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Hi.

What is the best Kindle reader for an elderly person? The main purpose is for it to be the least complicated device possible, with light and good zoom. No extra features are necessary and the simplicity is the main goal here. Let's say that thew price doesn't really matter here, as I will happily pay for it. Simplicity, good light and easy to use zooming - thank you!
 

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The simplest is the basic kindle, but that requires the user to touch the screen to turn the page. AND, any stray touch will also turn the page.

The Oasis is the most expensive but has two advantages for the elderly:

1. It has actual buttons to turn the pages. You do have to manipulate the touch screen to select books and such, but for actual reading all she needs to remember is press the button. There are two -- forward and back -- you just set them the way it works best for her and she should be able to go on just fine.

2. It has a slightly larger screen, so if you have to set the font size to be a bit larger, you will get a little more text on the page.

Note that books that work on kindle don't have 'zoom' per se -- not like you do with a PDF on a tablet or something. The base format is .mobi and there are a LOT of books available via Amazon, Project Gutenberg, libraries. They're re-flowable text so you set the print to the size/style you prefer -- including some adjustment for margins and line spacing -- and then you don't have to make any adjustments as you're reading a text-only book. Once those things are set, as I say, she shouldn't have to mess with them.

Hope this helps! I suggest you check out the models on Amazon -- you should be able to scroll down to the page which compares all three -- and then come back and ask if you have any questions. If you've not used a kindle yourself, there's a slight learning curve, but they really are designed to be used pretty quickly out of the box. There's no need, even, for the user to have an actual computer, though it really helps if there is a WiFi network available. If not, I think there are models available with a built in cellular connection.
 

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Another advantage of the Oasis is the higher resolution, which my old eyes find easier.
I like the larger screen (an inch makes a lot of difference, somehow) compared to the Paperwhite I also have (it's what I carry around)

There are also more lights, and a "warm light" option -- slightly off-white rather than just brighter-whiter.

If there's an Amazon store near you, maybe you can go see them in person.
Maybe even a Best Buy will have some you can look at.

 

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Being somewhat elderly, 75, my favorite is the Voyage.  I just picked up a second, refurbished I think, looks like new, for a backup.  It's size is perfect for me, I can stick it in my back pocket for a few minutes to keep hands free.  I like the buttons.  My Oasis 2 gets little use, I do like the larger screen but it's overall size and shape is not as handy or book like to me. I have tried the Fire 8, my wife likes her Fire 10, but honestly at home most of my reading is on an iPad pro
 

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My wife is 80.  She has an older kindle with no touch screen that she loves.  But, she thought she might prefer one with a lit screen.  So, we bought a new basic kindle.  She could not get the touch screen to work reliably.  Page turns would work for a while and then skip multiple pages.  We even tried a stylus and it did the same for her.  It works fine for me, but she couldn't get the knack of it.

So, I ordered her an Oasis.  She didn't like the feel of it, so it went back.  The solution for her was a brighter reading lamp and her old kindle.  Now she's happy, and I have the new basic.
 

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I assume because of poor circulation, my 85 year old mother has trouble with touch screens recognizing her fingertips as a touch. Good argument for the buttons.
 

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I just want to point out that not every elderly person has vision problems.  I turned 80 last month and my vision is 20/20 with glasses.  I live in a retirement home and offhand I'd say over half the readers here are also 20/20 with glasses.  I've been helping the other tenants with their ereaders for years and a lot of them choose smaller fonts than I use.

That said, some will have vision problems so it's a question worth asking.  But it's only a question, not an answer.

Barry


 

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barryem said:
I just want to point out that not every elderly person has vision problems. I turned 80 last month and my vision is 20/20 with glasses. I live in a retirement home and offhand I'd say over half the readers here are also 20/20 with glasses. I've been helping the other tenants with their ereaders for years and a lot of them choose smaller fonts than I use.

That said, some will have vision problems so it's a question worth asking. But it's only a question, not an answer.

Barry
I'm 20/20 with glasses (progressives) but reading is not at all as easy as in younger-years -- I need a larger font & prefer higher resolution.
And that's after I've had cataracts fixed in both eyes.

I got the original iPad 10(!) years ago and it made a big difference in my reading -- it was easier & more pleasurable than trying to cope with a printed version (no matter how bright a reading-lamp I had). I hadn't realized how much "work" it had been just to read a nice novel.

I use iPad on the exercise machine (the main reason I wanted one in the first place) -- larger screen nicely lit -- and, these days, an Oasis-3 (using the warm-light-setting) in my living room.
 

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I have an Ipad that I use for drawing and a couple of games.  I also have a few Kindles and several Android tablets of various sizes.  But in the past year or two I've done most of my reading on my phone.  Actually, on "a" phone.  I bought a second phone, a very cheap one, which doesn't have service so it won't make calls, but that let's me preserve the battery on my main phone.

The Kindle is easier on my eyes but the phone is easy enough if I take an occasional break and it's always with me and I really like that convenience.  In the house I read on my extra phone.  Away from home I read on my regular phone.  I use the Moon+ reading app which keeps them in sync much more reliably than the Kindle app so there's never an issue.

I did try reading on my Ipad at one time but I found it inconvenient and heavy and it had the screen wasn't any easier on my eyes than my phone.

By the way, the text size is the same on my phone and my Kindle so there's no loss there.  And the line width is slightly wider than a newspaper column.  The Kindle is easier on my eyes but not enough to really matter much.

I think really most of this is in our minds.  We decide what works best for us and nothing else really feels right.  We're spoiled. :)

It's a similar thing with watching movies and TV shows.  Most people are convinced that a huge screen with many tiny pixels is required for TV watching.  I've been watching TV shows on my laptop for years.  I haven't owned a TV for nearly 2 decades.  And recently I started moving all my ripped TV shows and movies to an 8" tablet, which is a lot more convenient.  As for the size, when my focus is on the story the tablet is the size of the world!  That's big! :)

Barry
 

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I have the latest PW and the Oasis 3. The extra 17% screen size makes a major improvement to me. I also really like having the buttons available. I don't always use them but when I want to I appreciate having them. The only thing that could make it any better would be if the screen had the same surface area but about 1/2 inch narrower and a bit taller. Then it would fit into pockets better.
 
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