March 5, 2011

WILL THIS BE the week of iPad 2? I’m actually thinking of buying one for a friend of the family who’s stuck in a nursing home. They don’t have in-room internet, so a 3G iPad might be the way to go. It’s pretty boring there. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Doug Orr emails:

Got my iPad last July, and since then have been in the hospital twice for 3 days and 8 days. I would have gone stir crazy without the iPad. Nurses loved asking about it, all the doctors said their wives had one already. Ha!

Also, i got to avoid the dreaded daytime television shows. Those things will kill you.

Yeah.

And reader John Williams writes:

My father in law had a stroke about two years ago and is living in an assisted care facility. We bought him a first generation iPad about 6 months ago and it is a huge hit. He carries it with him wherever he goes almost like a kid with a security blanked.

He struggles with email a bit but is able to communicate far more with his family than any other medium. He manages his investments, keeps up on the news, reads Instapundit, and plays Yahtzee.

Technical support for him using the device has been pretty easy as well. You just can’t get into the kinds of trouble you can with a “real” computer.

Good point. And reading InstaPundit is bound to be therapeutic. Another reader says that I’ll be able to pick up an original model iPad for $100 less once the new one comes out. Maybe I’ll pick up one of those; it should be entirely adequate for nursing-home amusement purposes.

And reader Barry Dauphin emails:

Maybe you’ve hit on to a bigger idea. Nursing homes should try to get them in bulk for their residents. Learning how to use them would be very stimulating and there’s all kinds of things you can do with them. Apple could cut deals, the way they do with schools and computers.

That sounds like a really good idea. Maybe Apple should donate some of the first-gen iPad stock to a nursing home or two as an experiment.

MORE: Reader Trent Kelso emails:

Adding to the in praise of the iPad chorus…

I got an iPad in Sept when my dad was set for brain surgery and knew I’d have a week with him at UCLA Med Ctr with nothing to do. I decided to splurge on the iPad because my laptop was waaaaay too clunky to lug around conveniently, gets real hot, and is just too bulky to use all day long. Unfortunately, mom & I were cooped up in the hospital with dad for 9 weeks and the iPad kept us sane. We downloaded and played games, watched Netflix, read our favorite blogs, read books (via the Kindle app), took notes on dad’s treatment and had our questions immediately handy when the docs walked in. We were able to instantly access medical info on the net via the hospital’s free wifi to help us understand dad’s condition and why the docs were doing what they were doing. The iPad made us formidable medical consumers; it armed us with information almost instantaneously.

Like your other reader, when docs saw my iPad, they said things like “Don’t you love it?” or “I need to get one on my next day off.” When RNs or CNAs saw it, they’d say “Is that an iPad?” or, “Do you think it’s worth it?”. Naturally, I told the RNs & CNAs that it was the best thing since beer, and that it was worth every penny. An amazing device, which, incidentally, I’m using to write this e-mail.

Oh, one more noteworthy feature is that the user interface is extremely intuitive. My mom is 78 and took to the iPad like a duck to water. Try that with a PC laptop.

Good point. And reader Joe Jackson emails:

After an 18 month stretch in a nursing home my wife died last May. During those final months her lifeline to the world was a MacBook. An iPad would have been better and I was just about to buy her one when she died. Anything than can be done to relieve the boredom in a nursing home – and keep the residents mentally engaged – is worth doing. And yes, that includes Apple discounting the iPad to extended care facilities (I say this as an Apple stockholder).

The crushing boredom and isolation of those places is one of the worst things about them — and even someone with a big family that visits as much as it can is going to have a lot of downtime.

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