is becoming more important in every industry, not in the least healthcare. It
has also become a crucial component of our relationships. Technology allows us
to connect with family members, exercise our brains, and stay up to date.
Seniors who are not used to new technologies can fall behind in these areas. It
is up to their adult children to guide them.
34 per cent of elderly people say they have no
confidence when it comes to online or electronic tasks. 48 per cent say they
need assistance in setting up new devices and learning how to use them. Here
are some ways you can help your older parents adapt to modern technology.
1. Use Informal Language
might not understand what “WIFI,” “broadband,” or “HDMI” means. Using this type
of language when explaining the technology could confuse them or make them feel
frustrated and overwhelmed. You can make this a positive learning experience by
meeting them where they are at. Ask them what they already know about the
technology you are showing them. Then, build on what they already know with
2. Slow Down and Be Patient
younger adults, pulling up Skype on a tablet only takes a second. However, for
someone who has never done it before and has not been using a tablet for years,
it takes time. When you show them what to do the first few times, go slow.
Break it down into easy steps. You may even want to write down steps for them.
Then, be patient as they learn. Your positivity and encouragement are so
important to this process.
3. Build Their Confidence
is easy for a senior to forget the steps or make a mistake and then give up
altogether. This is especially true if you make them feel unintelligent for
making those mistakes. The biggest tool in your toolbox as an adult child is encouragement.
Emphasize and compliment when they are picking something up quickly or when
they learn something new. Tell them how impressed you are with how fast they
are learning and that you know they will have it down in no time.
4. Play Games
getting used to the physical aspect of technology is hard, especially for
seniors who have decreased motor control. Games are a great way to help them
get familiar with the device and practice their coordination. The game apps, 2048 and Threes, are tile-swiping games
that help with motor control. There are even games that digitize classics like
Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Chess. If your parent loves specific games,
find them the digital equivalent.
5. Make Their Devices Easier
you that there are apps that can make your parent’s smartphone and tablet
easier to use? Senior Safety Phone is an Android app that
simplifies their home screen with large, clear icons for the tasks they
actually do. Simple Social is an app that
streamlines all their social media apps and makes them less cluttered and
overwhelming to new users.