There’s a common stereotype that technology is moving at too fast for senior generations to keep up and learn.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is a huge market evolving for computers, tablets and smartphones specially designed for seniors, offering a wide range of accessibility features.
You might have heard about viruses or internet dangers from the media, or view computers as being far too complex and expensive to learn.
However, computers have become far more intuitive and effortless to use over the last couple of years and there’s an extensive range of services out there trying to improve your life as a senior.
Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about computers for seniors.
What Computers Have To Offer
First and foremost, computers provide almost unlimited entertainment.
Once you are connected to the internet, the possibilities are endless.
Some of these include;
- Watching television shows
- Finding activities for nursing home residents
- Watching movies or other videos
- Listening to decade’s worth of music
- Listening to the radio and podcasts
- Playing games (such as brain games or puzzles)
- Reading books
…And a whole lot more
If you connect your computer to the internet, you’ll be able to discover basically anything you want to know about anything.
If you were thinking about getting a dog, you could research the best dogs for seniors and how to look after them, so you know you’re making the right decision.
If you want to give the senior dating scene a try, there is a huge range of online services that can help you to achieve this. If you wanted to get involved in a new hobby, such as arts and crafts, there are a seemingly infinite number of blogs for seniors that offer inspiration and help you to get started.
Furthermore, a computer is a great way to stay connected to the people that matter to you by using social media networks, video chat software (like Skype) and email.
What We Recommend
While there is a vast range of technology out there for you to explore, computers are always a safe bet, especially if this is the first device you’ll be owning.
Below, we’re going to explore the best computers offering you with the full online experience while remaining easy to use. This way, you’ll be able to have the most seamless experience with minimal stress while being able to enjoy all the benefits that a computer provides.
Google has been releasing its own operating system to rival Windows and Mac, known as Chrome OS.
Chromebooks (Laptops using Chromium OS) are lightweight devices which are fully packed with features, inexpensive and ideal for seniors as their first device.
When using your Chromebook, all your files and folders are saved on online servers known as also known as “The Cloud”.
The relatively small screen sizes make Chromebooks the perfect companions, making it easy to bring them with you wherever you are going. Waiting at your doctor or spending some time in the garden of your nursing home has never been more interesting.
To help you use your Chromebook, there are many accessibility features built into the computer which can be found easily through the settings menu. Chromebooks come with text-to-speech settings, multiple display modes (such as High Contrast, screen magnifiers, and font/text size) and a range of keyboard settings.
Chromebooks also allow you to use the main features of the laptop using one hand, a setting known as ‘keyboard shortcuts,’ which can be set up to suit the features and programs you use the most.
- A range of vision and hearing accessibility options
- Multiple Chromebook versions for different screen sizes and uses
- Minimal risk of contracting viruses while browsing the internet
- All files and folders secure while saved in the Cloud
Apple MacBook Pro
MacBook Pros are renowned for being feature-rich computers while remaining simple and user-friendly, making them an ideal choice for the elderly generation.
While these computers are designed differently from Windows or Chromebook systems, the interface is still really easy to learn, and you’re sure to pick it up in no time at all.
MacBook’s super-fast, there’s only a low risk of contracting viruses, and their displays come with a remarkable resolution, allowing you to see every little detail clearly.
Those features make them ideal for entertainment purposes, browsing your favorite websites and connecting with your loved ones in a crisp and clear video format. Each model comes with a built-in microphone, speakers, and webcam, so you can video chat your friends and family, no matter where in the world they are.
To make things even easier, MacBook Pro computers come with a range of accessibility options to help you have the easiest experience possible.
For example, you can ‘zoom’ the screen so everything is bigger and easier to read, or enable ‘Voiceover’ which automatically reads out content, so you don’t have to look at the screen. You can also invert the screen colors, so everything is clearer and more defined, or simply use the Siri personal assistant (similar to Alexa) to control everything on your MacBook Pro by using your voice.
- Easy to use accessibility options
- Integrated Siri personal assistant
- Ultra-high-definition screen for best visual display
- Simple to use interface that’s quick to learn and use
Dell Inspiron 13542 Touchscreen Laptop
Dell was is one of the most iconic computer brands in the world.
Their modern-day laptops sit at an affordable price tag and the while there are some running on Chromium OS most of them come with the Windows operating system.
If you’ve used Windows in the past, perhaps for work, giving Windows another try might be a good idea.
What really sets this laptop apart is that you can either use it as a normal laptop or use the touchscreen, so you can use it by simply tapping on the screen without having to use the mouse or the keyboard, similar to a tablet.
In terms of accessibility, the Windows system comes with the biggest selection of accessibility options to help you use your computer, regardless of what problems or health concerns you may have.
Through the Ease of Use program, you can control just about any aspect of your computer.
This includes the sounds you hear, the way your text is set up (or read to you), the font size, the ability to magnify areas of your screen, set up your on-screen keyboard, so you only have to use the mouse or touchscreen and change the screen in a variety of ways.
The latter feature includes adding tints or filters, so you can improve screen visibility, or turning on the high contrast setting which inverts the colors, so everything becomes clearer and easier to read.
If you want take it one step further, turn on Speech Recognition to control your computer with your voice.
As all the other options these laptops come with built-in cameras, and microphones and are compatible with nearly every type of software you could ever want to use, whether that’s games, learning software or any other application that comes to your mind.
- Touchscreen and keyboard/mouse control, whatever suits you
- Large 15.6-inch screen
- Comes with Windows 10 and all the accessibility options
MSI GE70 Apache Pro
If your budget is a little higher and you’re looking for a superior entertainment experience while still running the easy-to-use Windows operating system, this MSI computer might be a great fit for you.
Since the MSI laptop is running the Windows software, you’ll have access to all the accessibility options listed above. These include;
- Speech Recognition to control your laptop with your voice
- A wealth of display options, such as color filters and screen magnifier
- Narrator feature to read the on-screen text to you
- Set up your sound so you can hear it easily
The most notable feature of this laptop is the fact that it comes with a huge 17.3-inch screen that’s full high definition. This means you’ll be able to watch all your favorite shows and movies in a stunning quality.
You’ll also be able to see everything you’re doing without any problems; perfect for if you’re suffering from a visual impairment.
To access all your programs and commonly used features and settings, you can quickly use the hotkey bar located at the top of the keyboard.
The keyboard lights up in an array of different colors. This unique feature helps you to use your laptop in low light environments and can help you learn and easily identify where all the keys are; perfect for if you’re learning how to type.
- Huge 17.3-inch screen for the best viewing experience
- Runs easy-to-use Windows 10 software
- Contains all Windows default accessibility options
- Backlit keyboard so you can see what keys you’re pressing