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100-year-old challenge

kdiment
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Registered: 30-06-2007

100-year-old challenge

A friend in the village is 100 years old. She regularly attends the monthly wine circle where we celebrated her major birthday in some style a few months ago. She is the only member without Internet access and e-mail. She tells me that other friends and organizations would like to be able to contact her by e-mail and has asked me how she should go about getting connected. I am finding it difficult to know how to reply. Can anyone here help?
I am well aware that many people sit in front of a computer for much of their working day. For them, e-mails arrive and are dealt with almost without a second thought, as just part of the job. If a document is received that needs to be printed, they just print it.
In my friend's case, to check for e-mails a computer/tablet/smartphone would need to be powered up, it might decide that updates are required, she would need to know how to look for e-mails, how to reply to them if necessary, and if there should be an attached document to print then that could be the start of another list of potential problems.
I do not relish the thought of becoming a technical advisor, on call at all times. Is there such a thing as a simple device that would offer basic Internet access, e-mailing, and printing without all the hassle that most of us take for granted as part of owning a computer?
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: 100-year-old challenge

What about something like a basic 'elderly friendly' mobile with email facility (featurephone): http://www.doro.co.uk/mobile-devices.html?Email=1&gclid=Cj0KEQjw7r-rBRDE_dXtgLz9-e4BEiQATeKG7CTxfmxD...
Specific example: http://www.doro.co.uk/doro-phoneeasy-632.html
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alanf
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

There are computers, apps and operating systems targeted at the elderly. http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/computing/struggling-with-windows-try-these-desktop-replacements-113...
Apart from any technical issues I would be concerned that a very elderly person might fall foul of scams and phishing. (Though of course there are gullible youngsters and careful oldsters)
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

There's lots of information on the Consumer's Association website http://www.which.co.uk/technology/computing/
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kdiment
Rising Star
Posts: 210
Thanks: 14
Registered: 30-06-2007

Re: 100-year-old challenge

Thank you all for those replies and links. I guessed this would be a good place to ask, and it was. When I have looked at all the information you have supplied I shall have much more idea of what to suggest to my elderly friend.
Incidentally, how do people who have only a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) manage when they are sent something that needs to be printed? I think I begin to understand why, at many meetings, there are always a few who have "forgotten" to bring the minutes of the last meeting, need to share their neighbour's copy of the agenda, and so on. If they want to be "paperless", why do they not bring their device with them? A few sheets of paper are, actually, easier to carry and to access. Having a portable device but always leaving it at home seems perverse. (Sorry, gone rather off-topic now!)
Community Veteran
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

With the right printer (many of the current networked/wi-fi HP models for example) you can print by sending an email to the printer's email address.
My HP Officjet 8100 has this facility (HP ePrint).  I'm sure other manufacturers must offer similar functions.
If you use a smartphone or tablet (Android or i-Thing) both Epson and HP offer Apps for printing from these devices.
Some info here.
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At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
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nanotm
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

if she is a bright spark who's pretty quick on the understanding and remembering how to use stuff and can easily move her fingers then touch enabled device might be the way ahead (with an optional blue tooth keyboard) if she has trouble moving her digits then a voice type enabled device such as a high end smart phone or mid range tablet might be a better option, if the vision is a problem then a voice enabled smartphone that can be sync'd to the smart tv for general home use (so the text can be enlarged on a comfortably large screen)
without knowing the individual and their particular pro's and cons it is really quite difficult to advise on any specific option from the plethora of devices and linkable products, although for a novice I would lean towards a tablet that has a built in microphone and a talk to text /text to voice capability
and a decent sized screen that can be used for everything from watching films to playing games on,  there are quite a narrow range of devices that fit this bill and they are all a lot more expensive than the sort of device you might get for someone younger
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

That can make it a very expensive option for what may just be email access.
How frequently does she need to read/reply to emails and can she get out with/without help.
Perhaps the local council or AgeUK run an internet cafe in her area where support may be offered in carrying out specific tasks. Once an email account is set up she could use webmail for access and people would be on hand to assist during difficulties. One issue I can see with this, other than her own mobility, would be keeping the password private unless she is able to memorise it.

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nanotm
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Re: 100-year-old challenge

yeah or the local library, I know ours has an ict suit where they provide help as required for users to get on with life....

as to the costs of getting online, you can get a pretty cheap deal through mobile companies (especially if you get a code through saga or age UK/age concern)  that gets you the tablet + sim card with 24 mth contract....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you