Seniors NEED technology whether they want it or not. In fact, most already are participating in many ways they don't even know about. Yes, what you don't know can be frightening, but it is essential that seniors get on board and learn technology that is appropriate and necessary. This article outlines some ways of helping them come into the twenty first century tech world.
How to get older adults on board with technology
1. Think ahead. Seniors must realize that computers and online access can be just as important as going to the movies or shopping with friends. They must also realize that the important information that they desire can now be accessed through some simple Web browsers or by using the computer's built-in search tools. 2. Set an example. Take a few moments to sit down with an older relative and help them set up and use a computer and a phone or tablet. Invite them to use a search engine or to open a document. Show them how to use any useful apps or software on their smartphones or tablets. Ask them if they need assistance. Be patient with them, but do not let them get frustrated. This is all new the them. Seniors will love the opportunity to do something with the help of you or someone else.
Technology is a Tool for Independence
My grandfather has poor eyesight. However, he uses the Internet to send email, search the web, and communicate with friends and family. If not for technology, he would not be as proficient in these areas. Technology allows seniors to stay connected with family, not just physically, but also emotionally and intellectually. Technology also allows seniors to stay connected with the community, creating a new relationship with people of all ages and abilities. Seniors are almost 80% more likely to live alone in old age, and technology is their vehicle to staying connected. As tech becomes more powerful and widespread, it allows seniors to stay in their homes longer. Not all aging in place means living in a retirement community. Nevertheless, social interaction remains a necessity.
Seniors and the Internet
Seniors aren't always tech-savvy. Many face age related issues that make it difficult for them to understand how to work the internet or use digital devices. Using the internet at least every other day improves their overall health and well-being. They can choose between many free and low cost internet services that use a combination of technology and non-technology methods that rely on touch, sight, hearing, and physicality to deliver the product. Just remember that the internet can be overwhelming for seniors who have limited tech literacy skills.
Technology makes life easier
Technology has given us many conveniences, from online banking to email to streaming entertainment. While it's good for us to learn how to use these conveniences, technology is often intimidating and confusing for many seniors. For this reason, getting started with technology as a senior is important because it can create a new way of life that is actually more accessible than what they've ever known. Seniors can still use technology while simplifying and making it easier to use. When they understand the technology, they will become accustomed to it and hopefully be more likely to accept technology into their lives in a meaningful way. Just remember that seniors may need some help.
Seniors not only need to get technology but they need to get on board and learn it. In the world of tech, anything and everything is possible. However, seniors need to be informed and educated in order to make the right choices. If they don't understand how technology is going to change, or what is going to change, they will not be able to adapt. If they do get on board with the right technology, then they are going to see so much more of it. Get them interested and they will stay involved. Technology need not be intimidating if a patient teacher teaches them.
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and is probably the most prolific eulogy writer (and, no doubt, the best) anywhere. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones.
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