Ageing Well Gadgets: The Touch Screen

Touch sensitive devices: iPad, Smart Phones and Tablets

There is lots to consider as to the potential of games, puzzles and therapeutic apps available on most hand held devices. These days the older generation are becoming more used to operating their smart phones and tablets on a regular basis. Health care professionals are beginning to research ways to stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s and are keen to find evidence of wellbeing that these devices might afford.

A touch screen device includes gadgets such as tablets (iPad) and smart phones. As each is operated by a touch, there is no need for a keyboard to get in the way. They are light and easy to transport with ready access to e-mails and social media accounts all in one place. With the potential to contact people wherever they may be, you have an online community right there in the palm of your hand thanks to E-mail and social media. Hand held tablets have none of the confusing problems standard desks-tops encounter from virus threats, and with file structures that are more fiddly to navigate around. They are easy to use and immediately responsive to the touch. 

While some are busy using their tablet watching YouTube to learn new skills, social media offers the opportunity to share news amongst a group of friends. Exploring the internet, reading, puzzling and games is one way to encourage stimulation while sitting alone but from speaking to those who live far away via Skype or interfacing software like FaceTime, the user can actually see and hear a loved one in real time. In this way companionship is possible without needing to step out the front door. Older people who are facing challenges leaving the house, also those experiencing reduced mobility have welcomed the idea that they can see their family on screen, something which is as easy as making a phone call.

Smart phones now carry the internet and much the same features a tablet can offer. Tablets with large screens with a zoom-in facility may be more appropriate for those with eye sight problems which will help prevent eye strain. Though they do not have large screens, smart phones are easily portable and can be used in emergency situation to make calls. Some come with blue tooth technology so that wireless headphones can be worn for those with hearing issues.

Summing up, we have cherry picked some of the most advantageous features of possessing one of these products. 

In a perfect world, these gadgets will:   

  • Keep you in contact with the world wherever you go.
  • Provide stimulation.
  • Offer connection with others including friends and family.
  • Set reminders to take medicine and appointments with health specialists.
  • Train the brain to work more efficiently with puzzle solving apps and co-ordination games requiring certain gestures over the touch screen.
  • Allow opportunities to play against others over the internet i.e. Board games such as Scrabble.
  • Give ease of access to those who find it difficult to move around. 
  • Display information over the web to appear in one place.
  • Include Artificial intelligence to do certain tasks i.e. Siri on the iPad.

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