Seniors and Modern Technology – Bridging the Gap
With each passing year, more and more people can say that they’ve lived most of their lives in a world where the presence of amazing digital technology is the norm. Most millennials have never had to dial a rotary phone – in fact, the term “dialing” is something of a throwback that many people will never truly understand – and many members of our society seem to be so connected to their smartphones that they’ve become extensions of their bodies.
Today’s seniors, though they may be more technologically adept than any senior generation in the history of the world, often struggle with things like laptops, tablets, smartphones and the like. For many of them, this type of technology simply didn’t exist for most of their lives, making the learning curve incredibly steep. However, as technology becomes increasingly important, it’s critical to make sure that seniors can experience the same benefits as everyone else when it comes to connecting with friends and family, enjoying digital media and staying connected to a world that becomes increasingly fascinating by the day.
Dealing with Dismissiveness
Have you tried to show your mom, dad or grandparent the wonders of connecting through Facebook? Have you attempted to convince the senior in your life that digital photography is full of advantages over the old ways of taking and viewing pictures? Chances are, you’ve had to deal with a fair bit of dismissiveness and skepticism.
Think about it from the senior’s perspective – they’ve lived a rich and full life, and now they’re being expected to adapt to new ways of doing things that don’t seem to make sense. Some seniors may be more willing than others to try new technology, but skepticism is a natural reaction.
Understand that you may never get Mom and Dad to sign up for Facebook or become involved in social media. That’s okay! Even though you can see how it might benefit their lives, there’s no point in forcing the issue. Instead, try to come up with compromises. Set up an email address that can be checked easily, and fill the inbox with highlights from the week on social media. Send them the latest cat memes. Keep them in the loop regarding the latest happenings within your extended family.
Your senior may or may not change their mind about going online, but they won’t feel left out, either, as long as you continue to gently encourage them to take advantage of the benefits that technology can offer.
Take Advantage of Natural Curiosity
One of the most wonderful things about life is that one’s sense of curiosity can remain strong, even into the “golden years.”
Maybe the senior in your life has seen people reading on tablet devices or eReaders. Perhaps they’ve seen news stories about how iPads, with their ubiquity and ease of use, can help people stay connected and engaged.
If your senior is curious about technology, take advantage of the curiosity and show them just how easy it can be to become involved. Enlist your siblings and other family members to establish an iPad fund. Work together to set up the device so that it’s ready to serve up the world in a wonderful way to your senior.
Technology has its dark side, but it’s also able to fascinate and keep the mind full of youthful energy. So if your senior has expressed a desire to learn more about the wonders of this digital age, take it as a sign for you to guide them!
Be Prepared for Interesting Questions
Amazingly, more technological advancement has occurred over the last forty years than occurred over the previous four thousand years! When you think about things that way, it’s easy to see how our senior generation often feels left behind in our digital world.
If you’re working with a senior to help them take advantage of technology, it’s important to remember that you’re basically a visitor from the future! Emailing, texting, tweeting, posting, swiping and sharing may all be second nature to you, but to your senior, they’re just words – words that often mean something completely different from what you’re trying to convey.
Patience is incredibly important when introducing technology to seniors. Make sure that you take time to consider their questions and what they’re really asking. Pay attention to when frustration sets in. Take these moments as opportunities not only to teach and connect, but to marvel at just how far our world has come during the lives of the members of our eldest generations!
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
Technology is wonderful, and it has provided numerous benefits to all of our lives. But bringing our seniors onboard with modern technology can be challenging, to say the least.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all by yourself!
Enlist the help of family members, and remember that help is always available – with technology and much more – from Always Best Care and our superb staff.
Learn more by contacting us today! Call 1-855-470-2273, or visit AlwaysBestCare.com.