Hi John, I don't suppose you got any further with your ipad remote control issue. I'm in a similar situation with an elderly relative, and wondered if Mobile Me might help? We're in the process of setting up an iPad2 from our own iTunes account (might be a different scenario to yours if your dad has his own iTunes a/c?) and as yet don't know if we can actually do what we would like to do... ie. update apps remotely when required, download software for them. I know it's a major hand holding exercise, but at present they're out of internet loop completely and miss out so much, on things like, research/browsing, on-line offers, maps to get places, e-mail etc. And in most cases once these things are set up, interconnectivity is one button push away. So if you have any advice or pointers, they would be very much appreciated.
Also this is not on wifi, as getting broadband for someone else is another story, so it's planned just to be 3G on '3' for now. facetime would be good but don't think the 3G connection would even let you near that, and also I have no idea how much data that would eat up.