Technology is wonderful for seniors who want to use a variety of programs and devices to make life easier. Whether your aging loved one wants to talk to the grandkids using virtual chat software or track his or her health progress, there are many opportunities to use electronic devices. Addressing these five challenges older adults often encounter when using technology can help your loved one enjoy the benefits of being connected.
1. Changing Their Mindsets
Negative perceptions about using technology pose one of the biggest hurdles seniors need to overcome. For instance, your loved one might fear the possibility of breaking a device, have heard bad things about social media, or even believe he or she is too old to learn how to use new devices. Work with your loved one to identify why he or she may be hesitant to use technology. Then you and other caregivers can help your loved one see the benefits of keeping an open mind.
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2. Developing Hearing & Vision Issues
Using technology often involves the ability to see and hear well. Seniors with vision or hearing issues may need to use adaptive devices or programs. Vision issues can often be overcome by using bigger screens and adjusting the settings. Making the text bigger or adjusting the contrast can make it easier to see things. Hearing challenges can be addressed with volume controls and applications that convert speech to text your loved one can read.
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3. Handling Typing Challenges
Typing requires manual dexterity some seniors may lack due to arthritis and other challenges. Seniors might be able to use ergonomic devices to make typing more comfortable. For instance, wrist supports can help seniors who have muscular weakness in their lower arms. Speech-to-text software is another option that helps seniors get their messages and commands entered into their devices.
4. Learning to Navigate Websites & Tools
Websites and smartphone apps are getting easier to navigate, but some seniors may need some guidance if it’s their first time using a platform. Offer to sit with your loved one and walk through some basics to learn how to get where he or she wants to go online. You can also cover a few common issues that might arise, such as having the wrong login information, to make sure your loved one can use websites and online tools independently.
5. Protecting Their Privacy
Going online exposes seniors to new potential threats to their security. Your loved one might have also heard horror stories about what could happen if someone steals his or her identity. Show your loved one how to set up secure passwords and ways to spot the signs of potential scams. You can also appoint someone to watch over your loved one’s accounts to make sure he or she doesn’t become a target for fraudsters.
Learning about technology is just one of the challenges older adults may face at home. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Rhode Island seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. Schedule a complimentary consultation today by calling (401) 284-0979.