GRANDPAD CHIEF GERONTOLOGIST DR. KERRY BURNIGHT OFFERS ADVICE FOR BUYING MOBILE DEVICES THAT ALLOW ELDERLY LOVED ONES TO EASILY CONNECT WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND CARE PROVIDERS
The 2020 holiday shopping season is upon us and technology will be at the top of many gift lists. But when it comes to buying mobile devices or tablets for older loved ones — many of whom may still be experiencing visiting restrictions or facing upcoming holiday celebrations alone — how do families determine which device will best meet their needs and interests?
Dr. Kerry Burnight, chief gerontologist at GrandPad, urges families to consider the following five factors when purchasing technology gifts for the seniors in their lives.
WiFi, home internet, or data. In 2019, only 7% of adults over the age of 65 had access to the internet, while access to WiFi connectivity varies greatly among residents in nursing homes and assisted living. Look for devices, like GrandPad, that come with built-in cellular connectivity and free data service. To accommodate any setting, GrandPad can be used on WiFI or data, ensuring seniors can stay connected any time, anywhere.
Vision loss. The average adult begins to naturally experience vision loss between the ages of 41 and 60. Meanwhile, 23% of adults experience vision loss due to a pre-existing health condition. Look for devices that have larger screens, high-contrast buttons and text, and large, easy-to-read icons and navigation.
Hearing loss. Approximately one-in-three adults between the ages of 65 to 74 experience age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. The GrandPad tablet addresses this with two, loud, front-facing speakers, and by testing all notification sounds to ensure they can clearly heard and understood by people with hearing loss.
Dexterity challenges. Arthritis makes it difficult for many people to use mobile devices that come with small plugs or connectors and small buttons. In addition, as adults age, their skin can become dry and papery, making it difficult to use touchscreen technology (screens respond to the moisture on the figure tip when you tap it). GrandPad helps users overcome dexterity issues with: a specially engineered interface that responds to aging skin; a hands-free cradle that wirelessly charges the device and keeps it positioned at an angle that is easy to read and navigate; a magnetic flap case that opens easily and quickly; large icons with an expanded “hit” area to make navigation easier; and “anti-double tap technology” to prevent users from inadvertently double tapping on an unwanted action or command.
Cognitive impairment. Changes in cognition can influence how an individual interacts with technology; but does not mean they cannot use technology. In fact, some studies show that regular use of technology can improve test results related to short-term memory, processing speed, and other functions. GrandPad, which has been adopted by clinical care providers and companion care companies across the United States, supports social and mental stimulation through daily social interaction, personalized memory games, puzzles, music, and more.
“The ability to use technology to stay connected with those we love shouldn’t be limited by age or physical abilities,” said Burnight. “GrandPad is on a mission to improve the well-being of seniors around the world by reconnecting them with their families, friends, and caregivers with technology that is simple, secure, and easy to use.”
The following features make GrandPad a must-see technology gift for elderly loved ones:
Ready to use, right out of the box — no setup required.
Enables pre-loaded “trusted circle” family contacts, photos, and apps
Built-in LTE (no home WiFi needed)
7x24 always-on, live, personal tech support
Closed network for greater security (no one outside the “trusted circle” can contact a GrandPad user)
Secure internet browsing
Video and voice calling
Texting and emailing
Family photo and video sharing
Curated entertainment content, music, and brain games