Caregiver Tips for Helping Seniors Learn New Technology Skills
“It’s never too late to learn something new” is somewhat cliche, but it remains true. And the world must doubly reinforce this truth to its seniors regarding technology.
It can be incredibly difficult for seniors to keep up in an advancing world – especially without guidance. Still, more and more seniors everywhere are plugging-in each day, buying smartphones, or joining Facebook.
And that’s largely because caregivers and family are taking a genuine interest in helping. Together, they are helping introduce them to new ways of staying connected, healthy, and young.
If you’re a motivated caregiver or family member, you can make a big difference by helping your elders learn new technology. Read on to better understand the enriching benefits of technology along with some best practices to help them learn.
The Benefits of Technology for Seniors
When a senior benefits from technology, their caregivers and loved ones do, too. They can rest assured knowing their elderly peers are happier and safer instead of worrying without any solutions. Check out some benefits below.
Although at face value, technology usually comes at a financial price, it is a great investment, if budgeted properly. And this is especially true if the senior you are caring for cannot easily leave the house to go to the bank, for example.
By using the internet on their phone, tablet, or laptop, they can utilize the advent of mobile banking from home. Mobile banking is very popular, so there is a good chance their bank offers this service – plus, it’s user-friendly;
There are numerous health benefits associated with learning new technologies. The main one is telehealth services, which are offered by many insurance companies and even some local governments.
Through telecommunication, they can conduct appointments virtually with their physicians in addition to receiving other medical health services. If you’re a long-distance caregiver, this can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Take some time to show them how easy it is to get in contact with old friends or family over Facebook. This could easily brighten up their lives and make them feel less isolated.
Remember that video calls are great for checking-in on their well-being, and Facebook Messenger offers this service for free. Everyone loves a little face-to-face interaction.
Aside from supplying pleasure, technological entertainment is a great way to keep the aging brain stimulated. Seniors can stay sharp and focused while having fun, so download an app for them or show them a website.
Showing seniors how they can entertain themselves independently is a great way to get them into technology. Once they are warmed up to using the buttons and touching the screen, they may be ready for other uses, as well.
Helping Seniors Learn New Technology
Technology can provide infinite rewards to seniors – it’s only a matter of if they can learn how to use it properly. Guided learning is the key, which will require your assistance.
Remember to always be patient and take time for questions, as it can be quite overwhelming to learn new technology. Through guided repetition and a positive attitude, you can show them how easy it is to use the tech.
Additionally, always walk seniors through the technology step-by-step, taking ample time to explain how things work. This will help them see the importance of technology on their terms and will help to ensure that they want to use it.
Next, drop the jargon and use simple language, as new “internet” terms won’t make sense to them. If you ask them what they already know, you can start from there, using analogies to fill in the rest.
Moreover, take everything slowly: don’t try to give seniors a crash course – have multiple sessions to avoid information overload. The worst thing you could do is give them too much to do on their own and discourage them fatally.
Note that writing things down may work wonders, especially since they are used to writing by hand. So get them a notebook – if they get lost, they can simply refer to it and jog their memory.
But make sure to discuss internet safety, including creating strong passwords and avoiding putting personal information in emails. This way, seniors can feel confident that they will not be taken advantage of through scams or identity theft.
Finally, show seniors some great free resources either online by bookmarking the pages or in-person via group workshops. For example, AARP offers some great information that can easily be accessed in their library.
With a little help from a great teacher, the seniors in your life will make great students. By taking some time to show some genuine confidence in them, they will learn new technology in no time. So never give up on the elderly in your care with regards to technology. It could add years to their life – and where there is a will, there is most certainly a way.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CA, Roseville, CA, San Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.