10 Gadgets to Help Older PC Users


Bob Rankin recommends 10 gadgets that might help ‘seniors’ enjoy their PCs – even more.–PC Pitstop.

10 Gadgets to Help Older PC Users

by Bob Rankin

The bad news is, we’re all getting older. The good news is, we are not getting older alone. That makes older folks a market whose needs can’t be ignored. This has inspired a broad spectrum of “assistive technology” that make computing, Web surfing, and enjoying digital media easier. Here are some of the best options…


Assistive Tech for Savvy Seniors

In 2011, 40 million Americans were age 65 or older; today, that figure is 76.4 million, according to the U. S. Census Bureau. The ranks of the “oldest old” – aged 85 or older – will swell to 19 million by 2050.
But age has nothing to do with curiousity — most of today’s senior citizens have had access to computers, the Internet and mobile gadgets for 20 years, and they’ve made technology a part of their daily lives. (My 86-year-old father has a desktop PC, an iPad, and an Android smartphone.)

VISION AIDS

Visual acuity naturally declines with age. Diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are common among seniors. Bigger computer monitors are one adaptation that can help. (Recently I’ve seen 23-inch monitors on sale at Best Buy for as low as $129.)

Large Print Keyboard

But there are a variety of other gadgets and computer peripherals that can be used to make things bigger or easier to see.

The AbleNet Large Print USB Computer Keyboard ($39.95 at Amazon) fills each key with its character(s), making the characters about twice as large as those on a standard keyboard. Yet overall, the keyboard is the same size as a standard 104-key keyboard.

Similarly, the EZ Eyes Large Print Keyboard ($9.75 at Amazon) adds a high-contrast black-on-yellow color scheme to larger characters.

The Big Bright Keyboard ($24.24 at Amazon) has extra-large, 1-inch keys that glow in the dark, and big black characters.

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