3 Tips for Introducing Technology to Seniors
You know the benefits of using technology – You’re using technology right now to read this post! Using a smartphone or social media is something you think an important senior citizen in your life would enjoy, but your loved one isn’t so gung-ho about trying something new.
Here are 3 key tips to make introducing technology to a senior much easier – and more enjoyable for everyone:
Make It Relevant
One of the most common barriers older adults have with using new technology is that they don’t see its relevance in their lives. They value in-person contact and direct phone calls over texting, emailing, or corresponding on social media. Until you can overcome these obstacles and get your loved one on board with using a new technology, you’ll always face resistance.
Begin by meeting your loved one where he’s at with technology. If he loves Westerns, show him how to navigate YouTube or other online sources of old movies and books. For the loved one with faraway family, show him family pictures on Facebook or teach him to use a video chatting app to call loved ones. By showing ways technology can enhance your loved one’s life, he is more likely to adopt and utilize it long-term.
Take Your Time
You may think that the technology you’re introducing a senior to is intuitive and easy, but it can look intimidating and foreign for someone who’s not as used to technology as part of everyday life. Introducing too many apps and media at once, or moving too quickly through your instructions, is a surefire way to confuse and frustrate your loved one.
When exposing your loved one to a new piece of technology or a new app, take things one at a time. Begin by explaining the purpose of the technology in terms she can understand (“This is a great way to see photos friends and family post and keep up on their lives”), and avoid using jargon. Allow her plenty of hands-on time to explore and learn what everything does, and encourage questions while you’re available to guide her.
Make Their Devices Accessible
Because seniors can have health problems that limit their ability to use certain technology – poor eyesight, sore fingers, difficulty hearing – make sure you find technology that is usable despite any physical limitations. Tablets and cell phones can be made to display larger text and buttons, or you can download screen reader apps. For those who are hard of hearing, purchase an external speaker for listening to music and messages. There are even arthritis-friendly keyboards with large buttons to make typing easier.
Expert Help for Seniors in Maryland
Thrive USA is committed to providing the best care for all seniors, regardless of their needs. Contact us today for help introducing technology to your senior, or to learn more about our wide range of senior care services.