minxy: Teal'c raises a hand to say "hey". (Default)
[personal profile] minxy
Hi all,

I have just returned from my Grandfather's 100th birthday party. He is physically less than stellar, as his transport is failing him and his doctors seem to make the same mistakes every time he is admitted to the hospital, but there you are. He is mentally in top form, but has lost access to the internet in recent years when his favorite platform (webTV, which he could zoom to giant font on his giant flat screen TV) was discontinued.

During this last visit, he asked several of us to get him back on the internet. Our solution so far: the iPad Air 2 with separate keyboard. The accessibility font size works well for him. There are direct apps to newspapers, email, YouTube, and real estate, which he loves. He tried my Dad's and liked it. Apparently, 100 years old is a good time to try a new OS, you know? I love this guy, he is so sharp.

His needs:

A clamp mount for the iPad--he'll prefer it farther away to see better, and tends to put a thumb on the touch screen when he's holding it.

An external, full-size keyboard. Requests: minimal multi-key shortcuts to learn (dexterity is getting limited) maximum keyboard functionality, ease of charging if cordless and a way to set it aside that doesn't take up space on his limited surfaces.

Specifics: Grandpa is in a motorized wheelchair, recliner, or bed most of the time. We would like a clamp mount for the Air 2 that could currently attach to his rolling hospital table without taking up much surface space. We could also envision a clamp that could mount to his chair instead, possibly on the removable leg support, which would mean my aunt (primary caregiver) could take everything on or off at once. Anyone have thoughts on a good brand, recommendations for adaptations or hacks, or experience that they could share?

Next question is recommendations for a good keyboard. Not a case (lots of tablet keyboards are also screen covers or mounts, we don't need that) with a full-size set of keys for Grandpa's hands. Bonus: extra keys to scroll or control the volume. Also a bonus: easy to charge or has a cord to recharge in situ, or has a dock etc. We are not particularly attached to the apple brand here, just need something compatible.

Final question: for those who often use media in a bed or chair, is there a good pocket organizer for a table/bed/chair that you recommend? We want it out of the way (for example, in the hospital rolling tables, where a food tray will take up the whole space), but reachable by Grandpa (so, not over the back of his chair) and primarily to store the keyboard, but possibly also a stylus. I have seen silicon pockets that just sit on a table and fall off the side, but I can't seem to find them in an online search.

Thanks in advance, knowledgable peeps! If you know of something awesome I haven't thought of, please do share as well. I really appreciate it, and don't want to miss out on anything Grandpa wants to tell me.

Date: 2016-01-02 08:35 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Permission to signal-boost?

Date: 2016-01-02 08:52 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Boosted!

Date: 2016-01-02 10:18 pm (UTC)
elekdragon: Mandalorian symbol with rainbow flag background (Default)
From: [personal profile] elekdragon
I use a hand-e-holder for my iPad. It locks securely to the back of the device, and they sell many different types of clamp-mounts for chairs, rails, etc. http://www.handeholder.com

I've had it for years (since the iPad 2 came out, so around five?), and it's held up amazingly well. totally worth it. It's gone through four iPads so far, and there's no fraying. I have the tripod mount by the bed, and am very happy with it. They have several clamp options and are also a lovely company to work with when you have specific needs.

Logitech has good compatible external keyboards. I don't have it handy, but there's a Bluetooth full size one we've used when a laptop keyboard died. Full size, extra control buttons, solid. I'd have to check it at work to see how it recharges coz I don't remember, but we didn't need to recharge it afairemember. Their keyboard covers for iPad are pretty good too, not as sturdy but easier to tuck away. I don't know if they're full size or not, though. They have shortcut keys for everything, especially the new ultra thin one for iPad Air 2.

Sorry I don't have any recs on a organizer pocket. I just have an old laptop bag that I hang up and carry around everywhere. I haven't found any that I like better than it.

(Found my way here from rydra_wong.)

Date: 2016-01-03 10:11 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
*beams*

I just figured there are enough people in my DW circles who use wheelchairs and/or do a lot of their living in bed that people would be able to advise.

Date: 2016-01-02 10:28 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
(here via [personal profile] rydra_wong)

For side pocket organizers, I might look for a somewhat customizable fabric one off Etsy or somewhere: https://www.etsy.com/market/mobility_tote?ref=l2

That's the sort of thing where you may want to get a less expensive one with what you think are the correct pockets first, to try it out, then equipped with the "well, I wish that was zipper instead of velcro, and just a little wider but less deep...?" sort of thoughts from Grandpa, go for something durable as hell. A bonus with fabric is all the fun prints!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KTIYNIS has been working out well for me; it's iPad compatible, 2 AA batteries (I don't use it every week so I don't know how the actual battery life stacks up), with shortcut keys. It's a little smaller than I would like, but it's the closest to full size under $50 that I was able to find when I was looking.

Good luck, and I hope he gets back online quickly!

Date: 2016-01-03 05:51 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
but I like the look of the bottom of that one for comfort on one's lap.

You can get special "lap desks"/lap cushions/lap pillows designed to go under a laptop or keyboard, e.g.:

http://www.amazon.com/Beanbag-Laptop-Notebook-Computer-Keyboard/dp/B000LWSSFQ

Date: 2016-01-02 10:38 pm (UTC)
hederahelix: Mature General Organa and "A woman's place is leading the resistance." (Default)
From: [personal profile] hederahelix
I have no idea if it'll work with an iPad or not. My guess is not since it requires a usb dongle, but I did find a solar keyboard for my laptop. It works like a solar calculator in terms of how much light it needs to charge, and I have been very happy with it. Perhaps one is available that is compatible with the iPad?

Date: 2016-01-03 09:01 am (UTC)
abbylee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] abbylee
I have two tablet holders:
* http://www.phonegala.com/p-344906-lm-tab7-clamp-universal-5-7-adjustable-hands-free-tablet-clamp-holder-for-tabledeskbedkitchen-counteretc?_ga=1.62034860.1499815874.1412272461
This one has a clamp and so stays in place really well. It's the one I use at home, usually so that I lie on my back and watch movies on my tablet while it hands off my headboard.

* http://www.phonegala.com/p-344917-lm-tab10-clip-universal-5-10-adjustable-hands-free-tablet-clip-holder-for-tabledeskbedkitchen-counteretc
This one has a clip and so it's lighter. It's the one I use so that I can take notes on my tablet in class without messing up my neck.

They're both the same holder just with different attachments. My personal problem with them is that the bendable tube neck isn't that bendable, so it took a fair bit of time for me to get it so that it would sit at the right height *and* distance. From a dexterity point of view, the bit I find the hardest on bad days is putting the tablet into the spring holder so I often leave it in there and just unscrew it from the contraption. Oh, and I also find the clip harder to use than the clamp for the same reasons.

I don't have a good keyboard recommendation because the one I have isn't quite right but I couldn't justify spending more money yet and I also needed something that was light enough for me to carry from my office when I already had the tablet + holder. My favourite for my first tablet was my logitech k400 but it requires a usb dongle so it doesn't work with most tablets. I liked that one because it also had a touchpad, so I didn't have to move back and forth between the two, and I also like the feel of the keys. But there are bluetooth keyboards that would work, ranging from http://www.logitech.com/en-ca/product/multi-device-keyboard-k380?crid=27 (cheaper, alkaline batteries) to
http://www.logitech.com/en-ca/product/bluetooth-illuminated-keyboard-k810?crid=27 (backlit keys, usb rechargeable) if you don't think he'll need the trackpad option.

Also, a reminder that you'll have options so that he can hook up the ipad to a giant TV, too.

Good luck!

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