Canadian computer guys Raul Rupsingh and Stephen Beath volunteered in senior centers and tested their simple 5-button interface with genuine grandmas. Now, their web-based subscription software is used in many Canadian retirement and nursing-home chains. The home version costs $8 per month or $149 for a year of access, support, and upgrades. It is available in eight languages including Hindi and simplified or traditional Chinese. PointerWare works on Windows-based PCs and tablets. It is not compatible with Apple products.
Posted in Computers, Life Long Learning, Seniors, Social Networking, Technology, Web/Tech
- Tagged Computers, elderly, internet, PointerWare, senior citizens, seniors
This Virginia-based retailer specializes in researching and marketing tech products for older users. They pioneered the Jitterbug, the large buttoned simple cell phone designed for seniors. They distribute lights, magnifiers and low-cost hearing aids, along with the WOW! computer.
Posted in Life Long Learning, Seniors, Shopping, Technology, Web/Tech
- Tagged cell phone, Jitterbug, lights, magnifiers, senior citizens, seniors, Shopping, technology, Wow computer
In Canada, there is a group called “Seniors for Seniors” (http://seniors4seniors.ca) in which “junior seniors” age 60-65 can volunteer to assist “senior seniors” aged 85-90 as personal caregivers and drivers. That brings up the question of:
what exactly is a senior?
“Baby boomers” is the name for that abundance of children born between 1946 and 1964. The oldest of these are now over 65 (and the youngest are developing problems reading small type.)
Tony Vagneur, boomer and actual cowboy in Aspen, Colorado declares, “I don’t understand why there’s a dichotomy, separating ‘older people’ from the rest of the world? If it weren’t for older people (over 50, the largest marketing demographic), there wouldn’t be profitable demand for those products that claim to be youth-oriented.”
Of course, he’s a sharp, fit Colorado outdoorsman. It is ridiculous to put him in the same marketing category as a people old enough to be his parents. Yet, young engineers have a hard time imagining the needs of either baby boomers or the older silver generation who now live to be age 90 and beyond.
A Silver Field of Dreams
Susan Estrada reports from the Silvers Summit, the senior tech segment of the 2012 CES (Computer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas (http://silverssummit.com). She quotes Marty Cooper, the engineer credited with inventing mobile phones, as saying that, although young designers long to tap into the senior market, “they can’t ‘think’ like an older adult.”
Posted in Computers, Gadgets, Seniors, Technology, Web/Tech
- Tagged baby boomers, Computers, elderly, internet, senior citizens, seniors, technology
Apple’s tablet is easy to use and the screen text can be enlarged with the spread of two fingers. “My 76-year-old Mom got an iPad, initially to use as a reader,” writes college buddy Laurie Howlett. “But she and her husband fought over who got to use it so they bought another!” Professional organizer Tracy McCubbin also says that many of her older clients “have loaded up the Kindle app on it for easy reading.” They also use the iPad for email.
All of the elegant, intuitive Apple products seem to be popular with tech savvy older folks. McCubbin’s 83-year-old client had her load an iPod Nano with meditations that she listens to at night to go to sleep. Writer Kathy Talley-Jones notes, “My father likes to listen to books on his iPod Touch and gets every new iPod Shuffle, Nano, etc. when it is released!”
Dummies.com offers these lessons for new old owners of iPads:
Posted in Computers, Gadgets, Life Long Learning, Seniors, Social Networking, Staying Healthy, Technology, Web/Tech
- Tagged Apple, elderly, ereader, internet, iPad, iPad2, senior citizens, seniors
The video phone of the future has arrived and it’s free. What a blessing for seniors who are separated from their families. “My 91-year-old grandmother in Tokyo uses Skype to keep in touch with my mother in Los Angeles,” writes special librarian Takako Nagumo. But Skype has practical implications beyond family cohesion.
“My 95-year-old grandfather is lucky enough to have found doctors who will make house calls, but my grandmother is always concerned that she may not understand all of the doctor’s instructions, so when the doctor comes, she and my mother both log on to Skype, so my mother can take notes and confer with the doctor, too.” Install Skype on any web-enabled device that is equipped with a camera and a microphone, including smart phones. Computers designed for seniors feature easy access to this generation-spanning technology. Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft.
Posted in Life Long Learning, Seniors, Social networking, Staying Healthy, Technology, Web/Tech
- Tagged Computers, elderly, internet, senior citizens, seniors, Skype, technology, web
This European company has developed a simple mobile phone designed to be used by folks with hearing, sight and dexterity issues. It features a large display and buttons, a keypad that announces pressed keys in English or Spanish, hearing aid compatible amplified sound and an emergency SOS button on the back that can be set to text and then sequentially call five preset numbers. The Just5 phone operates on the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standard, that is, it uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card to store the phone’s information. In the United States, mobile service is provided via a pre-paid plan with TMobile or through a user’s existing plan through TMobile or AT&T. The phone also has a built-in flashlight and an FM radio. Say, my mom might not have thrown this model in the trash!