Dad’s New iPad: How We Decided What to Buy – iPad for Dad #25

iPad II

This picture has the old operating system. I’ll take a screen shot of his new iPad  once it is up and running.

I finally figured out what iPad model to purchase for my 90-year-old dad as a Christmas 2013 present, and I thought I’d share my decision-making process here, just in case others are dealing with the same conundrum. My mom is under strict instructions to keep him away from this blog (he is a regular reader) until mid-day on December 25th.

Deciding what to buy as a replacement iPad took quite a bit of time and energy, mostly because a range of models are available at a range of prices. Below are some of the factors that contributed to my decision. At the end you can find out what we bought for dad’s Christmas present.

iPad Keyboard – Dad has an easy-to-use keyboard. He sets the iPad right into the 30-pin port and begins typing. His speaker system for music connects the same way. The newest iPad models come with the smaller lightning to USB connector. To change connections, he would need to change keyboards. Moreover, the newest keyboards are all bluetooth, and I really did not want my dad to have to add keeping track of bluetooth to his digital iPad tasks. We searched for keyboards that would connect the same way as his older one — just with smaller connections, but they just aren’t available.                         Continue reading

Time for a New iPad for Dad — iPad for Dad #24

ipad4dad5It is time to purchase a new iPad for my father.

If you have followed this blog for the past several years you know that three years ago we (my husband, my daughter, my son-in-law, and me) purchased an iPad for my father’s birthday. The iPad for Dad project, beginning in May 2010, has been an enormous success, and it’s generated a long list of blog posts here on As Our Parents Age.

Rarely do I arrive at my parents’ house without seeing his iPad set up and a quick glance demonstrates that Dad, now 90 years old, has been using it or is about to sit down to write or search. He’s written over 400 journal posts on the iPad — tapping the little arrow and sending them off to his family of readers — and many of these mini-essays shared rich ideas (of course he’s always had these), interesting observations, and detailed family information (much of it new to me and other family members).

What I liked most about the iPad was its ease of use and the fact that it’s always connected to my parents’ wireless. It does not require waiting around while programs boot up, and from the beginning of this project Dad hardly needed any tutoring to get going.

Continue reading

iPads for Seniors? My Dad Knows How Cool It Is!

Early on iPad training with my dad.

Early on iPad training with my dad.

iPads for seniors as a way to decrease isolation and stimulate intellectual curiosity?  You bet! After writing over 20 iPad for Dad columns about my dad and his iPad, I could have told them so and my dad can, too.

I know that Steve Jobs was not thinking about seniors in the elder years of their lives when he conceived Apple’s iPad, but it’s the perfect tool for them — lightweight, easy to use, intuitive, connected to a world of resources, and after just a bit of training, it enables seniors to do things that they want to do (check news, watch movies, connect electronically with family members, etc.).

An article in today’s Washington Post (July 14, 2013), Successful Program to Help D.C. Senior Citizens Use iPads to Prevent Isolation Will Expand, that describes a District of Columbia pilot program, funded by the AARP Foundation, that distributed 55 iPads to seniors and offers classes on a regular basis. According to the report, no one has dropped out of the training and no iPads have been lost. Now the program is doubling.

We live in a connected world — in fact we take it for granted. People who do not have access may experience isolation. Moreover, many elders either do not have access to the Internet, or if they do, there’s not get enough training to get started with life’s  technology tasks. As they age into later years, elders are still eager to learn — lifelong learners, actually —  and they can be well served if their adult children or their communities help them gain access to technology tools and entre to the required training.

I’d love to know where else there are other successful iPad programs for seniors.

iPad for Dad, #21: An Easy-to-Use Speaker

My dad loves to listen to music, mostly classical, but other musical genres as well. Mostly he fires up his stereo, a boom-box, or the local classical music radio station.

Now, he has a third option — listening with his iPad.

For Christmas we gave Dad the iHome rechargeable portable speaker for iPad. The iPad itself simply sits in the doc, the same way it sits on Dad’s keyboard dock. While the iHome sound isn’t quite at the quality of his stereo speakers, it’s good.

We downloaded the TuneIn RadioPro app which streams all types of music and programming from hundreds of radio stations. I preset seven or eight classical and jazz music stations as well as a baseball channel and a few talk shows. All dad has to do it touch the preset buttons.

If he wants to do more with TuneInRadio, and I expect he will, we can do more instruction later.

If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad for Dad adventures — iPad for Dad, #1iPad for Dad, #2iPad for Dad, #3,  iPad for Dad, #4iPad for Dad, #5iPad for Dad, #6,  iPad for Dad, #7iPad for Dad, #8,  iPad for Dad, #9iPad for Dad, #10iPad for Dad, #11iPad for Dad, #12iPad for Dad, #13,  iPad for Dad, #14,  iPad for Dad, #15iPad for Dad, #16,  iPad for Dad, #17 , iPad for Dad, #18,  iPad for Dad, #19iPad for Dad, #20iPad for Dad, #21 and iPad for Dad, # 22.

iPad for Dad, #20: Battery Life

Dad continues to write on his iPad.

If you are still thinking about purchasing an iPad, either for yourself or for a senior parent, read the excellent, and very entertaining, iPad battery tribute over at Paul’s iPad blog. iPad batteries last a long time. Even when a person is working on heavy-duty projects, charging on a daily basis is rarely required.

Best Quote from Paul’s Post

How good is the battery? You find yourself doing funny things when you buy an iPad. I noticed this on day two of my iPad journey where I took her on an obligatory trip to Starbucks when I found myself doing something funny … I stopped looking for the seat next to a plug, I looked for the comfy chair.

My dad continues to write away on his iPad, and rarely does he need to think about the battery. Total convenience! And I have the same experience with mine.

If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad for Dad adventures – iPad for Dad, #1iPad for Dad, #2iPad for Dad, #3,  iPad for Dad, #4iPad for Dad, #5iPad for Dad, #6,  iPad for Dad, #7iPad for Dad, #8,  iPad for Dad, #9iPad for Dad, #10iPad for Dad, #11iPad for Dad, #12iPad for Dad, #13,  iPad for Dad, #14,  iPad for Dad, #15iPad for Dad, #16,  iPad for Dad, #17 , iPad for Dad, #18,  iPad for Dad, #19iPad for Dad, #20iPad for Dad, #21 and iPad for Dad, # 22.

Good-bye Steve Jobs: iPad for Dad, #19

Memorial messages cover windows at our local Apple store

Yesterday morning when my dad wrote his daily blog post — about the life and achievements of Steve Jobs –I realized, once again, just how much Jobs’ life, vision, and achievements are a part of our general culture. One doesn’t need to be digitally savvy, a gadget fanatic, an iPhone evangelist, or even a Macintosh loyalist. All that’s required is experience with one intuitive Apple product — in this case my dad, age 88, writing on his iPad — and an interest in the news.

Over the years that I’ve spent working in the educational technology field, that’s the way it’s gone again and again.  Give a senior, a teacher — in fact just about anyone — a Mac or an iPhone, and they use it and work with it, and the tech people barely see them. Now the same thing is starting to happen with iPads.

Boy would I love to have a dozen iPads to use with residents in an assisted living or other senior community. Continue reading