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Helping Seniors with Technology: How To

“Old people” and “technology” may seem like two terms that can’t coexist but that’s often due to harmful stereotypes. There has also been a significant increase in seniors using technology as a result of the pandemic. As a matter of fact, internet use among people aged 65-74 has increased from 52% in 2011 to 83% in 2019. But how can you help an elderly loved one transition to the digital age? In this post, we will review how to explain technology to your grandparents and parents.

Benefits of Tech for Seniors

Future technology for the elderly will go a long way toward improving the lives of elderly adults but there are also several other benefits for older adults using technology right now. Below are a few helpful uses.

  • It keeps you connected. In the era of the pandemic, people have relied on online connections more than ever. Seniors can video chat with family and friends while staying at home to prevent feelings of social isolation.

  • Seniors can monitor their health. From wearable fitness bands to health-monitoring apps, keeping health in check has never been easier. Consult a doctor about the things you should monitor and do some research into the best apps and software.

  • Caregivers can receive medical alerts. If a senior is prone to falls and other dangerous conditions, they can receive help with the press of a button. Furthermore, if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, one can use devices to track one’s location should they become lost.

  • Seniors can keep track of their own medications. Medication alert apps can help ensure your loved one doesn’t miss a dose.

  • Seniors can get entertained and have fun. From streaming services and e-readers to games and hobby apps, seniors can find entertainment easily.

Now that we know a little about the relationship between older adults and technology, let’s try taking steps toward helping seniors with technology.

7 Tech Tips for Seniors

Seniors should always take steps to ensure they’re practicing good online safety and utilizing accessibility settings for easier use. With the below tips, your loved one will be headed toward a world of technology for seniors made easy.

  1. Use strong passwords. Try to use a different password of letters, numbers, and special characters for every site. They should never send their username and password information over social media and they should try to only enter a password if they recognize the site they are visiting.

  2. Use reputable security software. You can access cybersecurity options online for free or purchase them from reputable sources to ensure added safety. These tools run in the background to ensure your computer is safe from viruses. Do some research to figure out the best option and once it’s installed, be sure to keep it up to date.

  3. Avoid online scams. Elderly adults are often the most vulnerable targets to online scams. Make sure they know not to open attachments from or reply to emails from people and organizations they don’t know.

  4. Keep your personal information private. One should obviously keep information like social security numbers private but this also extends to social media use. Don’t overshare personal information and if you want to post or share tidbits about someone else, be sure to get their permission.

  5. Monitor online banking accounts. They should periodically check bank statements to ensure they are not getting charged for things they shouldn’t be.

  6. Utilize accessibility settings. If they’re having trouble seeing text messages or hearing their phone ring, they can make text larger or make sound alerts louder. Each device has its own set of accessibility settings to make technology easier for elderly adults. Be sure to consult its manual to figure out the best options.

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Follow basic online etiquette. No one is expecting your grandma to use “lol” or understand that some people interpret periods at the end of sentences as harsh. But they should understand that typing in all caps can be misconstrued as shouting or that some emojis can have specific meanings.

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