Ok, is this the best place to ask? I hope so.
Scenario: parents over 80. They can use a dumb cell phone
Aging parents and computers! Help!
Their Windows XP computer has to go!
They can use email, browse the web, use Skype (if it is set up for them) but are not adventurous. Change one setting and game over.
They require much more security that is automated (Malware).
Remote access so I can help them from a different city
Universal desktop - so when the visit they can log in and retrieve files
Integration, because there are no browsers, hard drives, RAM or OSes...it is just a computer.
Visual Impairment features
Anyone have suggestions what makes a computer awesome for the elderly?
Very good question.
My experience is that the need of the elderly in terms of demands is not high. I though tablet device are great devices in general, because of touchscreen and apps. There is some truth to that, but I've also seen that, forgive the expression, teaching an old dog new tricks, is generally harder. I've seen too many times accidental swipes and presses happen on apple and windows tablet devices. Elders are of an older generation. They are accustomed to the mouse and keyboard. Unless apple and microsoft are willing to cater for a more simplistic, dummyproof OS (which windows 10 is not and to a degree iOS is not too!!! Both OS'es are quite refined OS'es, for younger people the countless gestures, app, settings and update management is doable, but it changes with age. Endless double authentications and double logins are also quite a challenge for the elderly, where input is slower and memory becomes an issue. And a fast and and smooth OS can also be quite a daunting experience for the elderly where something changed on the screen before they could catch or comprehend it, something that is ubiquitous to the younger in society).
I've noticed with my parents that simplicity and familarilty works best. smooth and fast experience matters less to them, as long as the familiar experience is there, because the elderly work more from longterm memory, something learned from the past.
Naturally security is an issue we are all concerned with. But this is something that outsiders should help with, because the matter is simply very complex.
Luckily windows 10 caters for this out of the box with new security systems in place with Edge and Defender, amongst others.
As I see it the best system is a laptop or pc with simply a mouse and a keyboard. Doesn't have to expensive. contrary to the advice by rich edmonds, I don't think a surface device is a good device for the elderly. The device is too small and flimsy, the standard resolution makes the elderly bend over towards the screen, squint and practically put there noses on the screen to read the small fonts. The touchscreen will guaranteerd causes acidental unwanted presses. And who knows what kind of wonderous crashes happen.
The best would be to buy a nice second hand laptop or pc device, a good large screen. Scale down the resolution so fonts and icons are bigger. Generally the elderly can't see high resolution as well as the youth, so 1080 vs 2K or 4K won't matter. 720 p might also be just fine. If they've older windows versions before they usually know where to find programs (apps) and how to pin them to the desktop. Perhaps a little help to pin the 10 most use prorams to the desktop helps a lot to get them started.
If they can be taught a new experience, I would advice trying to teach them to use windows 10 in tablet mode. reason for this is that. With full screen start the icons are bigger, easier to press. Knowing one icon on the same screen they can easily find the app list and the explorer icon and the shutdown button.
A laptop with a 15 or 17 inch screen might be a good option when the elderly are on the go. All else the same settings changes might help a lot to use the device better as with the desktop.
These are my 2 cents, for consideration.