This radio should be very easy for an elderly person to operate. Just knowing that the on/off switch is on the left & the tuner is located on the right should be of considerable help. I remember the older radios had both switches on one side and if that were the case it could be difficult for an elderly person. I feel this radio should be fine, easy to hold and very easy to operate. Good luck!
I'm also older and wear progressive lenses. I don't seem to have trouble seeing the various functions - basically 2 wheels and 1 switch.
The Volume wheel is on the left side of the radio, near the top. This wheel also clicks the radio on an off (to click to off, turn the wheel all the way down). Below the Volume wheel is a small hole for a headset or an earpiece. There's also an antenna on the left side, behind the Volume wheel and the headset hole, which tucks neatly into the radio when not extended.
The Tuning wheel is on the right side, near the top. Below that is the Band switch, which lets you push up for FM and down for AM. I basically only listen to FM so I keep the switch in the FM position all the time, leaving me with one less thing to do.
I hope this helps. I always look for the simplest electronics I can find because I'm not especially technology friendly.
If you do have problems seeing these, you might try to memorize where they are (basically only three functions) or, if all else fails, you can try to find a radio with larger options/functions.
The ON/OFF switch is on one side of the radio and can easily be FELT by someone with poor eyesight. In my opinion the TUNER would be difficult for someone with poor eyesight to see. It is not back lit and it is not large.