Modern technology is an excellent resource for seniors. It can help them stay connected with loved ones, provide entertainment and educational opportunities, and improve their overall quality of life.
However, many seniors are hesitant to use technology because they don’t understand how it works or are afraid of making mistakes. If you have an elderly loved one who is interested in using technology but doesn’t know where to start, here are some tips on how you can help them:
1. Explain how the technology works.
Many seniors are intimidated by technology because they don’t understand how it works. If your loved one is interested in using a particular piece of technology, take the time to explain how it works. Use simple, straightforward language and be patient.
When explaining technology to the elderly, try to avoid using jargon. For example, when describing how to use a smartphone, avoid terms like “app store” or “touchscreen.” Instead, focus on explaining the basics of how to make calls, send texts, and take pictures.
They may also be interested in learning about more specific features, such as using GPS, setting alarms, or finding nearby restaurants. Again, take the time to explain each part in a way that is easy to understand. You may even want to write down step-by-step instructions for them to refer to later.
2. Help them find age-appropriate resources.
Many resources are available to help seniors learn about technology. Some of the best ones are all on the internet, so try searching “seniors and technology” or “technology for seniors.” You can also check out websites like Senior Assistance Club, which can provide various resources for seniors. But you will also need to teach them how to access the internet to find such websites in the first place.
Another great resource is your local library. Many libraries offer classes on how to use technology, and they may even have devices that seniors can use to practice. If your loved one is interested in taking a class, call the library to see what’s available.
You can also find resources specifically for seniors at your local senior center. Senior centers often offer computer classes and have staff members who can help seniors with technology questions if you are not always available.
3. Be their tech support.
Most senior citizens don’t have anyone to help them with their technology questions, so be sure to offer your assistance. If your loved one is having trouble using a particular piece of technology, take the time to help them troubleshoot the issue. This may involve doing a bit of research yourself, but it’s worth it if it means your loved one can use the technology effectively.
And, if you live far away from your elderly loved ones, you can still offer tech support by phone or video chat. Many remote desktop software programs allow you to control another person’s computer from your own. This can be a great way to help seniors with technology if you can’t be there in person.
Alternatively, you can find a professional tech support company specializing in helping seniors with technology. These companies usually have patient and experienced staff working with seniors. They can help with various issues, from setting up new devices to teaching seniors how to use specific features. They are also reachable through traditional channels like the phone, so your loved one can get help even when you’re not available.
4. Encourage them to use technology.
Once your loved one has learned how to use technology, encourage them to use it as much as possible. This will help them keep their skills sharp and prevent them from becoming too reliant on you for help.
There are many ways to encourage seniors to use technology. One is to find activities that they can do using technology, such as playing online games or keeping in touch with family and friends through social media. You can also set up their devices so that they get reminders to use them regularly.
For example, you can set up an alarm on their smartphone to remind them to check their email daily. Or, you can put a post-it note on their computer that says, “I will use this for 10 minutes today.”
It would be best if you also made sure that their devices are always within easy reach so they can use them whenever they want. This may mean keeping their smartphone on their nightstand or putting their tablet in their living room. Whatever you do, make sure that you encourage them to use technology in a positive and supportive way.
Technology can be an excellent resource for seniors, but it can also be intimidating. If you have an elderly loved one struggling to use technology, offer to help them out. Be patient, offer support, and find resources to help them learn. With your help, they’ll be using technology like a pro in no time.