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Tips to Help a Senior Learn Technology

As the world becomes more and more interconnected with social media and cell phones, understanding and knowing how to use technology is becoming increasingly important.

The more digitized society becomes, many older adults may feel left behind, but that doesn’t mean it is too late to start learning how to benefit from and use technology. No one begins with the knowledge of how to use a cell phone or computer.

By going about it in the right way, seniors can learn how to use and integrate technology into their everyday life. Here are some tips on how you can help a senior learn and adapt to using technology.


Explain the Benefits


Many seniors may feel hesitant about using a computer or cell phone because they are unaware of or don’t understand the benefits. However, explaining the benefits can make them more interested in learning about it. Take time to understand the interests and goals that a senior would want to accomplish by using technology. Then, explain how technology can make it easier for them to achieve those goals to help spark interest in learning.

Be Patient


There will be various aspects of technology seniors might encounter for the first time. Learning how to talk, text, and understand search engines and web browsers takes some time to get used to.

Being patient with your senior student is imperative to their learning process. It would be best if you were their guide and answered their questions by showing them (hands-on) the easiest ways to accomplish each task. You may need an extra dose of patience when hearing repetitive questions. Be friendly when giving them feedback and show a willingness to help in any areas they are interested in learning about.


Explain Concepts Simplistically


You can help your senior loved one learn about technology by using simple terminology when explaining various concepts about technology. Learning terms such as mouse, cookies, and portal can be confusing. It might be hard to associate these terms with technology, so break down each word into small parts and explain these concepts as simplistically as possible.

Let Them Do It Themselves


Most people learn the best about using their cellphones and computers through interacting with them. It does require “on the job” training. Take it one step at a time. The more curious they become about the different apps and icons, the more questions you will be able to answer for them.

Enroll in a Class


Your loved one may learn the best in a class setting. Senior centers, community centers, libraries, local community colleges, and other nonprofit organizations all have these classes available. By taking a class, your loved ones will have a chance to realize they are not alone in this endeavor and sit alongside other people in their age group. They can collaborate and explore with other seniors to learn the various functions of devices, from browsing the internet to downloading apps.

Talk About Security!


It is very important to talk to your senior student about navigating security with their technology. You don’t want to scare them, but you want them to be cautious. It is a good idea for them to learn about safely storing passwords, usernames, and other personal information, as they can be difficult for anyone to remember. You can help them set up a password manager to help them log into various platforms they will be using.

You should also explain to your senior student what spam is and not click on anything they are unsure about. They need to know there are scammers out there. You can always offer to be there for them and check their computer every so often to see how things are going.