wish me luck, just bought iPad for SENIOR parents

Discussion in 'iPad' started by AikenRay, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. AikenRay macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    I'm hoping supporting my mother on the iPad2 is easier than supporting her on Win7. My dad won't go to the computer to see pictures or videos she finds on the web so she prints everything to take it to him. Hopefully they will enjoy FaceTime with all the great-grandkids and the ease of using it from the recliner.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Nice gift, and I am sure they will appreciate it
  3. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Yes, a fine gift for them. I'm sure your Holidays this year will be fun!
  4. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm sure you'll find supporting the iPad is easier than Windows. My great father-in-law is no longer with us and I miss him very much. But one thing I don't miss is trying to support his computer use. :) Just remember the KISS principle and don't overload your mother with options. She may surprise you and discover new content and apps on her own.
  5. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    They will be fine. One thing, you need to stress to them that they really can't break it and not to be afraid to explore. My mother was always afraid of anything electronic because she was under the impression that if she pushed the wrong button it would break, irrevocably.

    You might consider adding restrictions so they can't reset it. Depends on just how quickly they take to it.

    And, my 3 year old granddaughter uses her ipad1 more easily than her mother.

    Lucky parents to have you.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. (and to everyone else too!)
  6. BHawks10 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    Good luck. My grandma has one and she just doesn't get it. I'm constantly going over by her to help because she forgets and she can't follow when I try to walk her through it. I would tell her to press this icon and she would say where? There are no buttons, this happened many times. I just started to say touch this icon with your finger.

    I'm glad for icloud, because she didn't know that you had to plug it into the computer every now and then.

    That's just the start of the iPad. Her computer still runs windows Vista, so we are trying to steer her to just the ipad. This doesn't help when the whole family tries to tell her how to do something which confuses her and leaves me to go fix it. I've gotten to the point where I told her, I'm the only one who ever comes to help whatever you need, if you want me to help you, STOP LISTENING TO THE REST OF THE FAMILY!

    GOOD LUCK get ready for calls for the simplest things, things my 1 year old nephew knew how to do on his dads ipad.
  7. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    It might help if someone would replace Vista with Windows 7. Forcing your grandmother to use Vista is considered senior abuse in some states.
  8. juliebeannn macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2011
    i just bought an ipad for my mom, also. not only is she kinda behind with tech-times (her current comp is my oldddd PC from college -- it still has Windows XP!)....but English isn't her first language. I'm glad the iPad makes it easy to change language preferences.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  9. BHawks10 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    Her son, my uncle, got her a really cheap computer about 5 years ago. It can hardly handle vista. She plays games, checks her email, and prints pictures, so she doesn't need a new computer. I've tried to tell her that she can do all that on her iPad, but she doesn't realize that her email on her iPad and on her computer are the same. She just states that she doesn't know how to use the thing, but she bought it because she didn't want everything to think she is technologically inept, which she is.
  10. iaddict macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    she will love it!

    Just did the same for my parents, both mid 80's. They have an old iMac, which my dad uses all the time to research things he's interested in, email friends, etc. My mom, though, wouldn't go near the computer. The iPad has gotten her to reading emails, and communicating with family through face-time. They still need some assistance with the face-time calls right now but they've only had it a few months so I expect that to get better.
  11. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    My parents are closing in on 60 and are both horrible with computers. (My mom is way worse than my dad). I got sick of fixing their computer every time I went to their house and I got sick of supporting it over the phone as well. I also got sick of their slow internet. They live in an area where your two choices are either satellite or dialup.

    I convinced them a few months back to get a Verizon iPad 2 3G model. Needless to say, my "support" calls with them have dropped down to almost none, and when they do call it's just a quick "How do you......?" type of call. Their 3G connection is faster than their satellite internet ever was on their old XP machine, and there are no viruses or file systems to worry about. We got them set up with an airplay printer and they're good to go. They are also thrilled with FaceTime and Skype for talking to my kids as they live far away and don't see them as much as they'd like to.

    It has made life easier on both ends. Thank god they put wireless syncing in iOS 5--now I don't have to tell them how to sync it to a computer either.
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    An iPad is a brilliant gift for seniors - I got my Dad (who is 70) one after my Mum passed away earlier this year to try and give him something to occupy his mind.
    My dad is a self confessed luddite who hates computers with a passion, but he took to the iPad immediately and wouldn't be without it now.
  13. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    Graet things for the elderly

    We got an iPad 1 for my Grandmother and she gets on with it really well (she is a slightly techie granny though, she has a 27 inch I mac and can use FMP almost as well as I can) the user interface for the I pad is good even my other grandfather (90 years of age) can understand most bits and his only computer is still running windows 98
  14. matt90036 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I think the iPad simplicity and intuitive UI with zero learning curve is the best gift for senior parents or grandpa to.
  15. LJ50 macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2011
    My 85 year old Granda has had an iPad for the past couple of months and gets on great with it. We even bought him a 3G card for it during a recent two-week long stay in hospital so he could keep in touch with the family via Facebook.

    He now uses the iPad almost exclusively having spent the last few years using a PC.
  16. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    What will they do with it? My parents would see no use for it. (around 70 years old)
  17. COMtnBiker macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2010
    I think there's a good shot that they will love it.

    Bought one for my late-70's mother two years ago, and she won't go anywhere without it....

