Antique silver surfer

  Muergo 17:04 27 Jun 2010

My mother is 85 and thinks she would like a laptop PC so she can send messages to me and all the widespread family as well as getting her shopping delivered from online Ocado or Tesco etc.

I said no way could she operate it as she has trouble with the mobile phone.

She says that's because the buttons are too small for her arthritic hands, she can see perfectly well.

She saw my illuminated keyboard and said that would be perfect .

She says if I write everything down so she could follow it slavishly, not to go browsing, but for reasons above.

Has anybody any first hand experience of a person this age STARTING to go on the internet, I know several who have reached that age but already had the computer knowledge.

  Sea Urchin 17:21 27 Jun 2010

One of my brightest "students" was 87 when she bought a PC - and with absolutely no previous experience she very quickly got into the swing of it. Within a couple of weeks she was ordering wine from Waitrose and renewed her car tax on-line - without any supervision from me.

  Muergo 17:43 27 Jun 2010

Just the sort of thing my mother woul do, your "Student" isn't anywhere near West Sussex by some fortuitous chance.

What Equipment did she buy?

  woody 18:01 27 Jun 2010

How dare you imply 85 may be too old!!!(smile)

One thing I would state is - are you sure a lap top is the best for her?
There in no doubt they are a good tool in the right hands .Can she use that poor excuse for a mouse?
I know a couple of crinklys who purchased a lap top and immediately had to add a real (well not real) mouse.
Also with a tower you can cheaply have a decent size screen.

  birdface 18:04 27 Jun 2010

[ buttons are too small for her arthritic hands]
she would probably find the touchpad to severe for her to use properly.So maybe think about trying something else with a Mouse and keyboard.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:09 27 Jun 2010

so she can send messages to me and all the widespread family as well as getting her shopping delivered from online Ocado or Tesco etc.

Any old cheap machine will do for that, plug into the TV for a large screen and get a wireless keyboard/pad for ease of use click here .

let her play with your internet first to see how she gets on.

  Muergo 18:50 27 Jun 2010

Thank you all for a mixture of advice and castigation for being ageist.
Just to put it straight , my 85 yr old mother is only 18yrs older than me, and the way she is going on, will outlive me. My Grandmother died at 99yrs.

When I said laptop, that was because she had seen one and thought that would take up less room in her bungalow, but If she can find space then a desktop would be better.
At present she would like to find space by getting rid of my 90yr old stepfather, but that's something else!

I was intruiged by the wireless keyboard to use with TV, but how does that connect her to the web?
I will read full spec later.

  chub_tor 19:05 27 Jun 2010

I regularly work with a 90 year old who uses the internet, writes and prints letters, sends emails and modifies photographs. He has recently upgraded from a PC I built several years ago running Windows Me to a second hand Toshiba laptop running XP. He has no problem with the keyboard but does use an external mouse in preference to the touch pad and makes use of the 17"TFT display he previously used with the old desktop.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:29 27 Jun 2010

A mate of mine has and old laptop coupled to his TV via a VGA cable.
A large external drive (1.5Tb) connected and of course the laptop uses his wireless router to connect to the web

He uses a wireless keyboard to control the laptop when surfing the net and watching films he has stored on the hard drive.

If she wishes to use the web you will also have to think about how the laptop will connect, she will need a broadband connection or maybe use a 3G dongle.

  Forum Editor 19:45 27 Jun 2010

regardless of their age. I've worked with people in their thirties who took ages to grasp the concept of the internet, and how email works, and I've known many people in their 60s who took to it all without a problem.

My oldest client was a man in his mid eighties (sadly no longer with us) who owned huge farms in Africa, and ran them from his home in London for six months of the year. He asked me to teach him to use a laptop, and I confess it was a struggle for both of us. In the end we agreed that computing wasn't for him.

Elderly people often have a problem with computing concepts - they take time to understand that the internet comes to them along a phone line, and they often struggle a bit with email. Another common thing is the fear that they will somehow break the computer if they press a wrong button or key. I advise you to spend time reassuring your mother that she's simply working with a machine - it has no mind of its own, and all problems are fairly easily solved. Once you can get her to relax about that she should rapidly gain in confidence and skill.

  morddwyd 19:52 27 Jun 2010

Plenty of advice offered about her age, but if she has arthritic hands you should be looking for a touch screen.

I have one, and and not only is it good for my arthritis, because it is touch zoom as well it is also very good for ageing vision, or forgotten specs!

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