6 Tips to Help Older Adults Adapt to Technology
It is a vital skill to know and understand how to use technology for everyone. But, for seniors, most of them feel left behind, but with help from family and friends, they can learn a thing or two. When seniors know how to use technology, they can utilize it to keep in touch with friends and family through zoom and FaceTime platforms. Also, they can use their tablets, smart TVs, and smartphones to stream The Pirate Bay for movies. Plus, they can read, surf the web and play games, among other things. Below are tips to help seniors understand technology.
1. Be patient
It takes time for seniors to understand the web browsers with the many aspects of technology they need to learn. Plus, they will have a lot of questions. Therefore, you need to be patient in helping them. Remember, you are answering the questions they have, guiding, and showing them the easy way. The other reason patience is vital is seniors ask repetitive questions, and you will repeat showing them more than once. And you remaining patient is a way to encourage them to learn how to use technology.
2. Explain the benefits
Many seniors do not know the benefits of understanding much about technology and are hesitant to learn anything. But, explaining the benefits will make them more interested to learn more. They may not know, through technology, they can listen to songs or video call their family anytime. For instance, if they love reading the newspaper, showing them they can read the articles online will make them more interested in learning more. Take time to know if they have an interest that would want them to learn using technology. Then spark interest by explaining to them how technology makes it easy.
3. Adjust devices to meet their needs
Many seniors need their phones or computer adjusted to meet their needs. For instance, you can make the text large if they struggle with vision. Also, you can set up the device to read the text out loud. Plus, most seniors have arthritis. Thus, it can impact their ability to use the mouse and keyboard. Fortunately, there are equipment and devices you can buy for them to make it user-friendly to use technology. Adjust your loved ones’ physical needs and adjust the technology to suit their capabilities.
4. Talk about security
As you teach older adults how to use technology, remember to help them with the security part. For instance, explain to them to never write any personal information unless it is the user name and password as they log in. Also, inform them to never click on things they are unsure of or respond to spam emails. Plus, explain to them how hackers use the internet to scam people and collect personal information from them. More importantly, take time to look at their computer if they have questions about the legitimacy of what they find.
5. Allow them to do it themselves
Most people, by using various devices, can learn to use them with no help. It is easy to show the steps. But, they should practice using them and try again if they fail. Therefore, allow the seniors to explore their curiosity and try using technology to help them learn fast. Let them interact with different aspects and ask questions about the phone and computer functions. If they need help, let them do it as you explain to them. In this way, they internalize the steps and make them feel accomplished in what they need to learn.
6. Enroll in a class
People are different even as older adults. Some seniors will learn technology best in a class setting. There are many classes they can learn from through community colleges, senior centers, and others. One benefit to enrolling them in a class at their age is to help them to learn more about technology with people their age. Plus, they can collaborate and explore with other seniors to learn using the internet, functions of various devices, and downloading apps. Some classes are free. But in others, you pay a small fee. If you have none in your local area, opt to try online classes.