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Useful Tips & Insights for Older Adults by Libby Howell
Wanting To Embrace Technology
While younger generations may have an easier time adapting to smartphones, apps, tablets and other advanced technology, older adults can also learn how to include gifs in their text messages and send electronic payments with confidence. Many adults only need proper guidance, the right teacher and some patience to get the hang of technology. With that in mind, here are several tips and tricks to help aging adults embrace technology.
Recognize Anxiety and Intimidation
One of the first steps to becoming more tech-savvy is acknowledging one’s anxiety, hesitation and feelings of intimidation about technology. Doing so can help put the matter in perspective by reminding older adults of other times they felt anxious, intimidated or hesitant and eventually overcame those emotions. This mindset can foster a sense of determination, which can keep adults going when they feel like giving up and losing the wonderful opportunities that technology can present.
Use Search Engines
Search engines present an invaluable resource not only to aging adults but to anyone of any age who’s curious. Learning how to curate search engine results and select a link that suits a person’s desires and learning style can open a world of possibilities. Mastering the efficient use of search engines also helps when older adults don’t have someone else around to teach them or show them how tech works.
Embrace New Methods of Staying Connected
For those times when search engines aren’t enough, older adults can reach out to family and friends through video chat through a laptop. Fortunately, you can often find great savings on fast, reliable laptops that will provide nice built-in mics, high-quality webcams, and excellent performance to handle video chat apps and programs. Video chat helps older adults feel connected to family and friends, and it offers visual learning aids missing from impromptu phone tutorials. Beyond embracing technology, video chat can replace various types of face-to-face interactions, such as connecting older adults through book clubs, movie nights and game nights even while isolating at home.
Technology is not without its risks, such as identity theft, hacking, malware and viruses. Online thugs often target aging adults because of their lack of knowledge of how to protect themselves, which could contribute to hesitation to use technology and the internet. Some of the first lessons older adults interested in using technology must learn surround issues like password protection, cybersecurity and identifying potential viruses and malware. Online resources and video tutorials help adults safeguard their financial and personal information, allowing them to navigate technology with one less thing to worry about.
Anyone getting used to new technology, no matter their age, must remain patient with themselves. It may take several days or weeks to learn and discover all the features a single piece of technology offers. Updates and upgrades also require a measure of patience. Taking breaks as needed and practicing skills after learning them can help keep frustration at bay.
Change the Settings
Those with vision or hearing problems may experience the added aggravation of having a hard time seeing or hearing the words and sounds issuing from a phone, computer or tablet. It is crucial to know where to find the settings for devices and how to change them to increase the volume or make text bigger. Straining to see or hear may impede making the most of technology and learning how to use it.
With the right approach, perspective and learning tools , older adults can make the most of technology. Given enough time and perseverance, they may even become more adept with phones or the internet than younger generations!