Now, of course, you'd be hard-pressed to find a household that does not own a computer. That's because it took everyone about five minutes to realize that computers make a lot of sense, particularly for young people and working families who have young kids. But what about seniors? Does it make sense for older adults to own a computer? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2000 and 2008, the percentage of people age 65 to 74 who owned a computer more than doubled from 31 to 64 percent—and for folks age 75 and older, computer ownership more than tripled during that time, from 13 to 42 percent.
In other words, seniors are flocking to computers like so many swallows to Capistrano. Why? Because they've realized that computers have a lot to offer in making their lives easier, more interesting, and more fun. Whether it's writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, viewing photos of your grandkids, or making your own greeting cards, a computer makes many tasks simpler and faster. And if you go online, your computer becomes your gateway to the vast riches and social connections that are available through the World Wide Web, email, and more.
However, using a computer isn't all beer and skittles. They can be difficult to set up, confusing to use, and intimidating for the uninitiated. And, of course, things such as the screen, the mouse, and the keyboard present special challenges to aging eyes, ears, and hands.
If these negative aspects of using a computer are holding you back, then you've come to the right place. Welcome to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Using Your Computer—For Seniors. In this book, you learn everything you need to know (but thankfully, not everything there is to know) about using a computer: from understanding the various bits and pieces that make up the machine, to getting the hang of Windows, and to setting up your computer to work around any physical challenges you may face. And we'll even have a bit of fun while we're at it.
- Sample Chapter (700KB PDF)