iPads are GRAND! My senior mom keeps telling ME that now. And keeps saying, "I wish I'd taken your advice and gotten one sooner! I LOVE this." Now that's music to a geeky Sandwich Generation baby boomer's ears, I gotta say!
She's been especially happy this summer, with so few of her favorite shows on, since I started having her watch some interesting British police dramas on Amazon – for FREE. Because I have the Amazon Prime Discount Membership, it gives me access to a ton of free instant downloads of older (and sometimes newer) TV shows and movies. You do have to be careful, of course. Just like with cable. I tried one show with a fave actress who shall remain nameless. After 15 minutes, I turned it off, VERY disappointed at the language on that show – including from said actress. It was WAY worse than the norm, which is often bad enough! But there are plenty of other shows to enjoy and we are both having fun checking out some old favorites from days gone by. The hard part is remembering the names of fave old TV shows, so if you have any to suggest, we'd love to hear about them in the comments.
ONE BIG CAVEAT for sharing the iPad with our senior parents. If you have done so or are going to do so, do it FAST and then DO NOT UPGRADE THE IPAD TO IOS7 RIGHT AWAY. My bright and techie daughter saw a preview of it. Now mind you, she is the one that got me going on the iPhone when I didn't think I'd like it. And she is the one I still call the most for help because she really gets it. (Actually, all my kids have surpassed my tech skills when it comes to the iPhone and iPad and HOORAY for them for doing so coz I love that they can help me as I help my senior parents and loved ones! ). After looking at the preview, she said to hold off updating for a long time as they have made MANY new changes – including to many of the familiar icons. I know that will slow me down and frustrate me. But it will REALLY frustrate my mom – and many other seniors. So best to keep things as they are for the time being – or if you haven't yet started them on an iPad, you could also wait a few months until AFTER the big change – then start teaching. Mind you, I'm not saying it won't be better overall – there's a lot of intriguing things built into it – but it will be a LOT different.
Learning new technology can be challenging for anyone. Learning it as an older senior is triply challenging. And throwing a HUGE monkey wrench into the process, like a major update with so many changes including the icons they look for, can take all the fun out of it for them. So I, for one, will definitely wait a LONG time before upgrading my mom. How about you?