Are iPhones and iPads suitable for seniors?
Sure, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.
Some people want to keep their lives as simple as possible and aren’t interested in technology.
But don’t rule them out for all!
I’ve taught dozens of clients in their 60s, 70s and 80’s to use an iPhone or iPad. They’ve loved keeping their mind active, keeping in touch with family and expanding their entertainment options.
Some seniors love the challenge of learning something new!
We all know that keeping your brain active as you age is good for you.
What do seniors use iPads for?
The two main categories are entertainment and staying in contact with others.
Everyone’s different in the things they enjoy doing.
Here are some common activities:
- reading books with large font
- listening to audio books
- keeping in contact with friends and family through email or messages
- sharing photos with friends or family
- video phone calls to family, through apps like Skype or FaceTime
- games such as solitaire
- reading news with large font
- listening to radio (stations available from around the world)
- catching up on missed TV shows
- Google search things you’re curious to learn more about
- Check and maintain their investment and share portfolios
Why are iPhones and iPads good for seniors?
Firstly, there’s Siri – a tool that allows you to give the phone verbal commands. This allows you to dictate a message or email without any typing. What a great way to keep in contact with friends and family!
Did you know that all iPhones and iPads have features built into them to help people with disabilities? This makes them great for people with vision, hearing or physical impairments.
For example, they include:
- large font
- inbuilt magnifier to help you read printed books
- ability to dictate messages
- have your messages read aloud to you
- can be used by people with low vision or who are blind
- can be used with some hearing aids
- can connect up to TV or computer screen for magnified viewing
What to expect when learning to use an iPhone or iPad as a senior?
The thing to keep in mind is that it is more complicated than a simple phone. It is really a computer.
If you expect to learn to use an iPhone as fast as a traditional phone you’ll get frustrated and overwhelmed. That’s not possible!
When you realise that an iPhone or an iPad is a whole new computer system to learn, and that it may take you several months to do this, then you’ll be more patient, and give it the time and practice it needs.
Learning modern technology can be a rewarding hobby for those who are interested.
Many public libraries and senior centers hold “iPad for seniors” classes, often for free or a minimal price. In South Australia, seniors with vision impairments can get training at the RSB, where you can learn how to use the iPhone’s accessibility features for vision.
The key is to find a tutor who is PATIENT and used to speaking to computer novices so they can teach you the basics as you learn!
Having a private tutor is great if you can afford it! I have had clients who were able to get private iPad training funded under the Aged Care system. If you have an Aged Care Package you could speak to your package provider about that. To learn more about the Aged Care system go to www.myagedcare.gov.au.
If you are after private iPhone or iPad lessons in Adelaide, you can contact me for details. My clients tell me I have loads of PATIENCE and will personalise the training to YOUR level and YOUR speed of learning! I have been teaching iPhones and iPads for seniors for about 4 years, and using an iPhone and iPad myself for several years.