apps or use Wifi. So it really comes down to which model is easier for an elderly person to use for listening to music.
posted by schrodycat to Technology (8 answers total)
The Touch has much more intuitive navigation.
posted by griphus at 11:27 AM on November 2, 2011

In my experienced, a lot of tech-unfamiliar older adults are really confused by the Classic's scroll wheel. The Touch has a higher learning curve in the sense that there's more you can do with it, but it's friendly to experimentation because you really are just jabbing your finger at things, the way newcomers so often try with icons on a desktop. So my inclination would be the Touch. Plus, while you may not expect him to use apps or wifi, it's still an option, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much the touch interface helps out non-computer-savvy seniors.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:28 AM on November 2, 2011

The touch is more intuitive for people who aren't used to tech and, because it's solid state, less prone to breaking down.

My mother has an iPad and iPod touch and I know she likes that she can easily go back to the home screen with just a touch of a button and just touch the name of a song to play it.
posted by inturnaround at 11:37 AM on November 2, 2011

Is an iPad out of the question? My grandma absolutely loves hers, but she can't deal with ipods.
posted by barnone at 11:40 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know you said the apps aren't the point, but are you sure he wouldn't enjoy reading the news? Or old history channel stuff? Or even have some photos on rotation? Skype with family? Those are not impossible tasks for elderly folks on the iPad. And it's really reduced my 87 year old grandma's sense of isolation and boredom. Now that I know she can open her email, I send a link every day or two, or a few photos, or something stupid, and she LOVES it.

Don't rule out an iPad - even an older model would be fine, though my grandma wanted an iPad2 when they came out, and she loves its camera.
posted by barnone at 11:44 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm with barnone -- if your father has difficulty handling small objects, the much larger iPad is a much better device. I know of at least three elderly, home-or-bed ridden folks who've taken to the iPad like fish to water. Just things like IM and the web help them feel more connected to distant family and the world.

So, you may find he'll be doing much more than just music.

If the size or cost is an issue, go with the Touch.
posted by eriko at 2:04 PM on November 2, 2011

I'm going to third or fourth the suggestion of the iPad. Even if he's not going to go online, you could load it up with solitaire and other games. The big screen will make navigation of everything easier. Also it's less likely to get lost!
posted by Sublimity at 3:48 AM on November 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all. I did consider the iPad, but due to his condition (complicated, due to lymphoma and related treatments, but ultimately terminal) close-focusing makes him nauseous.

I'm not even sure he'll warm to the iPod given his depressed state and extreme lethargy. But I gotta try. And the iPod Touch sounds like it would be easiest to use for him.
posted by schrodycat at 4:41 AM on November 3, 2011

« Older Should I fight this ticket?   |   Cultural Exploration Project Ideas Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.