When I gave my old iPad to my 91y Grandmother

Discussion in 'iPad' started by chiccociolla, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. chiccociolla macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Hey guys!
    As I said in the newbies topic, I a long time reader of macrumors, but only today I finally decided to became a member of the forum too!
    I would like to start telling you what I think is a stunning story.
    It is in fact the story of my "old" iPad 2, and of when, having become really too slow for my use, I thought to give it to my 91y GrandMother!

    At first, I was hoping that she could learn somehow to browse the photos I put in it (I filled it with the whole family archive!), and maybe to watch the home videos we just digitalized from old super8s.

    Well, in just few months, she learned by herself not only to browse photos and videos! She uses the iPad to like and comment the photos we (we are a pretty large family) share via Shared Photo Stream! She watches her wedding video every morning ("to feel your grandpa still here with me"). She writes iMessages to sons and nephews, FaceTime calls.. She uses the iPad even to pray (her fingers are getting to numb for such think paper!), and to watch soap operas in streaming!

    We are all so amazed of what she has learned to do, that i decided to make a short video (4.30min) to recount it. It is nothing special, it's been just and iPhone and some iMovie in a half day, but after all I think it gets the point.

    We all spend a lot of time thinking about specs, updates, last models. And we finish to forget the power of what we have in our hands!
    She's 91, she hardly walks, she spend most of her day by herself at home.. now every time she sees me she says "the best gift you could give to me, it's like a second youth to me!"

    I really hope this story has snatched you a smile ;)

    see you soon!

  2. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020


    Jan 31, 2015
    That's pretty cool. My 90 YO grandfather has been using a max for the past 5 or so years. He scans in old pictures and uploads picture from his digital camera, emails them around, and makes narrated slideshows in iMovie, and then burns them to DVD. Not bad for the guy who never quite mastered the VHS player.

    Its funny though the problem solving skills he and his 86 YO girlfriend have. They once tried to burn a YouTube video to DVD by going to File, Save-as in safari and saving it to a DVD. It makes sense intuitively, but we of course know that's not how it works.

    A little off topic...
    I know some hospitals are giving dimensia/Alzheimer's patients iPods loaded with songs from their youth. It supposedly makes them more comfortable - decreasing depression, increasing activity, socialization, and grounding them in realty.

    The memory care unit I work with is pretty dead throughout the day in terms of activity, but music brings these people back to life. Same with dogs- I call it "awaking the dead". As soon as a dog comes in people who have otherwise been staring at the wall for the past 6 hours come to life again.

    I think there could be a lot more work done looking into how technology can benefit seniors.
  3. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    This is very cool and real life experience. I can see, why iPad design should have simplicity in mind and less dependent device (i.e. Have its own 3G SIM card) and long battery life.

  4. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    My husband's 91 year old aunt has a Kindle Fire, which she refers to as her iPad. <shrug> She uses it to play solitaire and Facebook. Somehow she has amassed hundreds of friends, and keeps up on all the news from family and in and around town just from FB.

    Technology is not a barrier to age.
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    What a wonderful, positive and utterly life affirming thread. A pleasure to read. Thank you, OP, @chiccociolla, for starting it and for sharing this with us.
  6. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Beautiful. She sure learned a lot. I remember sharing my iPad with my grandmother before she passed away. Could barely open her eyes but loved to watch Frank Sinatra perform in YouTube videos. "Remarkable," she would say.
  7. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    When my mother in law passed, I was taking my iPad to her daily and presenting photos and movies of her family and past life video that I made for their 60th wedding anniversary. By then she couldnot use her hands but her eyes would light up and she would follow with interest. Nothing else could get her attention. She was in a memory care unit at the time. Yes, technology did contribute some pleasure to the last few days of her life.
  8. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    I pretty much did the same thing. My mom needed a computer to work from but couldn't afford much, so I gave her my iPad 4th gen with a ton of other goodies for peanuts. I want to get my grandma an iPad Mini but she's so stuck in her ways she still has a rotary phone and won't consider a cordless.. she's in her 70's XP
  9. PattyMc macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2012
    Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story with us. I have a grandson who is on the Autism spectrum and several years ago I purchased his first IPad for him, it was life changing for him and has helped tremendously. I will always be grateful for the IPad...every time I see one or use one, it reminds me of my grandson and the smile on that precious face when he's interacting online with his.
  10. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Bought my, then 80 year old mother an iPad 1 for Christmas a few years ago.

