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While the Thomas Guide (TM) May Be “Old and Wise,” Is it eldergadget?


Everyone would want to have a device that helps you find out where you are and how you can get to get where you need to go. And if it

And if it’s in a no-tech, paper format, all the better. Right?

Unfortunately, contrary to what I expected, the Thomas Guide (TM), seems to be best suited for taking up space under the passenger-side seat.


The version I looked at (Los Angeles and Orange Counties Street Guide) is reasonably priced around $30 and “claims” to be more detailed and up-to-date than internet-based maps.  However, for those seniors who have difficulty seeing fine print or trouble performing delicate finger maneuvers, this product could be a struggle to use.

The pages are difficult to grasp and turn and the print too small and dense to easily read.  The landscape layout and low-structure paperback also means that a sturdy surface or two hands are needed to keep it from flopping open. For a person standing or sitting in car, using a finger to scan the text or turn the page presents a challenge.


Though it boasts an “Easy-to-use Page & Grid System,” the master map index, which switched between number and letter codes,  is pretty darn confusing. The pink map reference numbers situate in the top right-hand corners are also surprisingly hard too notice.

This book would be easier to handle if it was larger, sported clearly labeled, protruding side tabs, sturdier binding, and thicker pages, ideally with texturized corners.  Given the visual density of the maps, I wish the Guide came with a tethered, plastic magnifying sheet.

A laminated sample page diagramming standard page layout and accompanied by simple instructions and a map key would make it easier to understand too.

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