Easy-access laptop for elderly relative

  NMS3001 09:42 14 Sep 2014


I'll explain the situation. My grandmother was perfectly confident using her desktop computer, but after an illness she hasn't used it in a while and her confidence has been knocked. She also finds it difficult to get upstairs to where the desktop is located.

My grandfather wants to get her a laptop to build her confidence back up. I've copied and pasted the relevant bits of the e-mail with the needs below. Any suggestions about specific computers, or any other advice you can give me, would be gratefully received.

"Gm's requirements are for email, web browsing, possibly web cam and microphone so she can Skype and very low down at the moment wordprocessing .

The mechanics of operating a laptop keyboard and touch pad should be overcome with practice.

These things could be met with an inexpensive device.

If I want to use it for convenience downstairs the Msword/excell or equivalent would all be useful. DVD reading and writing seem much less important than in the past which may be more my changing interests or the influence of memory sticks.What would be really useful is voice recognition but I have never found anything so far which could make anything of my speech.

With regard to Windows 8 I shall try and get some hands on experience to judge whether it will be any more or less difficult for Gm since she has never had any real interest in operating computers as such."

Many thanks


  spuds 10:49 14 Sep 2014

Many laptops would cover the needs, it would most likely be the case that a reliable internet connection is one of the important factors, whether wireless or cable.

Windows 8, I regard as a little daunting, and would suggest Windows 7 instead, which some retailers are still offering (Argos for one).

Perhaps a contact with one of the charities like 'Aged', or even your local council might help. My local county council use to, and may still do, offer help for the elderly or disabled with computer or IT problems, by sending staff on home visits in certain cases.

  Woolwell 11:45 14 Sep 2014

I have found that quite a number of elderly have an iPad or other tablet instead of a laptop. They are lighter and relatively easy to use. Age UK often run courses.

  hastelloy 09:48 15 Sep 2014

It might be worth contacting AbilityNet.

  sunnystaines 07:44 16 Sep 2014

if they have a tremor or poor use of fingers a ipad or tablet would be no good.

  Woolwell 10:36 16 Sep 2014

A touchpad on a laptop could be just as difficult if not more so.

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