Holiday Gifts: Buying an iPad for Your Senior Parent?
If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad adventure. iPad for Dad, #1, iPad for Dad, #2, iPad for Dad, #3, iPad for Dad, #4, iPad for Dad, #5, iPad for Dad, #6, iPad for Dad, #7, iPad for Dad, #8, iPad for Dad, #9, iPad for Dad, #10, iPad for Dad, #11, iPad for Dad, #12, iPad for Dad, #13, iPad for Dad, #14, iPad for Dad, #15, and iPad for Dad, #16.
The Perfect Holiday Present — iPad for an Aging Parent
Last April I had a silly idea of purchasing an iPad for my Father’s 87th birthday. Without talking to him much about it, I bought the iPad and showed up at my parents’ house with the nifty little gadget in a an Apple shopping bag. It took about 20 minutes for my dad to be really in love, but he was intrigued and intellectually curious from the moment the iPad came out of the box. My gift idea was not at all silly.
I’ve had a blast helping him, watching him figure out things, and reading his regular missives — he rarely misses a day — posted from his iPad by merely tapping on the picture of the envelope. I gave him the iPad with addresses entered so that he did not need to enter addresses at the beginning. And suddenly I was writing the iPad for Dad series for this blog.
We purchased one additional piece of equipment for Dad’s iPad — the keyboard. The iPad fits on the base of the keyboard, and I believe his essays and e-mails multiplied many times over after we added it. If your parent wants to type, the keyboard is a must.
Dad still has much to learn about his iPad. Every day he finds something that intrigues him or piques his curiosity — whether he is searching for a piece of music to listen to, reading a far-away newspaper, or just locating something interesting to read. Dad has not made much use of the electronic books — my parents have too many around the house that they enjoy — and right now doing lengthy reading on a small screen simply does not interest them.
So if you are thinking about a holiday iPad for Dad or Mom — go for it. Be sure your parent likes to learn new things and enjoys figuring things out. Most importantly, plan to spend a moderate amount of time sitting, helping, and reading the e-mails that will be coming your way via the iPad.
Check out my iPad for Dad posts for descriptions of lessons and observations and for links to lots of resources, including information about people like Paul Rhoades, who has developed cool applications for the iPad. Take a look at his Simple Suite applications.
Most importantly, have a blast and enjoy the gifts of time and fun with your senior parent.