Perhaps you've had devices and computers for decades. Or, if you're like some older adults, you only really used computers in your work environment and avoided them in your personal life. Either way, you might realize how many advantages the right device could bring today.
Some benefits of laptops and tablets for seniors include:
• Staying connected with friends and family
• Access to education and information online
• Options for entertainment that include games, reading, podcasts and videos
• Apps that help you manage productivity, hobbies or even chronic medical conditions
If you're in the market for a laptop or tablet to help you enjoy some of those benefits, you might have noticed that there are many options. Finding the right device for you can be confusing. We've offered a few suggestions below to get you started.
It's not called the Gram because it's designed for Grams and Gramps. This laptop has all the functionality of other computers, including support for entertainment and productivity activities. The name comes from how light it is — a feature that also makes it ideal for older adults.
This compact, slim laptop won't take up much space in an assisted living apartment, and it's easy to pack up if you want to take it on an outing or a visit to see the grandkids. The LG Gram models also have a long battery life, which means you don't have to stay near an outlet to play games, connect with others online or use your laptop to video conference into a virtual sewing circle, Bible study or game night.
This one does take its name from the fact that it's designed for older adults. If you're looking for a tablet that lets you make phone and video calls, listen to music, play a few games and browse the internet for information, this might be the right choice for you.
The GrandPad's interface is streamlined to remove a lot of the clutter you'll find on other tablets. That doesn't mean functionality is limited, but it does mean you won't accidentally click on or download something questionable and you don't have to mess with complex settings.
Tech-savvy seniors that want a laptop that doubles as a tablet and supports a well-rounded suite of features might want to consider a Surface Pro. It has a large touchscreen and accepts communication via finger touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard.
You can set it up on the built-in kickstand for watching videos or participating in web calls, and the all-day battery life lets you bring it with you around your community as you interact with others or participate in events.
The Microsoft Surface Pro is a pricier option than some of the others on this list, but it also has one of the most robust feature lineups.
Budget-minded seniors might find the Acer Aspire Slim laptop a better choice. This small computer offers all the features you need to stay in touch, access entertainment, keep organized and attend to productivity. Whether you want to browse the internet for information, play online games or write your memoirs, this laptop can help you do it.
If you don't see an Acer Aspire Slim laptop that works for you, you can also invest in a Chromebook from various brands. Chromebooks are pared-down laptops that offer almost all the functionality you get with other computers via cloud services. It might sound complex, but in reality, these laptops can be easier to navigate and you never have to worry about losing your information. It's all backed up to the cloud via services such as Google Docs automatically.
Amazon's Fire tablet is a fully-functional tablet that makes it easy to stream television shows, play games, access social media and browse the internet. You can also use it as an e-reader, easily sending ebooks you purchase on Amazon to your device.
Fire tablets are favorite choices for people who want a portable research and entertainment tool that also lets them enjoy video calls with friends and family.
Seniors who don't care about tablet functionality and only want to read books on a digital device might save money by investing in an Amazon Kindle. These devices let you read on a screen that looks a lot like a book, and you can easily adjust preferences for larger font sizes as needed.
For life-long readers downsizing into an apartment such as those at Autumn View Gardens assisted living community in Creve Coeur, a Kindle can be an ideal companion. One small device holds hundreds or thousands of books, letting you save space and making your library portable.
To enjoy any of these devices, you will need access to an internet connection. Which is something all residents at Autumn View Gardens get for free.