Helping Aging Individuals With the Internet and Electronic Devices

You are never too old to learn how to use the internet. However, there are certain things that must be taken into consideration. An elderly person’s health issues could make it more of a challenge for him or her to learn how to properly use technology.

If you would like to help an aging person become more tech-savvy, you should follow the helpful tips below as part of senior companion care.

old people and tech

Adjust the Settings

While you may have no problem seeing the font on a laptop or in a text message, an elderly person might not see so well and would likely struggle to read the words that are on the screen. The best solution to this problem is to adjust the settings by increasing the size of the font, making it much larger and more noticeable than it was before. Along with adjusting the size of the font, you can turn the volume to the speakers up a bit more to make sure the elderly individual can hear everything.

Consider Touch Screen Devices

Some studies show that aging individuals have a better time learning how to use the internet when they are using touch screen devices instead of traditional computers with keyboards. When you are teaching an elderly person how to use technology with a tablet, there is no need to worry about maneuvering a mouse or working on a keyboard. Because it is portable, it is also more convenient for an aging person who may want to sit on a comfortable couch instead of on a computer chair.

You will need to monitor the elderly individual while he or she uses the touch screen device. It tends to take seniors a bit longer to respond to requests on the screen with their hands.

Provide Translation

There are certain words that may appear on the screen that an elderly person simply would not understand, such as the word browser or the word buffering. Providing an explanation of these keywords is a great way to make sure the elderly person understands what he or she is seeing on the screen. You might even want to write a list of these words and their definitions down on a sheet of paper. The elderly person could use it as a reference when seeing a word that seems strange.

Explain How It All Works

Some elderly people assume that you would need to pay money just to visit a website or play a game. While there are apps that you would need to pay for before using, there are also plenty of fun apps that are completely free, so you should be prepared to explain that. You will also want to let the elderly individual know that he or she can visit different websites without worrying about paying for each use.


Talk About Security Measures

Having your personal information out there is frightening. You should talk to the elderly person about online security and the importance of not putting too much information out there. There is no reason to give out credit card information unless the individual is purchasing something online. Even if he or she has an interest in buying something online, you could always help with that process.

Using a Charger

Some elderly people think that they need to keep their devices connected to the charger all the time or else it will die on them. However, you will need to explain that it does not need to get charged until the battery starts getting much lower.

Explaining the Changes

Technology continues to change. Once an aging person feels like they have got it all down, something new and updated comes out and it tends to throw them off a bit. The innovative devices are aimed toward the younger generation, but the elderly tend to get turned off by all the new technology that is released.

Provide Help Even When They Do Not Ask

The truth is that a lot of elderly people do not want to ask for help when they need it. They would like to feel independent and will often try to do things on their own, even if they are not exactly sure what they are doing. Because they may not ask for help, you should provide it on your own. You could simply begin talking to the elderly person about how to use the device. Sparking up a simple conversation is a fantastic way to provide some assistance to aging individuals who need some help with their electronic devices and technology in general.

Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.