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GrandPad tablets help ‘Super-Seniors’ stay connected over the holidays

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 11:15 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For many people, the holiday season means getting together with family to celebrate, but for seniors with limited mobility or transportation options, this time of year can be lonely.

During the pandemic, platforms like Zoom and Facetime have allowed us to stay socially connected. However, this kind of technology can be overwhelming for older folks.

Three months ago, Tim Morrison and his brother got their 88-year-old mother a GrandPad.

“She had an iPhone for several years and she could never do anything beyond making phone calls,” said Morrison. “We couldn’t even get her to send a text. Now, I find it much easier to communicate with her through video conferences.”

The tablet has been specifically designed for “Super-Seniors” or those over the age of 75 with cognitive and motor-skill disabilities.

The large icons, four speakers, voice texting and captioning, and a private contact list, makes it easier for Tim’s mom Eileen to not only catch up with her sons.

“She seems to be communicating much more with friends that, I don’t want to say lost contact with, but didn’t talk much with,” said Morrison.

GrandPad creators, Scott Lien and his son say, the tablet was born out of their own family.

“My son and I and my wife were living in California, my mom and dad, and mother in law, most of our family were living in the Midwest,” said Lien. “We were finding it increasingly difficult to stay connected, my mom was 80 at the time and she was frustrated by standard technology. So, it was actually my son who said, ‘Hey dad I think there’s got to be a better way.’

The tablet comes with built-in apps and 4G LTE technology so they can work without Wi-Fi. All the family has to do is download the app.

“The kids and grandkids everywhere can just hit a button and say, ‘Hey grandma, hey grandpa, how are you doing?’, said Lien. “Whether they’re out at a sporting event or out, building a snowman they can share that and of course, face to face is the best thing and we always want that, but if you can’t do that an easy, rich video call experience is the next best thing.”

Seniors can also use GrandPad to share photos and send voice emails, play popular games and listen to music.

GrandPad is offered as a subscription-based service, at a cost of $58 a year or $79 monthly. Each subscription option includes the hardware and offers 24-hour personalized tech support.

Morrison who lives in the Bay Area will be coming to Reno to spend Christmas with his mom. He says it makes him happy to know he can see her face the rest of the year.

If you would like to learn more about GrandPad, go to the website: https://www.grandpad.net/

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