Technology for my parents.


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?

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Good discussion. In my experience with my aging folks, any tech stuff has just been a huge hassle. My Dad was a cute old hacker until about age 80 or so. He used to send us emails that were pages long with absolutely no punctuation or paragraphs, just one long sentence. It was great stuff. Then the dementia started ever so slowly.

Now he confuses the tv remote with the phone and mom and I have given up on teaching him how to use the cell phone.

Mom doesn't officially have dementia and is somewhat curious about new things, but it's just so difficult for her to learn new stuff. I just replaced their 30 year old cordless phone with a more elder friendly new phone. OMG! I though mom would never figure it out. But we're ok now.

As I age I'm becoming more sympathetic. It takes sooo much energy to learn new tech stuff. Skype? Facebook? Voice activation? I use a crappy, outdated iPad. It took me forever to learn this damn thing but it's what I know, good enough, leave me alone..... My wife has a desktop and a laptop and spends large chunks of her days cussing and fighting with viruses, frozen screens, and crap that wont download.

We live at the end of the earth and have to use satellites for tv and Internet. And when the stage coach comes in we get our Netflix DVDs.

Life is good.

Milele, You said that your parents have been using skype for years.
When we age (that "we" means everyone who ages) it is sometimes more difficult to learn new things.
I suggest using skype-if it's not broken, don't fix it, and don't upgrade it either. imo.

Thats autocorrect and a preference where the phone will fill in words based on predicions from history. I disabled both of them. The cost would be about the same $30 though a phone company or a lower tiered carrier. If you make alot of international calls, there are so many apps on a smartphone or pad that will allow you to do it for free. It amazes me people actually pay for Skype anymore.

Tacy, couldn't help a snicker or that voice activation software the means of the weird postings and inappropriate use of words that frequently appear in posts? Or is that auto-correct?

There's another issue too and that's money. On SS, funds are a lot more limited, and a SmartPhone is multiple times the cost of a land line phone. For some people, it comes down to which is more important.

Freqflyer and GA, there is voice activation software on the phone so you do not need to type everything into a phone. Honestly, I do use a mouse sometimes because I do not like the pad on a laptop but both of the screens I attach to my laptop are touchscreen which makes things easier.

I found if I cut my fingernails too short, I can't text :P

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.

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 !!

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.

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.

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