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A 99 year old lady becomes an iPad user - writes poetry (ipadwatcher.com)
36 points by mlongo on April 22, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

Based on a comment a reader left on the post, I thought I'd add a small personal comment.

I have such a senior lady in my family. One with 94 years and a pretty dull life. One that can’t really read the small type on a regular paper book or newspaper. She is my grandmother and anyone who thinks 90+ year old ladies sit in front of a desktop computer and just starts doing things is saddly mistaken.

My grandmother is 90 and using a computer. I am happy to have set her up with one a couple of years ago, against the recommendations of other family members who thought it would be no good.

It is a standard Windows XP computer. She emails, surfs, writes letters and does online banking.

What is stopping your senior lady - eyesight can't be fixed with glasses anymore?

I admit I keep wondering if I should show my grandmother more interesting things, like social stuff. I am just not sure what - World of Warcraft maybe? I myself don't chat on the internet (except HN and Twitter), so I am not sure what would be a good place to send her to. Maybe just Facebook? (I also don't use Facebook, but maybe other family members do).

What would be a good site for multiplayer games? I myself use Brettspielwelt, but the user interface is not very good.

Perhaps send her to flickr, my grandmother loves to look at photos, so she might get a voyeuristic kick out of it.

I've preordered one of these for my grandmother and have started considering getting one for myself.

Thanks, but I was looking for something more social/interactive. Flickr seems passive, unless you take photos yourself.

I am really interested: what could help your grandmother use a computer? Why can't she?

My grandfather could never figure out how to use the mouse. Even after we did a hand-holding training, he just wasn't able to figure out how to do anything. He gets the iPad though -- it's just touch here, then touch there. There are no confusing menus and overlapping windows. He never "got" the concept of the windowing environment, windows hidden behind other windows were always really confusing for him.

Agreed on the windows, although these days you only really need one window - the browser.

Exactly my point.

My limited experience of older people and computers has been very positive. All the older members of my family (70s - 89) use computers for email, research, shopping etc. The eldest (90 in June) has been playing with computers for years and until very recently was having fun with programming languages and wrote quite a few simple python utilities. A couple of them use and are comfortable with cloud based tools like delicious. If I asked, I think they would probably give up TV before their PCs and laptops.

I think that is great, and they are very fortunate. Unfortunately it doesn't match my experience with such seniors.

The ones I have contact with are totally intimidated by computers and can't seem to get past the complexity of using such simple things as the mouse and figuring out how the Windows work.

The ones which are more adventurous do use computers, but they loose their Windows and end up opening the same thing several times because the previous window was covered up by another, that kind of thing. This is where I believe the iPad makes such big difference to these people.

I know what an important tool computers can be to the older folk in my life; so, yes, if the iPad allows more seniors to benefit from computers then that's fantastic.

This story has been updated with a video from Fox12 Oregon, with an actual interview with the lady who has glaucoma and seems really happy about being able to read again.

She mentions that she could write, but she couldn't see what she had written.

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