Fun technology (not health related) for seniors
With any luck, we will all live long enough to become senior citizens, but we understand that the saying “Getting older is not for sissies.” can be an understatement. Technology is getting easier for senior citizens who are interested and motivated to keep up. Aging sometimes comes with pesky health issues that can interfere with a senior citizen’s manual dexterity or ability to read or to hear. If an older person wants to stay current and be able to communicate with younger family members there are there tech products that will help them go far beyond the old ‘alert’ gadgets. Put some of these on your gift list for your parents, grandparents or yourself!
The GreatCall Touch3 smartphone by Samsung is an Android and has a 4” touchscreen with a large icon menu on the home screen. The most often used icons like contacts, text, camera, pictures, email and internet are easy to access on this screen. $99.00.
Two other smartphones that are mentioned as also being senior friendly are the Apple iPhone 6 Plus (starts at $670) and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 (starts at $470). The iPhone 6 Plus has a large display with high definition. It is 5.5” and is easy to read, even in bright light. It has a good camera and a long-lasting battery. There are many options for customization through the Accessibility menu in General Settings. The text can be made larger and bolder. There is an option called Button Shapes that makes the navigation controls easier to see. There are also settings to aid those with hearing or visual impairments. App icons are easy to see and their size can be enlarged.
The Galaxy 4 is also easy to read, has a good camera and is 5.7”. The app icons can be made larger as can the numbers on the phone and keypad. There is an Easy Mode that pares the icons down to what’s most used.
Telikin is a family desktop computer that is easy to use. It has video chat, photo sharing, camera, built-in speakers and other features and is a touchscreen device. Its software is already fully installed and ready to go when it is purchased, but there is a ‘tech buddy’ available to help with any problems. This makes it simple and quick to get started using it. The Telikin Touch has an 18” screen ($699) and the Telikin Elite has a 20” screen ($1,079).
TV Ears helps people with hearing loss hear their television clearly without turning up the volume. Users set their headset’s volume and tone but the television can be set at a normal volume for those viewers without hearing loss. The 3.0 system works with most TVs and works up to 600 square feet. Sets start at $129.95
AARP has a senior-friendly RealPad which is an Android tablet with a 7.8” touchscreen. It has a clutter-free simple home page with large text icons. It is ready to go right out of the box with apps preloaded. It also has a “Real QuickFix” tool that connects users to tech support staff over the internet who can access the tablet and fix problems. $59.99.
GrandPad is a simple and secure tablet for seniors. It has games, photos, email, camera, phone, messages, weather and more. Support staff are always available. It has a monthly subscription that covers the Pad, Internet connection, damage or theft insurance, personalized music and support staff. of $60/month or $53/month (when you purchase an annual plan).
Presto helps those seniors who cannot use a computer to convert emails into printed letters. It keeps seniors connected to the outside world, and able to communicate with others. It delivers email, photos and documents to those who do not use a computer. Messages and photos are automatically printed. Someone sends the senior an email, photo or document to a Presto-provided email address. The Presto Mail Service transforms emailed messages and photos into printable, full color e-letters. The Presto Printing Mailbox automatically retrieves messages via the phone line and prints them out. The Presto Printing Mailbox and the Presto Mail Service combined costs $99.99. It uses plain printing paper and HP ink cartridges.