What’s the Best Way to Introduce Technology to Seniors?
There’s no doubt that modern technology transforms the way we learn and communicate. For younger generations, smart phones, tablets, and computers are just a part of life. But for elderly adults that came of age way before these modern inventions, feeling more comfortable with typewriters and 10-key machines, they often feel as if their relatives and friends have left them behind when it comes to connecting and accessing the wealth of information available in the digital world. Simple first steps, such as a social media account, e-reader, and a smart phone with texting can help aging adults fulfill their needs for communication and entertainment.
Family caregivers should take every opportunity to see how certain forms of technology might enrich their elderly relative’s life. A little technology may be all that is needed in a comprehensive elderly care plan to bring seniors into the modern era.
Evaluating Technology Needs.
Family caregivers need to pay special attention to what kind of device and technology their elderly loved one might be interested in. From smartphones to tablets to laptops, there are all kinds of options. Most seniors would love to communicate with family members more, so setting them up with an email account or a smartphone with texting options might be what they need. Family caregivers can also set up a social media account that most other family members use, and teach their elderly relative how to check it.
Giving an elderly loved one an account for an e-reader and showing them how to shop for books and magazines can change the way they spend their free time. Streaming movies and television shows is easy for lots of teens and kids, but elderly people may need a few lessons on how to do so. When family caregivers spend time really listening to what their elderly relative needs and wants, choosing the right technology option becomes easier. Incorporating technology into an elderly care plan is only going to enrich a senior’s life.
How to Teach Seniors About Technology.
The most important thing that seniors need when learning new information is plenty of patience from their loving family caregivers. They may be intimidated or scared or too proud to admit they don’t know anything about modern devices and how to operate them. However, once they get started and see the immediate benefits of being online in a digital world, they will feel even more motivated to dive right in and keep going.
Family caregivers should plan on introducing the easiest technology first and show their elderly relative step by step. It may be helpful to write the steps down so the elderly person can refer to them easily. When they master some of the simplest things, they can move on to more detailed aspects of the internet. Teaching technology to seniors should blend show-and-tell with lots of hands-on experimentation. In no time, seniors will become more savvy and comfortable with the devices. Some places even provide classes for the elderly, such as senior centers, adult day care facilities, community centers, and more.
When it comes to keeping seniors connected to others and give them access to the digital world, it may take some time. However, the payoff will be worth it.