We live in exciting times and the flurry of activities being done by technology is a boon for the modern man. However, this has also made it difficult for seniors to keep up with the pace of the way we handle our bills, shop and even look for directions just with the swipe of a finger. By teaching seniors technology, we are enabling them to adapt to the sweeping changes to help them live simpler and easier lives.
This is a new concept for the elderly. There are no touchscreens, no wifi and definitely no emails to deal with back in the 60’s. One way to reduce the complexity of using technology is to build on something that they are familiar with. For example, in introducing web pages you can make reference to them as ‘street addresses’. This help seniors navigate seniors through the web like that of navigating around buildings.
If you are teaching seniors technology, they would be more receptive if you give them the benefits first of using the technology. For example, you are teaching them on using Facebook. The easiest way to help them understand this is by showing them pictures of their grandchildren or relatives. Let them have a look at the kind of content they like such as gardening, arts, operas or concerts. Once they understand this, they will be more patient and open to creating an account and exploring the app.
In teaching senior living technology, always use simple language. You give them jargons like emoji, file attachments, selfie, hashtags and they’re likely to drop the whole idea like a hot potato. You just can’t expect seniors to keep up with the jargons. In teaching seniors this, use simple and consistent terms to describe a function that has multiple terms.
It’s obvious that you can’t expect them to understand at the same pace as a 7-year-old will be able to explain how to use a hashtag on Instagram. Pause in between steps and let them process what was being taught. One way to effectively measure your teaching is to ask them to repeat what was taught or ask them how they felt with the pacing. This break times would help them process or ask questions about the app or a process that they needed to go back to.
Before moving to a different function of an application, ask senior some questions if there’s anything they have not understood. This will help them to be more open to learning and keep frustration at bay.
Once all details have been taught, give them the independence to work their way through. Teaching seniors technology usually takes a while for them to finish a certain task. They need to take an active role in the process to help them be accustomed to the nuances of tapping, pressing buttons and clicking tabs.
Never forget to give them ‘wow’ moments. Once they are familiar with the technology, you can show them other features that make that technology unique. If you are showing them Google Maps, why not give them a glimpse of the other parts of the world? How about their old childhood street? If they are familiar with Facebook, try doing video calls with their grandchildren. This will enrich their experience more and appreciate the use of the app.
In teaching senior living technology, helping them understand these concepts gives them empowerment to wade through the changes. It will help them feel secure about the set-up and enable them to do more or at the very least get by with daily living using technology. This is something your loved one will thank you for it!
Help seniors know more about apps, as well as our Realtime App. Our Realtime App ensures an efficient exchange of information. ‘We are here to provide the technology solution for the senior industry.