5 Tips for Teaching Parents and Elderly Loved Ones How to Use Technology
Parents and grandparents teach children how to navigate the world. Now, it’s your turn to be the teacher.
Teach aging loved ones how to use technology that will help them find new types of entertainment, stay in touch with friends and family, continue learning, and a whole lot more with these five tips.
1. First, take a deep breath
The best teachers stay calm with their students, even when they’re feeling frustrated.
Remember, technology use doesn’t come naturally to many older people because they didn’t grow up with smartphones and laptops. Before the first lesson take a deep breath and commit to staying cool and collected.
2. Keep it simple
Aging loved ones don’t need to know about cloud-based network security, how an internet router works, or the newest developments in artificial intelligence.
Focus on the basics and teach them how to complete the tasks they need most. Learning how to restart a computer or smartphone and send an email with photo attachments are both great places for seniors to start.
3. Educate seniors about common scams and privacy
The elderly are prime targets for all sorts of online and phone-based scams. You know that the prince from Nigeria who promises riches after an initial “investment” wants to steal your money, but the request may sound perfectly reasonable to someone who isn’t familiar with this common online scam.
Explain how it’s important to never:
- Click on a link that comes from a person or business they don’t know, both in emails and on social media.
- Provide credit card, bank, or other financial account numbers to someone over the phone… even if the caller claims they need to verify the senior’s identity for a refund.
- Use an easy-to-guess password like password1234, which can easily be hacked.
4. Increase the font sizes on electronic devices
Vision tends to worsen as we get older and the standard font size on most smartphones and computers is quite small. Proactively increasing the font sizes on any device a senior is using can help eliminate stress and frustration for everyone.
You can also download senior-friendly apps, like the ones on this list from SeniorLiving.org. Deleting or moving apps that your loved one doesn’t need also helps.
5. When teaching an aging parent or loved one how to use technology, try to have fun
Making memories with the people you love and who love you is one of life’s greatest joys. With a positive mindset and patience, tech lessons can even be fun.
Your parents may never understand what a meme is or why you spend so much time at a computer. However, they will feel excited and confident about their new technology skills, and that’s something to celebrate.
As a local nonprofit, The Argyle has brought high quality and affordable care to Denver’s seniors since 1874. To this day, our caring team remains committed to encouraging independence and preserving the dignity of every resident who calls our community home.