I'm a senior, retired, but very atypical, in that I'm a long time computer & smart phone guy. I also provide IT support for my church and I get this kind of question pretty often. Like Bob, I have a preference for Windows and Android over Apple. But if you surveyed the population you're talking about it's probably more iPhones & iPads than anything else. If that is the case, then I'd say go with Apple and let them help each other. iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, iPod touch offer a consistent experience. Refurbs, iPad Mini, previous generation iPads are all ways to get in at a lower cost.
On the other hand, Kindle and Nook are both good tablets, too. Both offer a curated App store so there are fewer choices, and that's important for people in a retirement village. Both do Wifi and email very competently. I prefer the Nook line (Nook Color, Nook Tablet and the new Nook HD and HD+) because they are more open. Kindle has a strong preference for the Amazon ecosystem for books, movies and TV. Nook relies more on commercial apps like Netflix, Hulu, etc.
Significant differences in the latest offerings are:
- Kindle has a front facing camera; Nook has no camera
- Kindle's low priced tablets are ad supported, Nooks are ad free
- Nook tablets have a micro SD card slot for added storage, Kindles don't have a way to add storage
- Both Nook and Kindle highlight their email and calendar apps
For what it's worth,
The Other Bob