    Total and utter waste of time :(
    Vastly too complicated for her to understand.
    Even use, she kept going to tap an icon and did it with a movement that scrolled them instead.
    I added all her address book to it. but she never even looked at them
    I bought her an ebook, but she never read it.
    I just gave up in the end.
    I can't use it... Ohhh the screens making my eyes go funny, etc etc.
  11. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    Brought a smile to my face and also a tear. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Newtons Apple, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

    Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I hope when I am 91 that my family makes sure I have an iPad. Can not imagine not!

    Great story OP, thanks for posting! Worst feeling an old person can have is that the world has left them behind.
  13. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Sounds like she has trouble with fine motor movement. Did you try a stylus?

    She still might not take to digital stuff, but if she's having problems with touch interaction, that's a big barrier.
  15. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Oh she's not be able to use a stylus, I know that.
    I'd have adored Steve Jobs to have known her as a test subject! lol

    she's always been technically totally and utterly useless.
    Never been able to play a video tape (OMG all those buttons)
    Never been able to play a DVD.
    Reading instruction manuals forget it.

    Garden and feeding the birds, that's it.

    Then again she never was actually STUPID. I think it was just always easy to say, "Can't do it" and go back to whatever method she was using before.
    Ideally she's be locked in a room with no food and an iPad to order food, then she'd HAVE to learn to use it. :) and not take the easy way out by saying can't do it, or letting someone else do it for her.
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Could she at least turn on the TV? Or did she just read books? :D
  17. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    After "Training"

    Turn TV on and Off
    Adjust volume Up and Down
    Change channel Up and Down

    She used to be able to type in a channel number, but not any more.

    The odd thing is ANY text, instructions, menu ANYTHING on the screen she can't see/comprehend.

    TV Guide? Forget it, she wants a Magazine with TV listings.

    I got her Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but that meant moving thru menu's so that was a total non starter :(
  18. Scepticalscribe, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    But you see, telling someone that they are and ' have always been technically totally and utterly useless' will only serve to confirm it, in their eyes.

    Now, I will be honest, I was never able to program a video - I thought the instructions utter gobbledegook and never mastered them. It was easier to reschedule classes (I was the professor, so I was able to do that) than try to master that exquisitely badly written manual which attempted to explain how to programme or record a video.

    The thing is, your post reminds me that while a great many nerds, and geeks, and tech specialists are good at knowing tech, but, unfortunately, are very all too often really spectacularly dreadfully bad teachers, the sort who couldn't teach the proverbial cat to drink milk.

    This is because they tend over-complicate the simplest of things, and get impatient when the persons they are trying to instruct fails to understand. My father, bless him, whom I loved dearly, was unable to explain anything - or teach the most basic of skills - without exploding in frustrated temper.

    When teaching somebody something, praise works, and so does support. Not only must they want to learn, they will also have to believe that they can, or will be able to do so. And they also need to be taught that they do not need to know everything on that machine - just the bare, bones, basics will do.

    In your grandmother's case, I imagine she grew up in a world where her options, and what she was encouraged to consider herself capable of, were extraordinarily limited. This mindset - especially once it becomes internalised - can be very difficult to break free of.

    If your grandmother could be persuaded to see how even one function on that device might be of use, or benefit to her, she might want to learn more about it.
  19. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2007
    Lost in Space
    Thank you for sharing this. Brought tears....
  20. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Nice story and wonderful job putting it all together w/iMovie.

    Goes to show that you're never too old to learn when you have the will.

    What model iPad did you give her? Couldn't tell from the footage.
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Interesting. I wonder if it's hard for her to focus on something at a distance, or a psychological thing with screens, or a combination of both factors.
  22. chiccociolla thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2016
    thanks to you, and to you all guys!
    it is a 16Gb wifi iPad 2 ;)
  23. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    WHY you are making me crying so hard???? My mother hated an iPad and she is not tech savvy! I had to travel 3,000 miles to see her in person.
  24. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    My 95 year-old Mom used an iPad my nephew gave her (she's passed away now).
  25. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    An iPad doesn't suit everyone, but the OP's story is a wonderful one, and, I do know seniors - and indeed, autistic kids, who have benefitted hugely from having been able to have had access to them.

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