The stereotype that older folks aren’t comfortable with digital technology is a rather unfair and harmful one. True, they were born before these devices actually reached the mass market, and it is also a given that older people are not as nimble with their minds and fingers as toddlers.
Still, many of these mobile devices (we’ll zero in on smartphones and tablets, Android and IOS operating systems considered) are senior friendly, intuitively designed, and thus make it easy to master. The touch screen is one of the single most important innovations to these gadgets, as the real world paradigms of touching, dragging, pressing, etc. are realized on these interfaces.
In short, computing has never been as convenient and as easy. There is no excuse why you can’t teach your grandparents on how to use one of these devices to browse the richness of the internet. You owe it to them, the very same people that taught you how to ride a bike, or swing a baseball bat. Now, it’s your turn to teach them something fun. All you need is patience and a handful of useful games and apps:
Let’s start with some of the more obvious hindrances to using a smaller computing device. Even some younger adults find the screen a little hard to read, with the fine fonts and the flashy, intimidating icons. Big Launcher helps a senior smartphone user navigate through the menus with ease, and it even provides further visual and audio accessibility options that will further help our grandfolks in getting comfy with their digital device.
There’s nothing as naturally intuitive as slashing fruit in mid-air with your fingertips. This will definitely bring an instant smile on their faces as virtual sliced fruit chunks fly apart, courtesy of your expert fruit cutting technique. Fruit Ninja will provide them lots of fun, but do caution them in not overdoing it, as prolonged gaming may cause eyestrain in even the youngest and healthiest of users.
Keeping track of anything and everything becomes progressively harder as one ages. Fortunately, apps like Catch can help us remember. The interface of this app is very easy to navigate, and you can neatly categorize the things you wish to remember. This includes to-do lists, shopping lists, and time-specific reminders (particularly useful for seniors who need to take their medication).
You don’t even need to wait to reach the senior years to use an app like this, install it in your smart device and start collaborating on projects with your beloved senior!
Keeping in touch is so much easier to do nowadays, so you should do your best to keep tabs on your grandpas and grandmas. Fortunately, applications like Skype make video conferences easy to do, and it’s way more personal than just a voice conversation.
Don’t use this as a substitute to actual contact with them, however. Your grandparents are on their way out, so do take the time to be with them and share your quality time. If in certain situations that is not possible (you’re out at sea, or you’re an astronaut), video conferencing will have to do.
These are just a few of the numerous applications for smart devices available, and there are hundreds more being developed even as we speak. What is important is that they facilitate human interaction and improve productivity. Your grandparents will appreciate these programs as they will improve their quality of life and enjoyment.
You should pitch in and give them a smartphone or tablet as a present (you don’t need to go bankrupt, there are lots of affordable smart gadgets out there), install these and other useful apps (senior citizen-specialized mobile medical apps are something you should also check out), and teach them how to make it work.
Hug your grandmas and grandpas today. Take care!
About the Author
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and aside from looking over the apps mentioned in this article, is also researching for applications that allow seniors a safer and more “mobile” lifestyle, like GreatCall. Her gang’s blog is Word Baristas.