Gramma Goes Techie: The Best Computers for Use through Seniors

As our populace, a while so does the age of computer users. Baby boomers and caregivers are among the quickest developing Facebook segments, and plenty of elders are studying how to use electronic mail, video games, photo garages, or even video conferencing. Seniors want to be linked.

But no longer all computer systems are clean for seniors to use; in truth, there are very few.

I’ll begin by sharing the computer that I determined to be the most senior-friendly, likely because it became especially designed for seniors. It’s known as the Telikin and may be determined at their employer’s website.

This computer is a hint-screen stand on my own laptop. It is essentially like a arise lap pinnacle and may be set up in less than five minutes. It does include a mouse and keyboard, but due to the fact it’s miles a touchscreen (like the iPad), the mouse is not vital.


The working device is Linux, so it’s miles very resistant to viruses. Any software program that is wanted is preloaded, and the agency gives unfastened lifetime software program updates. Thus, software programs inclusive of MS Office can’t be brought; however, the employer is getting ready to upload an MS like-minded phrase processor. It does have Adobe Flash aid (which is one thing that my iPad does now not have, and that reasons my disdain.)

The software includes net get entry to, e-mail, video games, video chat (the usage of Skype), a constructed-in webcam, photo sharing the use of Facebook, news updates, weather updates, a 6 in 1 SD card reader (for adding photographs), and a CD/DVD participant.

The Telikin has 2 one-of-a-kind size display options: an 18.6″ LCD reveal with a 320-gigabyte tough-drive ( approximately $699.00) and a 20″ LCD reveal with a 500-gigabyte hard-force (approximately $999.00). Both are also Wi-Fi equipped.


One cool feature is that with the only contact, the display can zoom as much as two hundred%, so it’s miles outstanding for people with imaginative and prescient problems.

Another function is that there’s a help tab on every screen, and there are video tutorials.

But my favorite function of all is their “Tech Buddy machine.” This machine allows the senior to provide a trusted family member or contributors their user call and password. If there had been trouble, a family member could get admission to their laptop remotely to check it out. The family member can also add appointments to the calendar, add photos, and so forth.

Of note is which you may also discover this identical pc indexed because of the WOW! Laptop by using the employer FirstStreetOnline. They are a subcontractor for Telekom. At this time, the WOW! Pc does not consist of the Tech Buddy machine, although the company anticipates adding that feature soon.

Another laptop that has been endorsed as a senior-pleasant laptop is the Chromebook.

The Chromebook is made from Google’s partnership with Samsung and Acer.

Exceptional models are beginning at $430.00, with the Wi-Fi geared up variations beginning at $500.00. The 3G Chromebooks include a hundred MB of unfastened net facts according to month (which means they don’t require an internet issuer service), which isn’t a large quantity but might be sufficient for checking email gathering snapshots.

This type of computer gadget is also protected from viruses because not anything but Google’s constructed-in techniques can write to the tough drive. In that regard, it’s miles a first-rate desire.


If your elder does have a problem with the laptop, there’s the capacity as a way to “sign-in” to their laptop from afar and configure the settings remotely.

It isn’t always as user-friendly as the Telekin doesn’t have touch-screen generation, and every so often pc screens are tough for elders to look at. The Chromebook includes a font re-sizing characteristic and something known as ChromeVox, which reads the tabs as you open them and ahe entire content of the display.

Apple iPads have additionally been advised as excellent computer systems for seniors to use.

IPads are stand-alone pills, don’t take in plenty area, have touchscreen technology, and are pretty intuitive. Objects may be made large with just the pinch of a finger. And there are masses of “apps” for seniors to download from the app keep – some are free; a few are not.

I even have an iPad, and when I went to go to my mother, she becomes very interested in it. She especially liked scrolling through the snapshots.

My problem with the iPad being used for seniors is that there isn’t a manner to add images from a digital camera card. The photographs could need to be loaded to a pc after which transferred to the iPad once the iPad became linked to it, OR they could be e-mailed or positioned on Facebook and received that way. Sometimes the nice of the snapshots on Facebook aren’t high-quality because of how they have been initially uploaded (it takes much longer to add excessive excellent images to Facebook).

I additionally assume that it would be hard for seniors to be aware of what apps were to be had to them (and then, of the path, they could want to recollect the iTunes password each time they bought an app.) (My father couldn’t even bear in mind the password to go browsing to his computer.)

I don’t locate that the e-mail gadget is very clean to apply and do not imagine that seniors would either.

Another hassle with the iPad is that it does not know paintings with Adobe, so many video capabilities are unavail. Againgain, the software program inclusive of MS Office isn’t well matched with this pc.

That being stated, I love the iPad for my own use. It might be a good “toy” to preserve positive seniors entertained, so long as you had been there with them. There are piano apps, games, online newspapers, Oprah magazine, songs, etc. I do not experience that it is the first-class option for a senior-friendly pc.

There are 2 laptop alternatives produced via HP that deserve the point out.

One model is the Autopilot. It may be bought as a computer ( for approximately $1,125.00) or a computer (for approx. $1,165.00) and is said to have a goof-proof operation.

This laptop’s functions that impressed me were the “OnTimeRx” medication and appointment reminder software covered, the excessive-evaluation keyboard and mouse, and the Hoyle Crossword and Sudoku puzzles.

The desktop version comes with a 17-inch monitor, mouse, and color printer.

Another model is the Vision Plus Model, which comes preconfigured with a display magnification software program, a high visibility keyboard, an all-in-one printer, and a scanner to be scanned and magnified (assuming the senior can function the scanner).

It also has the OnTimeRx software and retails for $1,255 for the computer.

Of course, computer systems take longer to set up and can be a little extra difficult in that regard.

Many distinctive websites and stores deliver HP computer systems.

The remaining computer I wanted to mention is the least pricey at approximately $549.99. It is the Kiwi PC.

It’s a desk-pinnacle and is Linux-powered like the Telikin, so viruses are not going. It comes with a 19″ screen, pre-set up and simplified email system, a color-coded keyboard (distinct shades for consonants, vowel, and punctuation marks, although; I’m now not certain I like that) with 1″ over-sized keys. There are 2 USB ports on the keyboard.

It comes with 2 GB of memory, a 250 GB hard power, and a DVD-RW pressure. There is a 1 yr assurance on this product.

The one feature that I certainly don’t like approximately this pc is that although they provide unfastened device work for Kiwi upgrades, they require that the owner PAY for the improvement, ship the laptop to the corporation. The enterprise will then carry out the upgrade and ship it returned. That’s now not something that might be easy for most seniors to do and nearly makes the low cost of this computer a moot factor.

John R. Wright
Social media ninja. Freelance web trailblazer. Extreme problem solver. Music fanatic. Spent several months marketing pubic lice in the financial sector. Spent 2002-2008 supervising the production of ice cream in Africa. Had some great experience developing robotic shrimp in the aftermarket. Spent several years getting my feet wet with puppets in Miami, FL. Was quite successful at supervising the production of corncob pipes worldwide. What gets me going now is working with electric trains in Mexico.