Just a Thought to Chew On?

smudgeyjoe

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My mother is 89 and suffers from Macular Degeneration. When she wants to watch TV, she sits up close, 2-3 ft, and at an angle. I got to thinking that the iPad might be a perfect solution for elderly people with vision problems. You can't pick up your TV and move it until it is just right, but you can do that with an iPad. The rub is that these same people with vision problems would also have trouble holding the iPad for extended times.
It might present a great opportunity to extend the iPad to a whole new group of users, ones that might benefit greatly from it if we could solve the "holding" problem. Thoughts?
 

Mickeylittle

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My Mom is 85 and had given up on reading but I talked her into trying an iPad and she is greatly enjoying her life a lot more now! She has a comfortable chair and she uses a lap pad to set the iPad on. It works great for her!
 

smudgeyjoe

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Thanks, Mickey. What I was hoping to do is to bring attention to what probably is an unconsidered use for the iPad, an enabler. There is a huge group of people out there who can't see very well and probably have arthritis in their hands, both circumstances that often lead to someone feeling worthless and unable to contribute, but one arthritic finger might still be able to type and if you could move your TV\Monitor close enough, you might be able to see. I have a feeling that this might be a great target group for the iPad that may not have been considered. I hope somebody with influence at Apple might see this and point them in a direction that could greatly improve the lives of some of the most important but also most forgotten members of our society.
 

djwindsor

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This made me smile too. I was at the Apple store yesterday and saw some nice easels. That is such a nice idea for the elderly.


Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
 

Mickeylittle

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That's awesome! Your post made me smile.
I went to visit my mom and dad Friday and Saturday (3 hours away) and she had it by her side both days. She does her email, reading, and a couple other things on it, but I don't think she really surfs the web or plays games so it is limited use. But it does what she enjoys most so it is a BIG WIN for her!

Thanks, I'm glad you got to smile from that I know I sure do cause I hated to see her give up her reading.
 

LGgeek

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I think the iPad is the next big thing (already) Apple just hasn't realized it. Of course with their borg mentality of late they may just kill it off by insisting it's only an ebook reader.
 

Mickeylittle

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Thanks for this post. I have a friend who has macular degeneration and she is not very old. I will suggest it to her when I see her. I will bring my ipad with me and she can try it out.
iBook seems to work better for my mom as it seems to have more font controls than the Kindle app. To my knowledge she hasn't tried the Barnes & Noble app so it may work out really good too.
 

Mickeylittle

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I think the iPad is the next big thing (already) Apple just hasn't realized it. Of course with their borg mentality of late they may just kill it off by insisting it's only an ebook reader.
Sorry but this post makes no sense whatsoever! Apple is very aware that the iPad has been a huge success and they have never insisted it to be just an ebook reader by any stretch of the imagination. Just not sure where you're going with this post.

Anyway, even for my Mom it is more than an ebook reader even though if that is all it did it would be worth it to her.
 

Diane B

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My mother is 94 with macular degeneration. If it was earlier in the disease I think it would be possible for her to use it, but its advanced beyond the font sizes available in various ebook readers.

She does use a computer for email and reading the newspapers from her city. When she moved next door to us at 85 after my father died, she said she'd like a computer and I thought why not. I started her out playing solitaire to learn eye/hand coordination and now she's pretty good. However, it reached the point where I thought she would have to give it up. Her eye doctor/vision specialist for eye problems suggested using a software called Zoomtext. Its pricey so we installed it for a 30 day demo. Now she uses it all the time. It magnifies from 1.5x to 32x and there are a variety of ways to use it. She uses it like a magnifying glass, moving her cursor/large square over the page. Lifechanging.

She wishes too that she could use Ipad when she saw mine but unfortunately, not useful after a point with MD. Luckily her MD has stabilized with vitamins and good diet and good health for 94.

I have a friend with a genetic disease basically identical to MD but called something else. She works in the health field and has a very large number of contacts and busy calendar and she moved from a PDA to the Ipad and loves it so far. She's hoping reading will be easier for her using an ebook reader also as she is an avid reader. I suggested the Barnes & Noble reader as I feel it is the more flexible of the 5 readers I have installed.

I saw the video of the elderly woman using the Ipad who has macular degeneration but for many, it progresses to a point that the Ipad font size is just not sufficient---unfortunately. Its a great size and weight for reading so perhaps there will be an app that will allow even greater magnification of fonts and a way to read for people with advanced cases of eye diseases like macular degeneration.
 

kisstine

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I had a student who was severely vision impaired who used zoom text to access electronic textbooks. It's a fabulous piece of technology... well worth the expense.
 

Mickeylittle

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There is an accessibility feature called zoom that you can enable in settings to zoom in super far throughout the whole OS.

More info on accessibility here:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/accessibility.html
Yeah but I wish it was more user friendly. My mom isn't the more techie 85 year old and trying to get her to shut it off using the red slider once every couple of weeks isn't easy. She also has joint and hand aching issues which make using the 3 finger double tap a little difficult. The tapping isn't much of a problem for her but having to use 3 fingers to move around while zoomed is a pain. I wish it would allow for regular scrolling or panning around with just 1 finger while in zoom mode.
I'm sure this works for some people but not my mom, but thanks for the suggestion.
 

Magicman4131

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Yeah but I wish it was more user friendly. My mom isn't the more techie 85 year old and trying to get her to shut it off using the red slider once every couple of weeks isn't easy. She also has joint and hand aching issues which make using the 3 finger double tap a little difficult. The tapping isn't much of a problem for her but having to use 3 fingers to move around while zoomed is a pain. I wish it would allow for regular scrolling or panning around with just 1 finger while in zoom mode.
I'm sure this works for some people but not my mom, but thanks for the suggestion.
The interface is pretty bad. I think it aims toward the younger visually impaired. There is an accessibility feature in iOS 4 for iPhone, but unfortunately it only works for contacts, mail, messages, and notes. So when iOS 4 is released for iPad it won't help in iBooks but it should help in Mail. Check it out on your iPhone.

EDIT:
btw i don't know if diane b knows this but the largest font size on iPad is HUGE your mother should not have a hard time reading it. Try it on your iPad and see how huge it gets. If she can't see it I feel so bad for your mother and can't even imagine living MD. Good luck to your mother and mickeys mother too.