Should you Get Your Elderly Parent an iPad? 5 Signs that Point to Yes

An iPad may seem like a gift you give a recent high school graduate or your closest tech-obsessed friend, but getting one for your elderly mother or father is actually a really smart choicean iPad can not only improve their way of life but also their wellbeing too, especially if your parent resides in an assisted living home or a nursing facility. To learn why you should start saving up and get your elderly mother or father an iPad the next time you visit, continue reading below.

Can Relieve Depression

Research shows that one of the consequences of being cooped up in an assisted living facility (aside from potentially receiving mistreatment from staff) is the fact that most elderly residents suffer from depression.  It’s no surprise really, especially from those that don’t get as many frequent visits from family members or phone calls from friends because they reside out of state. While it’s understandable that some family members may not live close enough to visit their mother or father once a week or have the time to call, that still doesn’t excuse the fact that your mother or father might experience loneliness and depression. But one of the easiest ways to make your mother or father feel connected with the outside world once again is to download the Facebook and Skype app. Studies show that social media sites like Facebook can actually put senior citizens back in touch with old friends and grandchildren, which can help get them out of their depressed funk. Granted, your mother or father may need to take some computer and internet crash courses, but there are tons available that can train the elderly on how to utilize an array of technological tools.

Store Photos and Music

Another advantage of having an iPad is the fact that elderly users can download and store photos on the device so that whenever they want to show off the grand kids to friends or just see a friendly face, he or she can. While a computer can essentially do the same thing, computers are big and aren’t as portable as an iPad, which make take a toll on your frail mother or father.  The device also can be a great music player, so your mother or father can play some music in his or her room whenever he or she wants.

Enhance Reading

The beauty of the iPad is that users can read e-books, newspapers, and magazines on the device. This means your elderly mother or father can continue to do an activity they love to doreadwith as much ease as possible. Since elderly users have the option of tapping the magnifying glass button to enlarge the letters, they can read without straining their eyes. They also have the option of downloading books straight from the device, so they don’t have to depend on anyone to take them to the bookstore or library.

Extra Mode of Entertainment

An iPad is also another great option for the elderly because aside from books it also offers another mode of entertainment:  instant streaming. Instant streaming means you parent can watch a movie whenever they wantwhether that’s early in the morning or late at night, without having to go to the rental store or waiting for the movie to download. Of course, this is only accessible if you purchase your mom or dad a subscription to Netflix. But subscription packages are relatively cheap and you’re mom or dad will have access to as many movies as they wantnew and old.  The iPad also gives your parent(s) access to sites like and YouTube so that they can watch full length TV episodes or clips from some of their favorite shows if the facility he or she lives in doesn’t have cable.

Download Memory Enhancing Games

Last but certainly not least, your elderly mother or father can potentially download dozens of apps that are specifically designed to improve memory and perhaps reduce the chances of contracting certain mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s. There are so tons of free games that can be downloaded, like Sudoku, chess, and cross word puzzles that can be played to strengthen the mind as well.

That said, there are several advantages of an iPad that can help improve your mother or father’s life. If $499 (the average cost of an iPad) seems too steep, you can always wait until Apple releases the iPad mini which is rumored to be sold at a fraction of the original cost.  The iPad mini should be released September 2012.

This guest post was written by Amelia Wood, a blogger who specializes in articles on medical billing and coding schools. She also enjoys writing about health and fitness for a broad spectrum of ages and body types. Feel free to reach her at


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