Stuff for grandpa to use.
March 6, 2008 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend any adaptive devices for someone who enjoys computers, but suffers from severe arthritis in his hands?

We're looking for gift ideas. He is a senior and his fingers are thick thanks to the arthritis. It would be great to find things that would help him when he's on the computer.

I tried to do some research but most sites focus on sight problems when it comes to computer device adaptation, so the few options that are available I can't find any reviews on. I'd hate to get something that didn't work. If you have experience with anything that has worked with arthritic computer nerds, I'd love to hear about it!
posted by Salmonberry to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dragon Naturally Speaking allows you to use voice commands to open applications and write, among other things.

It's not really geared towards people with arthritis, but it seems like it could be a huge help.
posted by Sufi at 9:08 PM on March 6, 2008

DNS is aMAZing. Voice recognition has come a long way since the early days.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:18 PM on March 6, 2008

If DNS is a little too much of a product [and it is amazing] he might want to look into getting a track ball, a big one, to move around on the screen with. For older people that I work with, they're ususally fine moving a mouse but their problems are holding the mouse still while clicking [esp click and drag, and double-click, torture!] and just generally getting the mouse to move right when they may have limited wrist/finger flexibility. When I used to teach classes for seniors way back when there was a Microsoft porduct called the EasyBall. It was for kids but worked great for seniors. It was big, sat on the desktop and you moved a very large track ball with your hand/fingers and there were two LARGE buttons that could be clicked completely independently of the ball. So, users could move the ball til it was where they wanted it and then operate the mouse. Infogrip has one that's similar that I haven't used myself. Looks good but not as awesome as the easyball.
posted by jessamyn at 9:21 PM on March 6, 2008

No personal experience with it, but maybe SmartNAV?
posted by chipb at 10:15 PM on March 6, 2008

Also recommending the big trackball. A joystick mouse like this one may also be a lot easier for him to drive.

In my experience Mac software is easier to drive with just a mouse (and they only need one button too).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:33 AM on March 7, 2008

I don't have arthritis, but I've got a Logitech Marble Mouse, it's been working great for about 2 years now. The ball can be moved with either the fingers or the palm of the hand. There are two annoying smaller buttons that I don't use next to the big buttons, but you could open the mouse up and do some surgery on those so he doesn't hit them accidentally.
posted by yohko at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2008

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