Technology for my parents.

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My parents are pretty good with technology. I can't get them to text with me, but they have been using Skype for years. Does anybody out there have great suggestions for technology that would help them (and me!) going forward?

Neither of them has a smart phone. I figure if they had smart phones they would still have trouble figuring out which apps to install, which to trust, and how to use them. But if there's a killer app for that, they might consider it. They would certainly consider Web sites or iPad apps. My mom has a deep distrust of Facebook -- tried it, left it. She felt it put her "out there" too much.

To me this is critical since I live in California and they live in Canada. I want to be in touch with them and have them in touch with their grandsons, and technology is everywhere else in my life.

What success stories do you have?


What I have noticed regarding technology that as our parent(s) age, start to have issues with eyesight, etc. that today's technology goes by the way side.

My Dad built us a TV remote control back in the 1950's, it was simple On/Off, Volume On/Off, Channels UP/Down. Today's remotes have waaaaay too many buttons, 75% off which we never use. Dad is having issues using his remote, can never remember where the MUTE button is. He now has cable TV for the first time and guess what.... he only watches one channel, 24-hour local news.

My Dad use to write computer code back when it was called Fortran and Cobol. When he retired use teach part-time how to use computers back when it was DOS, and computers used floppy discs.

Now Dad is 94 and stopped using his computer a few months back. The technology has gotten away from him, plus he can't remember his passwords nor is able to find the sheet with the passwords, so why bother.... [sigh]

Funny, I don't have a Smart Phone, either, nor do I do Facebook, and here I am only 70 years old. I figure my flip phone does the job I need and I can text if the mood strikes. I even took myself off of LinkedIn as it turned into a popularity contest website.

It is hard to teach as the saying goes old dogs new tricks. I am just lightening the night, myself i am going to be 56 and was schooled well before computers, so i struggle all self taught,but get by. I started teaching my mom on a tablet when she was in her late 70. , she was reluctant for all the earlier years to learn, but the computer games got her interested, well that was a good 6 tablets ago, lol. She is now 86 and has learned Facebook and i got her a cell phone that does all for xmas so she has text, but she does forget, and so many tablets due to her curious about what does what and crashing them. She fell and broke her hip last September and her medical has forced her to move into a 24 hour nursing home. It has been very hard for her to consistently use her device due to service so she has lost alot of her skills, so i guess the bottom line is a good old telephone sometimes is the best way for our already overwhelmed parents to cope, i know my mom is having problems tacking all her cell, landline 2 handsets abd her tabkets plus a remote. She shares funny stories or at least she has kept her sense of humor, she say " oh i answered my remote today" or. " i tried to change the channel with my cell phone" i know there is a way to do it all in one device but it has to be with limited buttons.
Newbee, you're right, the bottom line is a good old fashioned landline telephone :)

Our parents have been using landlines for over 70 years and tend to remember how they work. One reason to never remove a landline from an elder's house, as in an emergency the elder won't remember where they put the cellphone, but a landline is usually in every room... plus the 911 dispatch will see the address of the caller on their screen without the caller needing to say where they are... that is extremely helpful if the caller had a stroke and cannot speak.
well Jitterbug is offering a smartphone aimed at seniors but I know nothing about it. My father tries to txt on his flip phone but he has troubles cause the buttons are too small for him to really see.
Another thing to think about is, if your parents drop things a lot. A smartphone may not be a good idea lol
I use whatsapp. My grandma cant text from her phone but she can text from her ipad. Also, my mom travels internationally and I have alot of friends internationally so I can call or text without being charged.
At 77 I have a laptop which I enjoy using a lot and it allows me to keep in touch with many people and even communicate with my Drs.
I do not wish to Skype and have never been on Facebook and have no intention of joining.
As far as the phone is concerned I prefer to use a land line. I do have a cell phone but it is a flip phone with big numbers. It does have a camera but I have not learnt to use it and only carry the phone when there is a need.
Hubby is on his second smart phone and wanted to give me his old one when I have to get a new one because my carrier would not be supporting the old one. I refused that kind offer.
As far as texting is concerned i have no wish to learn a new language for that and my tremor makes it difficult to hit the correct keys.
Just stayed with my daughter and could not figure out how to change the toilet roll, use the microwave or the TV remote. I even mistook the automatic soap dispenser by the kitchen sink for a can opener.
In my defense I can still knit a sock on 4 needles which most youngsters would not be able to even begin.
Veronica91, you are not alone... both my sig other and I have cellphones that are small enough to put into that "watch pocket" on blue jeans :)

I dislike texting, it takes me too long to correct misspellings, or I find I had typed a whole sentence ALL IN CAPS so I start over. After 10 minutes of fooling with the text, I could have called the person and spoken with them in person !!

I still use a desk top computer and good old fashioned keyboard plus Mouse... I just cannot type on a laptop as holding my fingers different on the laptop makes them ache.

No Facebook for me, either.... most of my cousins don't even do emails or even own a computer. Heck, I just started trying to figure out a digital camera, it's still a challenge... I rather use my old 35MM camera that takes outstanding photos but gone are the photo processing centers :P

Had to chuckle about the 'automatic soap dispenser by the kitchen sink for a can opener" which I fully understand. I can only use my own microwave, and TV remote... anyone else on another system I am a mess !!
FF raises an issue which might be unknown or ignored by dedicated wireless device users: eye strain and repetitive use injuries.

I've posted here before that I heard on a reliable news channel one day and followed up with some quick research on the effect of small screens on eyesight. Google "smartphones and eyesight", but be sure to read the effect of "blue light" on nighttime use.

I know for a fact that my eyesight has been affected by computer use, and I, like FF, use a desktop and a real keyboard and rely on a cell phone only for emergencies. So, thank you, but I'm not jumping on the SmartPhone and other itty bitty devices bandwagon.

Then there's the issue of repetitive stress injury to wrists. Google "texting and repetitive stress injuries". Ortho doctors are going to benefit from all the texting on ridiculously small keyboards.
I found if I cut my fingernails too short, I can't text :P

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