Four out of ten seniors now use a smartphone, which is more than double the amount in 2013. In the past eight years, we’ve seen a 24% increase in adults ages 65 and up who own a smartphone. With more seniors than ever in possession of smartphones, an important question is raised: how do we get senior parents to be more comfortable with the technology?
Tug At Their Heartstrings
Is your loved one hesitant about learning to use technology? Well, you can help! Use your smartphone or tablet to show them the photos and news their friends and family are sharing on social media. They will be more interested in learning how to use their device if they see that it can help them connect with the people they love. They’ll likely discover other benefits of using technology in the process.
Understand Their Needs
To find the right applications and devices for your loved ones, you first need to get a sense of what they’re looking for. Here are a few common ways that smartphones and tablets help improve our day-to-day routines:
- Telehealth doctor’s appointments
- Play games
- Keep up with the news
- Watch TV shows
- Organize photos
- Stay in touch with friends and family
- Manage money
Their values will influence the type of device they buy, and which apps they download to help them manage their life and interests.
Ease Into It
Start by expanding your parent’s use of the technology that they are already familiar with. If they use a cell phone only for calls, teach them how to text. Once they are comfortable with texting, talk to them about upgrading to a smartphone or a tablet. These devices can be easier on aging eyes and joints.
Address Their Fears
When you’re teaching older parents about technology, it’s important to think about why they might be reluctant. There are definite concerns over sharing personal information on the web. They are often prime targets for financial fraud and several other scams that are internet-based — romance, income tax extortion, and online purchases. Take time to reassure them that when the right precautions are taken, using the web is generally quite safe.
Teach them just the things they want to know right now—whether it’s how to get on Facebook, use a doctor’s patient portal, or video-chat with grandchildren. If you can’t be with your loved one on a regular basis, find trustworthy helpers who can provide the confidence and support to learn new skills. These helpers could be friends, relatives, or church members. You can also hire a professional caregiver who is employed by an agency that conducts thorough background checks, so you can rest easy knowing that your loved one is taken care of.
Give It Time
Your loved one might need help several times to master a tech task. Be patient. As with any new skill, it takes practice to become comfortable. A survey by The Pew Research Center showed that once seniors get online, they are more active and engaged—76 percent of older internet users go online every day. With practice and patience, your loved one can become the newest tech master!
ComputerCPR offers top-notch computer repairs, remote tech support, data recovery, malware removal, and more. We help individuals and businesses get the most out of their electronic devices with great repairs, upgrades, accessories, tech support, and malware removal. We can help get your loved one on the right track as well. Our experienced technicians are always happy to help you out, so call or visit our website to get in touch with ComputerCPR today!