Currently Being ModeratedJan 5, 2012 3:42 PM (in response to apandre)
My father is in an identical situation. We take the iOS navigation for granted, but then watching an 89 year old try it with all the misfires, etc., reminds us just how much youthful dexterity it requires. So I too am hunting for a simple welcome screen with a few big shortcut buttons to his favorite things.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 10, 2013 6:26 PM (in response to dbaps)
My mother-in-law has mild to severe dementia and she is staying in a "memory care" facility in Illinois where I am able to observe other seniors. We have been giving Mary several different toys to help her with muscle development *and* cognitive function. What I have noticed with my m-i-l is YouTube videos with musical artists of her time - shes in her mid-80s. She not only loves the music, but loves to look at the videos too, and we're talking Perry Como, Vick Damone, Crosby and Sinatra. We've been showing her this stuff on an iPhone, but I know we must get her an iPad if is to enjoy these things.
While my wife or I is present, this is no problem, but we want her to be able to use the device by herself, and as easy as an iPhone may seem to us, it is a complete mystery to people in their 70s and 80s. They need bigger pictures, pre-formed categories of entertainers, and a VERY easy means by which they can add a particular tune to their own video list. However easy you may think it is for an iphone or iPad to do this, it just is not the case. We can put the device in her hand, and she has no idea how to work it -- she would be stumped the whole time she was trying to use it. One false move, one accidentally pressed icon, and she'd be in trouble. So, right off the bat there are needs for an "elderly" music program that go well beyond the existing music software in iTunes. Some of the requirements:
Pre-made lists of Entertainers
Easy means of creating and playing back "favorites"
Some default programming that would automatically return the user to some well-known spot if a new button were not pushed (this would be very handy in case they drove themselves into a corner with the device and had no idea how to "back out."
Easier to use volume controls
Easier to use text sizing controls (keep in mind that many older people have moderate palsey that makes the movements that younger people do almost impossible.
I could go one. I foresee a HUGE need for these devices to be made simpler and more "senior-friendly," and there is a huge and building market to make music for seniors more accessible. Think of the boomers! Yes, they will have a better grasp of working the iphone and ipad (maybe), but some of these abilities are going to decline, so a simpler navigation approach is definitely needed. I would start with music because in my experience, music "gets through" and communicates a great deal to everyone who is familiar with the tune. Once a month on Sundays the group of people get together and listen -- rapt -- to a musician who, frankly, butchers many of the pieces. Yet they are grateful for the music and if they could all up (for them) pop music, I think it would help them a great deal.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 10, 2013 9:58 PM (in response to captino)
I've recently been researching this very subject, also for family.
Your suggestions are excellent!!!
It's really late and I'll get back to you in the AM (USA - Eastern time zone) because I have to pull a lot of info together. A month ago I thought as you have said that Apple needs to pay attention to the elderly with needs. I started my research and found that Apple has actually done a lot that can help your MIL and others in these situations.
My concern, which I am in the midst of... is that Apple needs to pay more attention to and advertise to our increasing senior (many with needs) population, many with disposable income and if not, many who have adult children who will learn that they can keep their (our) parents living more vibrant lives as they age and will gladly pay for their parents, etc., to stay connected to the world.
When I started looking for info, I had to google my questions and was often directed to the Apple website. I was amazed at what I learned! There is so much your MIL will be able to learn and do. I'm not sure it can do every great idea you listed, but it's a start.
First, I suggest you buy an ipad 2 refurb from the Apple website. First, download the find my iphone app.
It still has 'you tube' so no need to add another app to her opening screen of apps. And it does not get too hot for her to hold! It does not have Siri for voice dictation, but there are workarounds for that. You can make a folder to keep unused apps off that screen so less confusion for her.
All ipads have voice recognition. She can hover over the screen and, for example, as she scans, the voice will tell her what each app is and when it's what she wants, she just presses it with her finger. She can make print very big by swiping fingers.
She can have free apps for news and so much else. You can get Netflix or Amazon Prime at your home and set her up with your account. She can see some of those movies she loved years ago and see them again, from the comfort of her bed.
I think one of the most important things for her to stay connected will be FaceTime. Children, grand children, old friends, etc., can connect with her and she with you and them and she will see you!
You can get everyone she knows to get pictures together, scan/have them scanned and send you a cd. You can put those on your computer, sync the ipad with your computer, and she can go through old pictures (good for memory or to momentarily spark some joy in her!) A slide show with her music!
You can take her old cds (probably not many in cd form) or buy/borrow cds/music and make a playlist for her that will also be synced to her ipad. itunes can be an app on the opening screen.
I started this an hour ago. I promise I will get back to you in the morning with links to info.
There are so many millions (at least) of us for whom this subject is near and dear to our hearts. It is wonderful she has your family. It's heartbreaking to see so many in these places alone.
Hope this helps.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 11, 2013 12:22 PM (in response to appleuser1322)
If you haven't yet, in the box near the top right on your posts only, click on receive e-mail notifications. Then you won't have to search through to find any responses you might get from the threads you are participating in.
One of my big concerns is that Apple should advertise to seniors with or without many of the issues that often accompany aging. The ipad's target audience did not start out advertising to toddlers, but they are included in the new iphone 5 for photos and itunes. So let's get the increasing elderly population involved.
First, you might want to contact Apple corp offices in Cupertino and see if someone will listen to your suggestions. (I have sent them the links below.)
I'd also like to suggest you start your own thread, posting in the title something like "How can an elderly person with dimentia benefit from ipad?" Then, copy the info you wrote in your post above here.
Here are some links that might interest you. The information is out there that many elderly people with needs can be helped by and are benefitting using an ipad. There are also links to support user forums.
A 100 year old woman’s reaction to using ipad for the first time and her limerick homage to the ipad
Above is just a little humor. Clearly German Dad needed lessons from his daughter.
The above points out activities for dementia and alzheimer’s. And an ipad can assist them with most of the things on this list!
(Scroll down (study) to ‘technology to keep the elderly connected to the world. ‘
Below are some discussions from the Apple Support Communities – Some interesting thoughts and many views on some of these by people who clearly have an interest in the subject of ipad use for the elderly, dementia, alzheimer’s, etc.
https://discussions.apple.com/message/11328856#11328856 (17,025 views)
https://discussions.apple.com/message/11537562#11537562 (4,140 views)
https://discussions.apple.com/message/12172758#12172758 (1,059 views)
https://discussions.apple.com/message/18201490#18201490 (2,150 views) *
https://discussions.apple.com/message/15220081#15220081 (1,107 views)
* Interesting video suggested in this thread