    Face time with the grand kids
    Saves all the emailed pics to it
    Reads all her on-line newspapers

    She does do some odd things, though... like closing all open apps to save battery life when she's done using it. :rolleyes:
  18. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    My suggestion?

    Set up their email yourself.
    If they have or use Yahoo IM, or something similar, set it up for them.

    Load a few basic apps, and make sure they can use it. USATODAY is a good one they can use daily. Do NOT try to get anything too fancy.

    Walk them through a few google searches. Once they learn how it works, their use will be much higher.

    Teach and agree on what the few buttons are. It took me a long time to get my mother to use the power switch vs the home button when doing troubleshooting. Seems simple, but at 83, well...

    And I agree - my phone support with the ipad is about 5% of the what the PC requires.
  19. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    I think you would be very surprised. My 83 yr old Mom uses it all the time.

    News Apps, local paper, USA Today, Magazines
    Games - not the fancy ones, but word games, puzzles, etc
    Yahoo IM to talk to her sisters and kids
  20. MsMerryMac macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    A great gift. My parents both got iPads last year and boy, it is sometimes a full time job for me. They get very confused with iTunes accounts and passwords and upgrading apps and all that. To make matters worse, I purchased my mum an iPhone 4S this year, upgrading her from a relic so old that they don't even make SIM cards for it anymore.

    Do them a favor and give them a certificate for a class at the Apple store too so that they can learn how to get the most out of their gift!:p
  21. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    I have a Mac that was issued to me at work (school), and it has Fusion with XP on it. Luckily, I don't have to be on the Windows side much.
  22. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    So, that solves the issue of getting an Ipad for a senior!
  23. ReallyBigFeet, Dec 24, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011

    ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    While MOSTLY true, my own 75-year old senior in-laws have managed to lock down their iPad 2 twice now. Somehow, they got into the iPad Security settings and set a password that they didn't remember. If they lock it and forget the password, you are screwed other than to re-initialize the iPad. And with iOS5, you have to do this via iTunes, even if you initially set it up without using iTunes.

    Its true that they didn't totally "destory" it like they could with a PC. But I consider having to drive 300 miles each way to restore their iPad a pretty big tech support visit. I've taught them to stay the heck away from the security settings since then and now just get the occasional "how do I?" questions. Oh and I did have them both go take a couple of those workshops at the Apple store, but their hearing is so bad that they really couldn't listen all that well in such a noisy setting. And contrary to the late Steve's opinions on the matter, not everyone is an experiential learner...some learn better when they can read a book. I've bought them a few (on their iPad obviously...which kills two birds with one stone IMO).

    Nonetheless....this has been far easier to teach them to use it versus the Mac they had prior. That thing was out of service more than in service thanks to their proclivity to just get into button-pressing mode.

    A few tips for anyone thinking of being tech support for a senior/iPad user:

    1) Set up brand-new Apple ID for them and just use that email/ID for iTunes and official app correspondence. We ran into the new bug (AppleID thinks a new one is already in use) and it took a bit of work for me to fix it. Just use a brand-new one (gmail works well) and keep the password for yourself as well as giving it to them. That way you can monitor their Apple ID activity as needed to ensure that their purchases are working, you can pay for them if necessary, etc.

    2) When setting up their email account on the iPad, set up their normal everyday email account. Don't set up their Apple ID account unless you are very sure they know what its being used for (my MIL freaked when she started getting emails to that account from Apple giving her receipts for purchases she forgot she made.....she called her bank to cancel her credit card thinking someone had hijacked her ID...sigh)

    3) Show them the iPad security settings and either set up a VERY SIMPLE lock code or NONE at all. If they are in a nursing home or retirement community, I'd suggest you put a lock code onto it but keep it simple. I've been shocked at how many times they've loaned their iPad to someone and that person began making purchases (sometimes not realizing they were spending money). If you choose to NOT put on a security code, make sure they know how the system works and tell them HANDS OFF that setting. Or trust me...you'll have a locked iPad on your hand eventually.

    4) TURN ON FIND MY IPAD. Seriously. Just do it. They've misplaced theirs at least 4-5 times. Alzheimers may not be in effect, but old-age short-term memory blows. I've located it for them at least 5-6 times already. One time, it was on a Golf Cart parked at the clubhouse where my dad had left it hours earlier. Recovered, thankfully.

    5) Get them a good, sturdy case. Older hands can't grip as easily and arthritis is a bitch making the weight/heft hard to hold for extended periods of reading. The Apple fancy cover is not going to cut it for them. My mom bought a Targus "iPad lap pillow" thing at Best Buy and she loves it for reading.

    6) Consider a stylus. It just makes tapping/double tapping easier for them for some reason. They feel more "in control." I bought them a few of the Targus ones.

    That's my advice, take it FWIW.
  24. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Great advice from last poster.

    I will add - make sure you know all their email and Apple id logins. They will forget at some point and/or you can do things for them.

    Yes, do the FINDMYIPHONE/IPAD app. My Mom has lost hers, in the house. I send it a tone and she finds it. ( I have done it once as well)
  25. zerind macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    Bought one for my mother who hasn't ever bothered learning the computer as a gift too. She gets the idea after sitting down with her and showing her a few things but I bought this book called iPad for Seniors from Amazon for her as well which she's found HUGELY helpful as a reference guide. It's a fantastic book which shows them step by step in big pictures and easy to understand instructions/symbols how to do things.


Share This Page