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Old 11-20-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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K4NTB works for older person?

Q: Is a K4NTB right for older person?

I am trying to find an e-reader for my mother-in-law. She is in her low 70's, retired, and used to read a lot (and I mean a lot). A few years back her eyes got bad enough as to make reading her (mostly) paperbacks very complicated. She stopped reading, and now my wife and me are trying to get her to read again - mainly for something to do and for improving her disappearing memory. My theory about it is: Don't use it, you lose it. (brain, memory, thinking, ...)

I showed her the KT, and she can comfortably read it even without her glasses at 4th or 5th smallest font-size. She likes the idea of beeing able to read again. Not so sure about a touch screen though - the most advanced technology in her house is a cd-radio and the remote of her tv. She got no idea what to do with a computer, tablet, smart phone, internet. Is a K4 intuive enough to figure out how to look for a book, open it and read it if we were to show her what buttons to press? The books she likes we would need to preload for her and put in some kind of collections. The Kindle would just be standalone, no wifi no computer to charge it.

What are your thoughts - is that a feasible challenge, or am I better off not trying to bring her into this century? Anybody has experience with seniors like mom, that read on ereader, but are otherwise oblivious of electronic gadgets / computers? Does the K4 have a similar range of fonts and sizes as the KT?
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:43 AM   #2
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If she can use a tv remote, then she can use a pre-loaded K4. My low tech father has no trouble with his pre-loaded K3. The ability to increase the font is a miracle for older eyes.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:55 AM   #3
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If she can use a tv remote, then she can use a pre-loaded K4. My low tech father has no trouble with his pre-loaded K3. The ability to increase the font is a miracle for older eyes.
Thank you very much. I will wait until friday, see if Amazon got any deals and order a K4 with wall charger for her. If it doesn't work out for some reason, I can probably find some use for it as emergency spare.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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For an older person I say the K3. It's has the keyboard which makes it easier for them to search. If i tried to get my MIL to use my K4 she would probably throw it but she loves the K3. I think her daughter plans to buy her one.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:11 AM   #5
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For an older person I say the K3. It's has the keyboard which makes it easier for them to search. If i tried to get my MIL to use my K4 she would probably throw it but she loves the K3. I think her daughter plans to buy her one.
Have to consider that, and research both the K3 and K4 for pros and cons. Or I could just NOT mention there is a search. The price for the K3 is a bit higher, harder to justify to write that off as a loss. Decisions, decisions. At least now it is which one to get and not IF to get one.

Thank you, Blossom
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
Have to consider that, and research both the K3 and K4 for pros and cons. Or I could just NOT mention there is a search. The price for the K3 is a bit higher, harder to justify to write that off as a loss. Decisions, decisions. At least now it is which one to get and not IF to get one.

Thank you, Blossom
Well there is the Paperwhite to consider too if you can find one. It has a touch screen keyboard.

Other readers is the Sony T1 or now the new T2. Then there are the Nook Simple Touch with Glo light.

My former paster who I grew up with and is now 80 loves his Kindle Fire. The non HD is only $159 so Tablets are another thing to look into.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:41 AM   #7
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My Mum gets on fine with her basic non-touch Kindle 4. She is in her late 80s and decidedly non-tech! She likes the lack of buttons. My sister has the Amazon account in her name and Mum orders the books she wants and then gives my sister the money. They bookshop together online since that might be a bit difficult for her (though my Mum did manage to buy a Kindle book by accident last month, but she still can't figure out how she did it). She has little sensation in her finger tips so finds the on-off button and the 5way controller a bit tricky but manages them and really values being able to make the font size larger and having something light to put in her handbag when she travels (which she loves to do).
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
Well there is the Paperwhite to consider too if you can find one. It has a touch screen keyboard.

Other readers is the Sony T1 or now the new T2. Then there are the Nook Simple Touch with Glo light.

