By: Jim Schrempp | Posted: April 4, 2014 | Updated: April 18, 2023
A group of friends used to get together regularly to play cards. One moved away. The others are getting older and have trouble getting out at night. They think they can’t get together any more. But perhaps they can. What to do?
Joe and Joanne, a married couple, are very good friends of mine. I visit with them every month or so. They are in their early 80’s. They do not travel very far from home. They are living in their own home and doing very well. Once a week they go to the local adult center for line dancing.
For years they have gotten together every Wednesday with Joe’s sister Sarah. Every week they played cards together. Often they played hearts. Sometimes solitaire. Sometimes another game. Sometimes they shared lunch as well.
Last year Sarah moved out of the area to live closer to her children. The weekly card playing stopped. I asked Joe about this and he said, “well, we’ll probably never be able to see her again.”
Joe and Joanne really enjoyed their weekly card games with Sarah. It was a time to socialize and keep connected. I wish there was some way for them to keep socializing every week with Sarah.
Hear this problem discussed below
from Aging in Place technologies: Co-creating the future of aging Meetup, April 2, 2014.
9 thoughts on “Regular card playing group can’t get together any more”
Joe and Joanne use iPads
Joe and Joanne each have an iPad. Joe likes to play simple games like reMoveEm on the iPad. Joanne plays local games but also plays WordWithFriends with her sons; she often has a game going with each of them.
My father in law has this problem too
My father in law is a bridge fanatic. He moved away from new Jersey where he had live for forty years and lost his bridge group connection. He would love a solution to Jim’s problem.
Testing the concept
A minimum viable product might be cobbled together using a combination of an existing online Hearts game (e.g. http://hearts.vex.net/) and a video conference platform (Skype, Google Video Chat, etc.).
moved to solution discussion
moved to solution discussion
I agree re ease of use. Wish facetime could work
I agree re ease of use, and also with the idea of starting with a platform and adding a layer to it.
I have been experimenting a lot with the various video platforms that are available and using them to stay in touch with a specific senior.
Things I have learned that may be relevant here:
Re: #4 & #5
I’ve been wondering about how a bedridden (or just lazy) person could most easily make use of a tablet. Hospital meal serving tables could work, but require the user to sit up. They occupy a lot of space and they wouldn’t provide an optimal face to face experience per Jim’s #4. I’m picturing a flexible but relatively stiff arm that connects to the bedframe and holds a tablet at any desired height or angle. Stiffness is required to keep the tablet in place when it’s touched. This could also be accomplished with some sort of auto lock, easy-release mechanism.
For the ambulatory, the same mount could be attached to a table edge. I have an MVP for this, if you’d like to experiment. It consists of a 2 ball and 1 swivel jointed articulating arm that locks in virtually any position with a large knob. It has a wide padded screw clamp on one end and a post on the other.
At work we use a stand which works very, very well, from this company.
Jim has defined the problem nicely in his Joe and Joanne example. Defining our audience based on their needs is a good place to begin. What describes our target audience, then? How inclusive should it be? Here’s a start on a Target Audience description. Please build on it:
Good idea to define the
Good idea to define the audience.
1. I would not restrict it by age.
3. I think minimums of upload 128kb , download 328kbps.
4. Moderate eyesight is required; the icons will all be big and easy to distinguish. Hand eye coordination will be required to maniupulate the cards and other controls, but the controls will all be forgiving of mild tremors (e.g. A long time threshold for double tap; drag/drop all snap to a large spaced grid).
7. Maybe we should add, “is not afraid of tablet computing, but is not a master of it”. I add this because someone who won’t touch a tablet is too technophobic for this. And someone who’s a master might enjoy using our solution, but they also have other choices. Our person is somewhere in the middle. For instance, Skype is currently too hard to use for our target.