Senior citizens aren’t known for being overly tech savvy, but visitors to the Grapevine Senior Retirement Community in Seattle would have a hard time knowing that the residents didn’t grow up using iPods and iPads.
The Grapevine Senior Retirement Community issues an iPad to every resident who purchases a condo or apartment in the community. The iPads are hooked up to the internal Internet network, where the residents can engage in dozens of activities with friends, family members, and other residents.
“It really is a unique sight to walk into the Grapevine Senior Retirement Community and see so many elderly people using modern technology”, said activities director Donna Weeks. “When we first proposed issuing iPads to the residents people were skeptical that the residents would want to use them, but it turns out they really enjoy the iPads.”
There are dozens of activities and games that can be played on the iPads. Members of the Grapevine Senior Retirement Community have recently setup an Angry Birds tournament. Each month members of the community turn out to see who can get the highest score, and win the Grapevine Angry Birds Trophy.
“We think it’s a unique selling point when people come to see our community”, said community director, Todd Sanders. “Not many communities would take the extra step to bring their residents into the technology age, but we did and we’re very proud of it.”
In addition to the monthly gaming tournaments, residents of Grapevine Senior Retirement Communities have increased their interest in reading. Many of the iPads can be used as e-readers, and more of the residents are utilizing this app.
“Many of our residents used to like reading”, explained activities director, Donna Weeks. “But some of the books they wanted to read weren’t available in large print. The iPad devices allow the residents to customize the size of the print of the books they are reading, which allows them to enjoy any book that is available in PDF format.”
The iPad program is available at the Grapevine Senior Retirement Communities in downtown Seattle, and Redmond. The other 5 Grapevine are thinking of starting the program, but are awaiting the initial feedback from residents who have been a part of the program for a year.
“I think it was really neat that they did this for my mom”, said Chris Sinko, a child of one of the residents at Grapevine. “It gave my mom something to do, and really allowed her to feel like she was hip and up to date on the latest technologies, which was great.”
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