Choosing a Computer That Is Senior Friendly

by Bethany
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Technology keeps people connected and lets us get things done fast and with greater precision than ever before. But if you’re a senior, or you’re taking care of someone who’s older, and you’re unfamiliar with today’s top tech, then you may not know how to get started. Tiny, hard-to-see keys, smaller font sizes and limited screens make computers difficult for people with vision problems or trouble typing. Also, there are so many brands and options available, that choosing a piece of technology can be tough when you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Fortunately, several companies have answered the call to make senior computers that are specifically designed with older generations in mind. Advantages to senior-friendly tech go beyond mere access. With these devices, you can connect with your family and friends, streamline your daily tasks and improve your quality of life. Here are just a handful of benefits that senior tech offers.

Choosing a Computer That Is Senior Friendly

Senior Friendly Computers

Senior-friendly computers come in all shapes and sizes. Before you decide which one to buy, know that you don’t have to stick with a traditional desktop. Today’s top tech for seniors includes laptops, tablets and mobile devices as well, allowing you to stay connected while you’re on the go or when moving from room to room. If you want a desktop, you can choose from ones with large screens that use touchscreen technology, traditional models that come with full keyboards and large buttons, or all-in-one varieties that eliminate bulky computer towers and unnecessary cords.

In the mobile realm, you can find tablets that utilize large, bold fonts and more specific screen resolutions to address low vision problems. Laptops also offer added benefits, and many models for seniors include larger keys to make typing easier. Even cell phones, which seniors have traditionally ignored due to their size and frustrating tech-dependent features, now can be made specifically with older generations in mind. Bigger buttons, larger screens and voice-activated technology allow seniors with age-related disabilities or concerns to use them with ease.

In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to senior computers. You may want a full-featured laptop with tons of software, or you might opt for something more basic in order to Skype with your kids in Arizona. Whatever you’re looking for, there are options to meet your needs and budget within the realm of senior technology.

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Large Screens

What use is a piece of technology if you can’t see it? This is a common complaint among seniors. As technology gets smaller, it becomes harder to see for people with vision problems. About half of people in America suffer from cataracts by age 75, making it difficult to see small screens or understand the images that they’re seeing. Vision problems make it hard to read small fonts, sort through multiple images from sites that rely on visuals, and type. Senior-friendly computers address the issue of vision problems by making screens larger, with bigger and bolder font choices that make it easier to read and type. High-definition screens and screens with better resolutions make computing easier for people with vision problems.

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Easy to See Buttons

Struggling to read small screens is made worse by being unable to find the right buttons to push on a machine. Plenty of older people have a hard time locating the right keys or identifying which buttons to push if they encounter a problem while they’re browsing online or typing up an email. Senior devices resolve this issue by making buttons larger and more obvious, or by eliminating the need for buttons altogether. Not only are some devices equipped with easy-to-see buttons, but they may also be touchscreen compatible. Big screens with touchscreen technology allow seniors with limited understanding of computing to interact with their computers.

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Simple Programs

One of the biggest issues facing older people who aren’t familiar with today’s technology is lack of understanding about the programs. Your computer may come equipped with all the bells and whistles – a full suite of office products, games, editing software and photo editing tools – but this means little to someone who doesn’t understand how to access them or what to do once the program is opened. Intelligence knows no age limit, but many seniors haven’t grown up in the always-on generation that intrinsically knows how to manipulate technology. Computers designed with seniors in mind understand these issues. They come with simple programs that are easy to use, understand and access with a few simple clicks or swipes.

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Online Assistance

Despite the simplicity of easy-to-use programs for senior computers, some people are going to hit snags when they’re using their technology. Instead of having to rely on a family member or friend to guide them through to the next step, seniors can use their specially designed computers to access online assistance. If you’re trying to make lasagna using a recipe you found online, but the network connection keeps dropping, you’re going to need some tech support to work out the problem. Online assistance enables seniors to use their equipment with confidence and without having to rely on their grandchildren’s schedules to fix the issue.

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Setting Up Your Computer

Today’s generation has grown up with technology, which is why older generations depend on younger family members to troubleshoot computer problems. The same holds true for setting up the technology in the first place. Even younger people, though, can struggle with complicated setup instructions and confusing diagrams. Computers can be purchased with at-home setup included, which allows people to take a hands-off approach to getting started. A professional can guide you in the new features of your computer, show you how the buttons work and answer questions in real time. For seniors, in-person setup makes a big difference in being able to use new technology.

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Seniors Staying Connected

Once you know how to use your computer, advantages open up that you may not have understood or realized before. Computers with internet connection are gateways to a world of interpersonal connection. You can keep up with your grandkids three states away, order products online that you can’t buy locally, learn new things, attend classes and explore other places that may be impossible for you to travel to now that you’re older. Older generations relied on letters and phone calls to stay in touch. Computers change the game, making it easier to stay connected than ever before. And with features designed specifically for older generations, senior-friendly computers give you unprecedented access to the worldwide web.