Senior Living

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Health & Spirit

Adaptive Technologies

Doug Mayberry on

Q: I've reached the point where I'm no longer able to use my computer easily, but it's important for doing so much. Many daily necessities, such as online banking, paying bills and shopping, are easier online, and I don't want to be dependent or inconvenienced.

Unfortunately, my eyes and joints are in disagreement. I struggle to read the screen, and my arthritis gets in my way.

What are some fixes for seniors to better use technology?

A: Unlike with previous generations, seniors today have technology use integrated into their lives. They have gotten used to the convenience and learned how to use it.

On the other hand, aging bodies make using it much more difficult.

Luckily, there are many types of adaptive technologies aimed to assist with these problems. Research is ongoing, and there is existing software that can help you.

 

For vision problems, you can look into screen magnification software, screen readers and text readers. They can enlarge images, allow you to control the size of text and graphics, or read text aloud to you with a synthesized voice.

Program offerings include JAWS and NVDA for PCs and VoiceOver for Macs. These programs all have their benefits and drawbacks, so do the research to find the best one for you.

For dexterity issues, look into a speech-to-text software to translate what you say into text.

Additionally, you can make manual adjustments to your computer that work for you.

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