Fun and Practical Tablet Apps for Seniors
Traditionally, we associate technology with The Info Blog younger generation, yet older adults are surprisingly proficient with modern technology. For example, 59% of Americans aged 65 and above go online, and 77% of this population use cell phones.
23% of this population actively play games using cell phones, computers, or gaming systems.
Not only do these figures indicate effective technology use, but the numbers are also continuing to grow.
In particular, tablets are an example of modern technology that many seniors can use very effectively.
The term tablet refers to touchscreen-based computers that are light and easily portable. The iPad is one of the more well-known examples, although many others exist.
Because they are a type of computer, tablets have their operating system and can run many applications (apps), including many different games.
Tablets may range from a screen size of around 5 inches up to about 10 inches, with screen sizes from 7 to 10 inches being the most common.
Most tablets will run either an Apple or an Android operating system. Many apps will be present in the stores for both types of pills, but some will only be offered by one of the stores. Most of the apps I’m discussing here are in both stores, and I specify the cases where this isn’t true.
The touchscreen interface of these devices tends to be relatively easy for seniors to learn, and many of them tend to pick up on what to do very quickly. Larger tablets work best for seniors, especially those with poor eyesight, as these have larger font sizes, and the onscreen buttons tend to be more significant.
Many people try to find the best Apple or Android apps for seniors, but it can be pretty confusing with so many options.
THE APPEAL OF TABLETS
For caregivers and seniors, tablets can be appealing in several ways.
One important aspect is that tablet games can keep seniors mentally active, especially as some games can be challenging. Research has indicated that cognitive activity may be one key component in helping to decrease the adverse effects of aging on cognition. Another appeal is that tablet games can give seniors something to do with their spare time, keeping them entertained and engaged.
With so many different types of games available for tablets, you should be able to find games that work for any senior with a little searching. This can be particularly important for caregivers who want a little break.
Sometimes, tablet apps can keep seniors socially engaged, as some games allow for multiple online players or support communication between individuals. Likewise, seniors may play the same games as one another, offering them the chance to talk about the games.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
As you might expect, there is a bit of a learning curve with tablets.
Some seniors can pick up on how to use tablets and games easily. Others will need more teaching.
The main thing that you may need to teach seniors is the basics of interacting with a tablet.
Tablets use touch screens, which are easy to understand. However, seniors need to learn how to touch the screen to get the desired outcome and know their actions’ impacts on the device.
Seniors often learn to use the touch screen relatively quickly but sometimes find specific tasks challenging.
For example, one older woman I know can use a tablet for several games without assistance but still has trouble unlocking the tablet.
Likewise, you may have to teach some concepts multiple times.
Some seniors may figure out games intuitively, but others may need to be taught how to play specific games. This may be a matter of sitting down with them and stepping them through any new game they start.
This is something you’ll have to figure out on a case-by-case basis. As seniors get better at using tablets, they’ll pick up new games more quickly and need less help in general.
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