by Jan Simpson
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the appeal of getting your older family members hooked up to video-call software Skype that allows face-to-face conversation with your loved one free of charge over a computer. Being technically indifferent and often pressed for time, I am attracted to gadgets that are easy-to-use and ones that allow me to reach out to and stay connected with older family members regardless of where they reside. I look for products that will enhance life without the complexity that often accompanies the adoption of new technology.
I wonder how many of you have purchased Apple’s new iPad? Business Week reports that the device, which launched in April and has already sold over 3 million units, is proving to be a hit with elders who are drawn to it’s easy-to-use touch screen and “intuitive interface” which allows for those with no background in computers to easily navigate the device.
With an iPad, an older loved one can easily download books and music, surf the web, and stimulate their minds through sites such as www.happyneuron.com. Like Skype, the iPad can help your family stay connected, allowing your parents to send e-mails and explore instant messaging applications—you never know, maybe they’ll even get pulled into the world of Facebook and Twitter like so many of us. Can you envision your 17-year-old daughter tweeting at grandma? That may seem unlikely today, but that prospect might not be that far off. Recently, the Pew Research Center reported the following statistic: “Between April 2009 and May, the percentage of internet users 50 and up who said they use social-networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has risen from 22 percent to 42 percent. Respondents 65 and older reported a 100 percent increase.” Who knows, a Facebook friend request from your 80-year-old father might be waiting for you in your inbox!
It’s expensive—iPad’s start at $499—but if it’s an investment they can make, it might add a new and exciting dimension to their lives.
Are your parents and older family members plugged into the tech world? Let us know in the comments section below.
photo credit: inquisitr
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