05 May How to Help a Senior Navigate Today’s Tech
With the digital revolution upon us, today’s technology is vastly different than that of just a few decades ago. There are now high-powered computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices that can connect us to the internet in the blink of an eye. While some seniors are adept at using these modern devices, others struggle with them. The good news is that you help a senior friend of family member navigate today’s technology by following some simple tips.
Show How to Use a Web Browser
You can help a senior embrace today’s technology by showing him or her how to use a web browser. A web browser, of course, is software that allows a device user to access the websites on the internet. It reads the code on a web page while converting it into readable content that’s displayed on the device’s screen.
Web browsers may sound complicated, but as you may already know, they are fairly easy to use. If a senior has trouble accessing the internet, show him or her how to open and use a web browser. With the senior watching over your shoulder, start up his or her device and select the web browser to open it. You can then visit a search engine, such as Google.com, to show the senior how to perform a basic search.
Enlarge Icons on Devices
Most seniors will have an easier time using a device if it features large icons. Regardless of the operating system, nearly all desktop and mobile devices display icons on the home screen. Clicking or tapping an icon, of course, will launch a program or app. You can typically change the size of icons on a device, however, to make them easier for seniors to see.
Research shows that one-third of seniors suffer from some degree of vision loss. With age, unfortunately, comes decreased vision, which can make it difficult for seniors to see small icons. By enlarging the icons on a senior’s device, he or she will have an easier time seeing them.
Give the Senior a Smart Speakers
While smart speakers are undoubtedly complex, they work in a very simple manner that’s easy for seniors for use. If a senior wants to know the weather will be like, he or she can ask a smart speaker, “What’s the weather today?” If a senior wants to know how long to cook a potato in the microwave, on the other hand,” he or she can ask “How long do I cook a potato in the microwave?”
Smart speakers eliminate the need for typing search queries into a web browser. Seniors don’t have to type anything to use them, nor do they have to physically interact with a smart speaker in any other way. Rather, seniors can talk to smart speakers as if they were having a conversation with a real person. As a result, you should consider purchasing a smart speaker for your senior friend or family member.
Some of the top senior-friendly smart speakers include the following:
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Echo
- Apple HomePod
Set Up Social Media Profiles
Social media isn’t used strictly by millennials. There are millions of older adults who use it as well. In fact, roughly 40% of Facebook’s audience consists of seniors aged 65 and older. Social media offers a convenient platform for seniors to stay in touch with their friends, family members and loved ones. They can use it to browse photos, send and receive messages, read news stories, post updates and much more.
Using social media is a pretty straightforward process. Before a senior can begin using a particularly social media network, he or she will need a profile. Setting up social media profiles is arguably the biggest challenge because it requires multiple steps, some of which can be complicated. You can set up profiles on behalf of a senior, though, to give them a helping hand.
Install a Video Calling App
In addition to setting up social media profiles for the senior, you should consider installing a video calling app on his or her device. A video calling app will allow the senior to talk to talk to friends and family members while seeing their faces.
Rather than just talking over the phone, the senior can use a video calling app to both hear and see the person whom he or she calls. Video calling apps are available for all types of devices, including smartphones, desktop computers, laptop computers and more. With that said, the senior’s device must have a video camera. Otherwise, the app won’t be able to record his or her face.
According to a recent survey conducted by Pew, approximately one in three seniors struggle to use internet-connected devices. While today’s devices can be complicated, you can help a senior navigate them.