Becoming more tech-savvy – 8 tips for seniors
Today’s world is being drastically changed by technology. And, while younger generations have been brought up with emerging tech, it can be difficult for seniors to understand and use the increasing range of devices and gadgets.
Of course, you might be aware of how activity monitoring technology can improve elderly people’s quality of life. However, learning how to make the most of digital devices can help you also make your life easier and continue to live independently for years to come.
While it is normal to feel overwhelmed by all these rapid changes, there is a lot that you can do to become more tech-savvy and become more comfortable using smartphones, tablets, computers and event entertainment devices. Start with these easy tips!
Start From the Basics
The rapidly changing world of technology can seem extremely overwhelming. However, instead of ignoring these changes, you could start from the basics. The first step is to understand what are the most useful and beneficial devices you could use. These might vary depending on your lifestyle, but generally include:
Start by learning about the functionalities of each of them and how they can improve your life. Once you have decided what to invest in, you’ll find that each device comes with a myriad of functionalities. But don’t worry, and focus on the most important ones.
Learn What You Can Do With the Right Tech Tools
It might seem easier to just continue using the tools you already have for your everyday life. However, technology has opened up a world of possibilities for everyone. Basic devices such as smartphones and tablets can already facilitate many of your daily tasks, including:
- Keeping in touch with your loved ones, especially if they live abroad or in a distant town
- Keeping up with the news and world events
- Setting reminders, such as for appointments, treatment schedules, or medications
- Keeping up with your correspondence and sending emails
- Managing your finances
- Watching games or listening to talk shows
- Reading books or listening to music
- Sharing and receiving photos of your family and events
Additionally, technology has helped old friends find each other again and families create stronger bonds. New studies have even found that your smartphone can help you keep track of your brain and physical health and improve your fitness level.
Invest in a Laptop and a Smartphone
While there are more digital devices and gadgets that you could count out there, you don’t have to invest in every single item! Firstly, this could come at a significant cost. And, secondly, not all devices will be useful or beneficial for your unique needs.
However, there are a few items that are useful in most cases. For example, you could definitely invest in a laptop and smartphone. These two devices already offer a wealth of functionalities, including emails, maps, messaging apps, health trackers, and entertainment.
Depending on your hobbies, you might also consider investing in an eReader. Electronic readers – such as a Kindle or Kobo – can be extremely beneficial for seniors thanks to their features and functionalities. Not only do they allow you to make the text much larger and easier to read, but they also help you find affordable books, adjust the brightness, and even search a word’s definition.
Use How-To Books or Video Tutorials
If you are unsure how to get started with technology, you might consider investing in simple how-to books or manuals. You can certainly fight beginners’ books at your local library, or you could ask your local bookshop for recommendations.
Alternatively, you could consider the benefits of video tutorials. From YouTube videos or platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare, you can find plenty of video tutorials, classes, and courses that can help you get started with the basics of using digital devices.
Consider Taking Classes at a Local School
If you don’t know how to find how-to guides or video tutorials using the Internet or Google, don’t despair! Another great option is to check with local schools and institutions. Many evening schools and colleges offer seniors the chance to advance their skills in various fields, including technology or language learning.
The benefit of trusting these courses is that they offer a structured education and plenty of opportunities to level up your skills. Additionally, in-person classes can help you develop a relationship of trust with your teacher, who can help you by providing materials that are suitable for your knowledge level.
Ask the Young People in Your Family for Help
Whether it is your sons or daughters or your nephews or nieces, there will be someone in your family with some tech skills. Consider reaching out to them and ask them to spend some time with you each week.
They will be able to explain the different functionalities of devices such as phones and tablets. And, this might just be the best occasion to spend some time together. While there is no doubt about the fact that they will love to be part of this project, if they need another incentive, consider offering them to share a meal together and make this a family activity.
Find the Right Professional Support
When you first start using your smartphone, laptop, or eReader, the chances are that you will need professional support at some point. You might not be able to understand one or more of the offered functionalities, or you might find yourself dealing with unexpected issues.
Whether you have noticed that your laptop screen flickers without a reason or your phone’s battery drops even if you have barely used the device, knowing who to call in these situations is essential.
So, when you purchase your laptop or smartphone, make sure to speak to the seller and find the right professional who can guide you through this learning curve.
Be Patient With Yourself
Learning something new always comes with a steep learning curve. And, while younger generations are naturally more confident with digital devices, it might take you longer to learn how to make the most of each gadget. But don’t despair. This is normal and to be expected. Just be patient with yourself, spend time each day practising your skills, and continue to ask questions. You’ll find that, in just a few weeks, your life wouldn’t be the same without Facebook, Netflix, your favourite eBooks, your chosen chess app, or YouTube.
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