Choosing a “senior tablet”

Much of life’s interactions occurs online these days. If your loved one is not tech savvy, has mild dementia, or has little access to support in a facility, you might consider a “senior tablet.” They have limitations compared to the typical consumer tablet, but could well be worth it. They are streamlined and simplified so your loved one can reap the benefits of safe access to the many options for online connection.

Consider these questions before you buy:

  • How user friendly is it? Will its features reduce the number of calls to tech support? Many “it’s broken!” calls occur simply because the tablet battery ran down. Is wireless charging a feature? Similarly, how easy is it to stay connected? A Wi-Fi-only option is cheaper but may require rebooting. A cellular connection is more reliable but involves a monthly fee.
  • How limiting are safety features? You may want to restrict incoming and outgoing communications to those on your relative’s contacts list. Or not. What about browsing freedom? Do you want to allow access to only selected websites?
  • How good is video calling? Most senior tablets feature some simplified form of Zoom or FaceTime. Some allow only one-on-one calls. Others accommodate group calls. Check the sound quality: Good enough for your relative’s hearing?
  • Can other apps be added? After video calls, photo sharing is the next most popular activity. Does the senior tablet allow for photo sharing apps? Music apps, podcasts, or audio books? E-books or digital newspapers? Looking up the weather? Creating and receiving reminders? Watching videos? If your relative can’t download apps themself, can you do so remotely?
  • Who provides tech support and how? Is there remote support with a video conferencing app already installed? Or just phone calls or email? Can the support team take over the screen and make needed adjustments? Can you (and would you want to)?

Are you considering a senior tablet?

There is no doubt that video conferencing and photo sharing make tablets a great gift for reducing isolation. As the New York City experts in family caregiving, we at Holistic HomeCare Associates notice that the tech support options of senior tablets make life easier for families as well. Interested in ways to use technology to improve your caregiving life? Give us a call at 646-240-4888.