My former paster who I grew up with and is now 80 loves his Kindle Fire. The non HD is only $159 so Tablets are another thing to look into.
The touch screen on all those is likely going to be a problem. That is why I singled out Kindle, as they are the only ones still available in non-touch.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:26 AM   #9
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The touch screen on all those is likely going to be a problem. That is why I singled out Kindle, as they are the only ones still available in non-touch.
I would think a touch screen would be easier. I know it is for me. I have arthritis in my hands. It just easier to tap the screen then push a button.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:47 AM   #10
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I would think a touch screen would be easier. I know it is for me. I have arthritis in my hands. It just easier to tap the screen then push a button.
All right. Looking at it like that makes a lot of sense. I was set on getting a basic kindle 4 from what evwool was saying. But then the problem fidgeting with the buttons might be worse than learning new technology. I will have to let her try out the touchscreen on the Kindle Touch. Maybe she thinks it is the greatest.

Thank you for beeing so insistent in trying to sell me the idea of touch is better than finicky buttons. Trying it out doesn't hurt, especially since we already have a touch - I am waiting for a PW for myself.

update: Changed my mind about wanting to try a touchscreen for my MIL. Sorry Blossom, I mean no disrespect. See post #14 for more details. It is good that the touch screen works better for you.

Last edited by DuckieTigger; 11-21-2012 at 09:01 PM. Reason: updated information
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:57 AM   #11
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If you get the basic kindle, make sure you get the black one. It has better contrast and a more pleasant background than the silver.

I would recommend either the basic or the Paperwhite. WIth the basic, you still have a bit of a learning curve, since there is more than one button. My non techie sister got used to it, but I think the PW will be much easier for her to operate. Also, you can see the covers on the home screen of the PW, so it may make it more appealing if you try to get her into reading.
If you get the 3G version, shopping for books would be easy even for a very old nontechie person - assuming she does not have a wifi network or computer set up. Shopping is extremely intuitive on it, even though that was not one of your requirements - just letting you know.

I never wanted a touch device, and now that I have been using the PW, my poor basic kindles are collecting dust.

You may want to go to Best Buy or Staples and play around with them both. I know, I am totally stating the obvious here!

Last edited by xendula; 11-21-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #12
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My 85(almost 86) year old non-tech mom hates touch screens!! She is constantly accidentally touching it, making page turn, bringing up menus. She got rid of her Sony T1. She has very severe arthritis in her hands, by the way. She LOVES her K4NT. The buttons just make sense in her brain. She has no problem pushing the buttons to turn pages. She uses it daily, for hours at a time.
S
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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Have you talked to your MIL's occupational or physical therapist about this? (Assuming she has one.) If she has age-related dementia -- the disappearing memory you refer to -- it is going to be difficult for her to learn new skills. So the simplest eReader will be the best for her. A touch screen probably won't be easy to master if she's never used a device that doesn't have physical buttons. Also, unless she'll have someone like you or your wife nearby to help, it could be very frustrating for her if she gets "lost" while using the device, e.g. navigates to the wrong page or wrong book and can't figure out how to get back.

We on this forum love our eReaders but in your MIL's case it may be more humane to get her large print books from your library than to give her a device she won't be able to use. That's why I think a professional opinion would be helpful. OTOH, K4s are easy to resell if it doesn't work out. Just plan to help her through the first few days of use and be ready to give it up if it proves to be too frustrating for her -- those with dementia experience plenty of frustration already without feeling pressured to learn new skills when their short term memory is essentially non-functional.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #14
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Wow, did not really expect this thread to take off like this. I do appreciate all the helpful input. I think I will go with the K4 for my MIL, and if she does not like it then I will take it back and find some use for it. Either way, I will post an update about how it worked out (or did not work out).

