Don’t be surprised next time you visit an assisted living facility or MAS Home Care Rhode Island client – you may find them engaged with their latest technological toy! One of the first things to deteriorate as the years march on is eyesight. Avid readers struggle with diving into a novel or catching up with the newspaper over a morning cup of coffee due to small fonts. The solution is to bite the bullet and get a pair of bifocals or use a magnifying glass, which can be an annoyance. The latest, more convenient and increasing popular alternative, is to use a tablet.
Dr. Daniel Roth, an eye specialist and clinical associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has studied the benefits of tablet use in adults age 50 and over. His findings showed that reading speed increases with the use of a tablet, like an iPad, compared to when reading a newspaper, even with the same 10-point font size (128wpm vs. 114wpm). The speed increased even more when the font size was increased to a size 18 font (137wpm).
Why is reading speed important? The more fluidly you can read the more comfortable it is. This makes the experience more enjoyable. Information is also easier to understand and retain when the focus is on the content instead of struggling over singular words.
Tablets are helpful in this area for a few reasons. One is the ease in which you can increase the font size of what you are reading. There is no need to buy large font book. Simply change the settings to meet your needs. Secondly, the tablets screen allows for increased contract between words and the background. Contrast sensitivity is one of the main reasons reading fine print becomes more difficult over time.
This ability to easily continue an enjoyed past time and stay up to date on world events is one reason more seniors are becoming drawn to tablet technology. It is no longer solely for a younger demographic. Individuals interested in other applications used for entertainment and social media may enjoy a device like the iPad which offers a variety of uses. Others who feel overwhelmed by current technology may be more comfortable with something along the lines of a Kindle or Nook which is geared toward the readers. It is also more affordable; no need to pay for more than you need if your intent is strictly reading.
Some people are set on having an actual book in their hands that they can turn the pages of, so you may want to ask before running out and buying one for your grandma! Performing a test run with a tablet belonging to someone you know is also a good idea before shelling out a pretty penny on something that may sit in a drawer.
If they are willing to give it a try, it can be a great tool!
MAS Home Care provides in-home care services in New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.