iOS Connectivity Apps for the Elderly

September 9, 2013

OWK_GandP_001Helping the Elderly Stay in Touch

In our bustling age of modern technology, we often forget that there are users out there who are not as familiar with the ins and outs of iPads, iPhones, apps, accessories, and other fun gadgets. Some grandparents are well-versed in Apple speak, but many still need a little bit of help. Despite the generation gap, more and more senior citizens are finding ways to keep in touch with their family and friends with their smart devices. If your grandparents have an iPad or tablet, here’s how to help them stay connected with the best apps for the elderly.

Get Started

Before you download any apps, you should set up your iCloud Account.

Turn on your new iPad or iPhone. You will be sent to an instruction page in the setup assistant to activate your device and set up iCloud. In order to use iCloud, you will need to set up an Apple ID. This is essentially your Apple username and password that you will use to purchase Apps, update your device, and use iCloud. (If you already have an Apple ID, you’re ahead of the game!)

Enter in your Apple ID username and password, and then select “Use iCloud.” To change your settings, click on the Settings icon on your device, and then select iCloud. To make sure that none of your information or photos are accidentally deleted, you should turn your Store & Backup on. You should also double check that Passbook, Photo Stream, Documents and Data, and Find My iPhone are turned to On. These will help you catalogue all of your passwords, share photos with friends and family around the globe, save your documents, and even find your iPad or iPhone if it is lost or stolen.

Lastly, you will want to enable automatic downloads in the iTunes and App store. Tap the Settings icon on your home screen, then select the iTunes & App Stores option. Make sure Music, Apps, and Books are set to On. That way you will be able to download anything you want with the tap of your finger!

Shared Photo Streams

If there’s one thing grandparents love, it’s photos of their grandkids. Now you can share photos back and forth with your loved ones with the iOS Shared Photo Streams.

If you followed the above instructions, your Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams should already be on. Once My Photo Stream is enabled, every new photo you take or import from your computer will be automatically added to your Photo Stream whenever you are connected to Wi-Fi. Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will store your last 1,000 photos in your My Photo Stream Album.

You can browse your Photo Stream by selecting the “Photos” icon on your home screen. There you can see the photos you take in your Camera Roll albums and Photo Stream. Both are clearly displayed at the bottom of the screen so you can tell which is which.

To share your Photo Stream with others, tap Photos, and then tap Photo Stream. Tap My Photo Stream, then Edit. If this is your first Photo Stream, you will need to select “New Photo Stream” first. From there, you can tap any photo you want to add to your Photo Stream. Each photo you select will show a check mark next to it. Select Share, and then add the email addresses of whomever you would like to share this Photo Stream with.

You can also add subscribers to your Photo Stream, so that they can follow along with any new photos you upload. To add people, follow the instructions to share (Photos > Photo Stream > My Photo Stream > Edit) and select “Add People” under the Subscribers tab. Enter the email addresses you would like to add, then click add! You will also have the option to make the Photo Stream public, in case your family does not have iCloud.

Ask your loved ones to subscribe you to their Photo Stream so you can follow along with their daily adventures no matter where they are.

Downloading Apps

Now that you have your iCloud and Photo Stream set up, you can download apps from the App store. You can access the App store right from your iPad or iPhone home screen. From there you can peruse featured apps, top charts, Genius (a random “shuffle” of apps based on your preference), search for specific apps, and download updates.

Recommended App: Skype (Free)

Sometimes photos are just not enough. With Skype you can stay connected to your family through your very own Apple device. Search for and download Skype from the iTunes App store. Once your app has downloaded, you will be able to access it from your home screen. Open the app and tap “New to Skype? Create an account.” Fill out your information and sign in.

Add contacts to your contact list by searching their full name or username, if you know what it is. Tap on the icon of a man with a plus sign in the upper right hand corner to add a new contact. Along the bottom of the app you will see tabs for People (your contact list), Recent (your recent chats), Call Phones, and Profile.When you select one of your contacts, you can send them a video message, voice call, IM (Instant Message), or send them a photo. If you choose to video message, you only need to point your phone directly at yourself. There are cameras on the front and back of your iPad or iPhone, in the upper center.

Keep in mind, you can call other Skype users for free. You can also add money to your Skype Credit, create your own Skype Number, check your Voice Messages and change your profile by accessing the Profile tab at the bottom right of the Skype app. Stay in touch with your family no matter where you are, with the free Skype app!


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