Technology is everywhere, and much of it can be valuable to seniors, especially while we are all social distancing due to COVID-19. However, it can be hard to learn how to use technology when it’s something completely new and different to you. After all, seniors didn’t grow up using today’s modern technology like smartphones. If you’re trying to show your grandparents how to use their device, these tips can help. And if you’re a senior yourself and need a better way to explain why learning new technology can be so confusing for you, show these tips to your family members.
Have patience. Younger people can get used to a new smartphone going in no time, but the whole process can be difficult for a senior. Accept that the learning process won’t happen overnight, and you’ll reduce a lot of stress for everyone involved. Patience really is a virtue, so take your time and don’t rush it as seniors learn new things, because everyone needs to learn at their own pace.
Welcome any and all questions. Teaching isn’t just about showing someone how to do something – it’s helping them understand the “how” and “why” of it all. But when you’re learning a new thing, questions don’t always come easy, so give seniors time to come up with them and when they do, answer them thoroughly and make sure they understand.
Talk about benefits. It’s hard to learn about something if you just don’t know what it is or why it matters that you learn about it. Before teaching seniors about technology, take some time to explain the different things they can do with it and how that will enrich their lives. Think about benefits that will interest them, such as being able to see the grandkids on video or being able to find the information they need about their favorite hobby.
Skip the jargon. In today’s technology age, there is a whole language out there to describe all the new devices and features that seniors have never heard of before. If they’re confused about something, it might be because you used jargon and they don’t know what it means. Slow down and explain words that might seem unusual to them as you go.
Go hands-on. It’s impossible to learn when someone else is flipping through buttons trying to show you how it’s done. Instead of showing, let the seniors do the tasks. It’s easier to remember how to do something new when you’ve actually done it before, so talk them through it and explain different aspects along the way.
Seniors can learn new technology, and their families can help – it just takes a little patience and persistence. If early forms of dementia are present, check with your loved one’s doctor to find out the best way to teach them to use new technology.
If it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our friendly, professional staff members can help make it easy. With state-of-the-art facilities that emphasize wellness, fun daily activities and a welcoming sense of community, and enjoyable, active senior lifestyle can be a reality. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.