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If you get the basic kindle, make sure you get the black one. It has better contrast and a more pleasant background than the silver.
Thank you for the tip. I have done some research on here about this even before posting this thread - the title including the black part was no accident. I see however that the black version won't ship for one or two weeks (???) - probably for the reason that everybody wants the black knowing it is newer model. Is the old silver model mentioned here on MR the same as the graphite? This graphite is in stock and would ship right away - maybe I take my chances, and if it does not look good, I will ask for a black replacement. Or is the wait definitely worth it to eliminate possible trouble right away?
Quote:
I never wanted a touch device, and now that I have been using the PW, my poor basic kindles are collecting dust.
It is very unlikely that she will use a PW unless we let her use it.

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My 85(almost 86) year old non-tech mom hates touch screens!! She is constantly accidentally touching it, making page turn, bringing up menus. She got rid of her Sony T1. She has very severe arthritis in her hands, by the way. She LOVES her K4NT. The buttons just make sense in her brain. She has no problem pushing the buttons to turn pages. She uses it daily, for hours at a time.
S
My instincts told me, that a touch-screen might not be a good idea. Exactly for the reasons to have to aim right and no haptile feedback at all. That is why I mentioned that in the original post. I am glad to hear that the buttons may work for some even with (severe) arthritis.

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Have you talked to your MIL's occupational or physical therapist about this? (Assuming she has one.) If she has age-related dementia -- the disappearing memory you refer to -- it is going to be difficult for her to learn new skills. So the simplest eReader will be the best for her. A touch screen probably won't be easy to master if she's never used a device that doesn't have physical buttons. Also, unless she'll have someone like you or your wife nearby to help, it could be very frustrating for her if she gets "lost" while using the device, e.g. navigates to the wrong page or wrong book and can't figure out how to get back.
For medical problems she has I will be brief, and that is is as far as I am comfortable discussing it. She has no therapist that she sees regularly even though she possibly could benefit from it. Unfortunately that is not up for discussion with her . Her memory is worse than the normal age-related dementia should be, and in my non-professional opinion it is much worse than the average person her age.

Learning new skills is not easy for her - we are not completely sure if it is her being stubborn, unwilling to learn, incapable, or resistant to change. If something tickles her interest though, she does seam to understand better and remember better. I agree that teaching her to use a touchscreen might be way over our heads. Yes we can help her, see last part of my post below.

Quote:
We on this forum love our eReaders but in your MIL's case it may be more humane to get her large print books from your library than to give her a device she won't be able to use. That's why I think a professional opinion would be helpful. OTOH, K4s are easy to resell if it doesn't work out.
Large print books are not an option. She stopped reading because the books became too hard for her to read - and some of them are in large print. The one (large print paper back) that I think she is trying to read looks harder to read than even my PRS-300. I am jealous of my wifes KT, and I want to upgrade, but I want a PW - so I will wait until it ships again (dec 19 hopefully - yay). Maybe that is just me, but I do enjoy and expect every book to look the same anymore. The wonder of e-readers and beeing spoiled by them: set the font, size, line spacing, margin once and forget about it - no matter if you just switch from one book to the next in a series, or change authors / publisher - same look and feel. As I said above, if it doesn't work out, I will keep the K4 for myself as a spare or maybe to take to work - if it breaks or gets dirty it is not that big a deal. My Sony looks really dirty, especially in all the edges it has.

Quote:
Just plan to help her through the first few days of use and be ready to give it up if it proves to be too frustrating for her -- those with dementia experience plenty of frustration already without feeling pressured to learn new skills when their short term memory is essentially non-functional.
Fortunately we are in walking distance as she lives nearby - we already plan for having to show her over and over and over again until she got it. The frustrating part would be on our end, not on hers. She is too stubborn to be frustrated about something she does not want to learn. She would simply give up, and then complain to us for trying to confuse her. Been there done that . I rather she asks us every day about some thing or another, than to give up on reading, though.

Last edited by DuckieTigger; 11-21-2012 at 08:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
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You may also want to write some basic help functions (like use this button for this) with a sharpie on the back of the device. Or tape a post-it to the back.
Let us know how she is making out - I find it fascinating how ebooks can change a non techie's life

Last edited by xendula; 11-22-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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