Will you be using an iPad at 96?

My 89-year-old aunt has an iPad. My 91-year-old uncle uses a desktop computer. Email on those devices kept them in touch with my 96-year-old mother until she died last November.

My mother was deaf. She agreed, at age 90 to get an iPad when she was told about a voice to text program she could use to communicate with people face to face. Her doctors loved it. She could read and discuss what they said right there, and she had a written record. She could also use it when tradespeople came to her door. Oh, and she used it with all her guests, too.

When she discovered email, she was off to the races. She kept in touch with her kids, former neighbours, friends, nieces and nephews, grand and great-grandchildren. She passed on the news to all of us, and kept everyone connected.

She couldn’t understand how email got around, or the internet, but she knew what worked for her. That iPad was her lifeline.

We take technology for granted, and don’t realize why such things as closed-captioning, vibrating phones, Siri and voice to text software were developed. Extreme users like my Mom drove those inventions. Our aging population will demand more, to everyone’s benefit. Designing with the vast and growing seniors market in mind is designing for our future selves.