Forum Question: What Is the Best Way To Set Up an iPad for Elderly Computer Illiterate Parents and Apps for Them?

Is there such a thing as a best way to set up a iPad/accounts to make it as absolutely easy as possible for someone who has never even heard of an iPad to use it.
The main thing I want my parents to be able to do are have access to video chat – facetime takes care of this nicely and for this feature alone it is worth it to me.
I also what to be able to send photos/video to them, and have them to be able to send me the same. Any recommendations on best way to do this. ie. should I use a common account for iCloud for something like this to be able to send photo albums/multiple photos with them having to do as little as possible to receive them?
Email – is there such a thing as best/easiest type of email account for Apple/iPads
Apps that I know I will load on for them to get them started/interested:
Skype, Silver Surf, Web MD, A Weather app, Google Earth, Wikipedia, a med reminder (Med Reminder Pro perhaps)
What other apps might be a good start, and are there ones that are very easy for viewing/organising photos and videos?
Not sure if it is best to have them on my iTunes account or to set them up on there own? I think on there own so as not to over complicate the apps going to their iPad. If anyone has insite to this please share.
Please keep in mind these are people who have never turned a computer on. Any help would be greatly appreciated and I’m sure lots of people may have the very same question.

Comments: 7 Responses to “What Is the Best Way To Set Up an iPad for Elderly Computer Illiterate Parents and Apps for Them?”

    8/14/12 @ 5:20 am

    I would definitely say that people should NOT share Apple IDs (iTunes/iCloud, etc). Sharing an ID meant for an individual will greatly complicate things. They’d all be getting each others’ stuff — contacts, photos, calendars, apps, etc.
    As far as email account, I suppose getting them each their own iCloud email address has its advantages: free, gives them all features (calendar, contacts, etc). I can’t think of any reason not to do that. They would need an iCloud account anyway to use a lot of the features of the iPad, so why not simplify by setting that up for them?
    I haven’t used medication reminder software, so I have no recommendations there — I’d just take the time to review the options and pick one that seems well supported.
    Maybe set up some bookmarks for them in Safari in advance — links to sites that might be useful and such.

      8/16/12 @ 12:10 am

      Thanks Gary. Really appreciate you taking time to answer this. What you said is kind of what I expected on the accounts thing – but good to hear from an expert like yourself. Will set up some bookmarks in Safari and Silver Surf (I haven’t yet had a look at this myself as I am away from my iPad for now) as I have read it is good for the elderly.

    Jonathan Paylor
    8/14/12 @ 6:08 am

    I’d recommend looking at Apple’s official ‘iPhoto’ app for iPad, it allows you to organise and share collections of photos and videos via e-mail, once you’ve done it a few times it’s pretty simple.

      8/16/12 @ 12:15 am

      Jonathan – greatly appreciate this comment. I have this on my mac and haven’t really played with it much but will have a good look at it. It most likely will be the best option – I didn’t realize they had this available for the iPad, will get it for my iPad as well.

      8/16/12 @ 12:42 am

      Jonathan really appreciate this. I have iPhoto on my mac but did not know they offered an iPad version of it. This will almost certainly be the best way for them to organize photo’s etc. I have used it some but not a great deal myself as relatively new to mac’s. Will have to get this for my own iPad as well.

    Joseph M Landwermeyer
    8/14/12 @ 7:23 pm

    One issue that wasn’t mentioned was which type of iPad you plan on getting them. If I were you, I’d consider the Wi-Fi only version. That way, they won’t get hit with unexpected fees because of going over a plan’s limit.

    As far as apps go, consider intelliweather. I like it for the weather alert info and ability to have multiple locations saved that are easily accessible by touching tabs.

    Hope this helps. Regards, JMl

    Gordon Potter
    8/14/12 @ 7:30 pm

    Please do not put more than one person on an Apple ID – This is something you will regret. But I think it would be very wise you to set things up so you know the IDs and passwords. That way if you need to change something, you can get in from a remote location. If they like board games (Scrabble, Monopoly, etc.) or card games there are a ton of applications. I sit in bed and play a game or two of Sudoko every night. For reminders, the alarm clock works very well — keep in mind, once it starts ringing, it will keep ringing until shut off. So don’t use this for an event if you might be away from home. I would suggest starting slowly – maybe email, FaceTime and games. Add other things later. They will get suggestions from friends.

    If you think they would like to write stuff and Notepad is not enough, Pages works well. If they like books AudioBooks or iBooks would be worth putting on “what do you want next” list.

    The Apple iCloud email system should be adequate. Don’t forget Contacts so they know how to enter email addresses of their friends.

    Depending on where and how they use the iPads, a case can be very useful. I have used this particular case It works well on my lap in bed, one a desk/table at a meeting and it does a great job at protecting the iPad from medium drops on the floor. If your parents live near an Apple Store check into some group classes.

    I enjoy Netflix – BBC mysteries. I stream them to my TV sometimes through an AppleTV. Both your parents could use a single NetFlix $8/month account.

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