Help Seniors Master the Internet with These 4 Tips
The Internet has become so important that it’s no longer viewed as a luxury, but rather a necessity by younger generations. However, the same thing does not apply to older generations. Baby boomers still see the Internet as the great unknown, a scary place they don’t tread without a good reason.
According to Pew Research Center, only 44% of seniors aged 80 or more report using the internet, while just 28% of them have a broadband connection at home.
But why is that?
The main motivation of senior citizens to master the internet comes from the desire to keep up with the younger generations. We can all agree that this is not really an incentive.
But if seniors were made aware of all the benefits new technologies can yield, they may be tempted to master them. For example, technologies like smartwatches are not only fun, they can prove quite useful for seniors. You can learn more about it here:
Think about how the Internet can help many seniors. It can help those with limited mobility stay connected to their friends and family. It can help the nostalgic ones reminisce about the old times and access any photo from any year. Senior can order groceries and other necessities easier than ever before. They can use apps to improve their memory, remind them to take their medications and a lot more.
However, young people who grew up at the same time as the Internet may not realize there are some obstacles seniors find difficult to overcome. Therefore, if you are trying to teach your senior loved one how to use the internet, pay attention to these tips.
Find Out What They Want to Use the Internet For
Before you start teaching your senior loved one all sorts of advanced skills, perhaps you should take a minute to learn why they want to use the Internet in the first place. Ask them what is it they want to learn and what prevented them from doing so in the first place. That way you can devise a plan to make the process easier for both you and your senior loved one.
The reasons why seniors might want to master new technologies are numerous. Maybe they are simply curious or maybe they are looking for a new challenge. Maybe they feel embarrassed in front of their peers when they have to admit they have never used the internet or maybe they simply want to stay in touch with everyone.
The reasons that prevented them from learning how to use the Internet are just as numerous. Perhaps they feel like the challenge is too much for them or they feel like they don’t have the capacity to learn.
Perhaps they feel the process may be too expensive or maybe they aren’t motivated to use the internet at all.
Whatever the reasons, it’s important to find out all their goals and concerns before you start teaching them at all.
Help them Set Everything Up
One important aspect many young people forget when teaching their senior loved ones how to use the internet is the technical aspect. First of all, you need to help seniors find an affordable broadband or phone package.
Next, you have to find the device that best suits their needs. While computers are still unrivaled in many aspects, when it comes to casual surfing a tablet is so much easier to use and master. Many seniors struggle with the concept of the keyboard and mouse combo. On the other hand, touch screens are so much more intuitive, and with added features like voice search and typing, it seems like the logical choice.
Finally, it helps if you make the work environment senior-friendly. That means removing any icons the seniors are not using from the desktop of the PC or the home screen of the tablet. That way, they will find it easier to navigate and find the browser or Skype and not have to look through numerous icons that, for seniors, all look the same.
Help them Find Their Interests Online
As you already know, there is so much to discover online. In order to get seniors really excited about the concept of learning how to use the Internet, start with helping them discover their interests online.
Whether it’s knitting tutorials, tools to help them research their family history or playing online games, focusing on something seniors love will help as it will serve as a lesson and a reward at the same time. Some other popular activities include mastering emails and online communication apps.
Help Them Get Rid of their Fears
Fear is perhaps the biggest obstacle on the seniors’ road towards using modern technologies. Seniors are often afraid they might break an expensive piece of equipment such as an iPad or a computer. To help them overcome this fear, teach them how to take care of the equipment as well as some basic troubleshooting steps like how to restart the device.
One other thing seniors are afraid of is hackers, viruses and other threats to their online safety. Teach them how to recognize fake websites and emails and advise them not to leave their personal details anywhere and you are one step closer to helping them overcome that fear.
Finally, seniors are often simply afraid that they won’t be able to master the Internet. To make sure they don’t become discouraged after a few lessons, try to keep them simple and engaging. By taking baby steps, seniors will soon feel comfortable walking the vast meadows of the internet without you holding their hand. If you are looking for a reliable caregiver referral service contact A Better Way in Home Care at
1111 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA