The benefits of technology are extensive. Not only does technology keep people connected and engaged, but it helps successfully age in place, and offers access to unlimited resources.
Being able to utilize technology in a successful manner, can give your increased independence and feelings of purposefulness. Even basic can increase connection and expand the ways in which your can support themselves in their . New in technology increase accessibility for those who may have limited mobility and wish to stay connected as well.
In this article, we will explore the steps to take for
to your . We’ll focus on covering the three primary types of technology such as tablets, computers, and smartphones. It’s important to keep in mind your loved one's previous experience with technology.For your loved one, it may be their ever using a device. For other elder adults, perhaps it’s been a few years and this guide can act as a refresher. You may have to adapt slightly based on your loved one's unique needs.
Additionally, it’s important to consider who will be the best teacher for your
Brainstorm who may be the right fit to teach technology to your senior loved one and suggest they use these nine steps below.. Family caregivers may find it adds to their growing list of caregiving responsibilities. Whereas, a grandchild might find to a to be a rewarding way to connect with their older loved one.
Learning a can have a positive impact on your loved one and bring on a sense of accomplishment for your senior.
Technology is ever-changing and can be frustrating to navigate, especially for who may be less familiar with different types of technology.
Consider these nine steps when trying to teach your senior about technology.
Before beginning to teach your
how to use a device, speak with them about their technology goals. Find out what they are hoping to use their device for.
They may wish to play games, video chat, or use . Depending on their , they may even be able to and wish to connect with their medical .
Making , texting, or “ ” with and taking photos may be primary reasons for your loved one wanting to use a smartphone.
Your things that have become widely available during the COVID-19
. may wish to email, write documents, or surf the web on their computer. They may hope to attend classes or community meetings -
Speak the lingo with your ! Go through important terms they will need to know in order to learn and operate their device.
Show your what an is by demonstrating downloading one or two onto a device. Try showing them different categories of so they can become familiar with the concept.
After all, can allow you to do everything from check-off tasks, play games, monitor healthcare updates, check emails, and more.
Most devices require having their battery be charged. Show your
where their charger is, where to insert the cable, and how to connect it to an outlet.
While you may not plan on teaching your how to connect to the , make sure they are familiar with the term in order to help with troubleshooting later on. Explain that is what gives them .
Labels can be helpful reminders for later on. Try labeling the following technological devices for your
Use tape and a marker to label important buttons- like the power button.
Cellphones, Smartphones, and Tablets:
Label the charger cables and keep them plugged into an accessible outlet.
Make sure the charger cable does not create a tripping hazard for your .
If your has limited background knowledge, be sure to start simple. If possible, try to associate devices with technology that may be familiar. For example, if your loved one is used to using a smartphone, introducing them to a tablet first may be simpler.
Even a landline may be a helpful comparison for a smartphone. Here are a few more things to focus on for each device:
First, show your how to turn a computer on and off. Then show them how to access the web and what to click using a computer mouse.
Second, if your has never used a smartphone before start by turning the phone on and off before making calls. Then try moving on to tasks such as practicing creating a text message or checking the weather through the weather app.
Lastly, same as with computers and smartphones, begin with showing your
how to power the tablet on and off. Then begin using with your that they’re interested in using - but remember, keep it simple and in line with their end goals.
Oftentimes, devices come preloaded with lots of bells and whistles. Consider removing that may make the device appear overwhelming to your loved one. You can always add back the apps later on.
Don’t try to teach your everything all at once and don’t try to teach them technology while other things are going on.
Be specific and mindful about when your lesson will be. If your has better times of day, take advantage of those times. Remove any distractions when teaching, such as the TV or radio.
There are lots of online resources for seniors to learn how to use various technology devices and tools.
YouTube and for using technology. Some local senior centers or both have many offer in-person sessions on using devices as well.
While the benefits of technology are extensive, there can be some dangers that can come along with it - especially for those who may be less dangers of and be on the lookout for signs of security breaches. with your . Review any
Learning a takes time, and is no easy feat.
There are lots of details and complications that can arise through the especially when you're in the midst of carrying out other responsibilities.
. It can be easy to become frustrated when teaching someone else,
While it may be a process to teach tech, can open up doors for so remember why you’re doing it in the first place. It’s never too late to learn a and use it to make easier.
Laurel McLaughlin has over a decade worth of experience in various sectors of the elder care field- home care, senior living, and non-profits. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is a certified dementia practitioner.
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