Technology is a part of our culture and deeply embedded into our present generation. We rely on it every day to stay connected, keep in touch with our loved ones and complete ordinary tasks on a daily basis.
At any age – and for seniors especially – technology can be difficult to understand. It can daunting, intimidating and full of the unknown. On the other end of the spectrum, seniors can benefit from technology and enjoy a long list of advantages. It can enrich their lives too. Countless apps, programs and gadgets are specifically available for seniors, to help them track of medications, to-do lists, doctor’s appointments, and much more. There are also socialization benefits as well; modern technology can help seniors connect and engage with their family members, long-distance friends and loved ones.
With a little bit of practice and perseverance it’s fairly easy to become comfortable with today’s modern technology. Here are some steps and methods that will help your loved one become accustomed to today’s modern technology and gadgets:
Slowly introduce them to one piece of technology at a time
The last thing you want to do is overload your loved one with too much information. It will be confusing, hard to process and extremely difficult to understand. To start off, show your loved one the basics and teach them about the advantages that this particular piece of technology can offer them. Clearly write down a few simple instructions and then, let him or her practice on their own. Afterwards, you are welcome to evaluate them and see how much information they absorbed.
Encourage your loved one to have – and keep- an open mind.
Even though they might be scared or intimidated of technology, it’s your mission to eliminate false pretenses and get negative thoughts out of your loved one’s head. Encourage him or she to think positively and to focus on the benefits that technology can offer them. For example, explain how a tablet could help a seniors stay socially connected and independent.
Remember, patience will always lend a helping hand.
If you’re loved one is having trouble understanding how to use the technology, or simply can’t wrap their head around its purpose – have patience. If you show them that you are aggravated or annoyed, then unfortunately, the feelings will most likely be reciprocated. It’s also important to encourage your loved one to ask questions about the devices and to share their concerns. Read their body language and keep an eye on their emotions and reactions while you’re teaching them.
Rely on community training programs.
Libraries, senior centers and other independent organizations within your community will teach older adults about technology. These are always a good option because they allow your loved one to connect with peers, develop new friendships and learn in a group setting.
And to finish off, when your loved one is on a roll and familiar with technology by using the steps listed above, make sure you download the following apps – which have specifically been developed for seniors:
Developed for the iPad and iPhone, this app will be your loved one’s saving grace when it comes to remembering which medications to take and at what time. The user can also customize their medications on the screen by using different types and colors.
Available on Google Play, this app will give the ultimate peace of mind; it will alert you as soon as a fall occurs, or an extended period of inactivity.
Clock Face Test
Developed for the iPad and iPhone, this app uses a series of cognitive tests to evaluate an individual’s dementia. Users simply have to drag numbers to the appropriate place on the clock and in return, the results will assesses their performance