It’s vital to get seniors started with technology in the modern world, where more and more people rely on technology to navigate their everyday lives.
Although it appears easy for the younger generation, it may not be the same breezy experience for seniors, with most of them finding it draining and difficult to navigate their way through some of the more modern technology since it is unfamiliar to them.
With technology doing wonders for seniors, teaching your parents basic tech skills helps them age gracefully and live a more meaningful life in later years. Discover our list of 10 essential tech skills for seniors to make their journey into the cyber world more enjoyable.
Tech Skills for Seniors: Top 10 Skills To Help Seniors Better Navigate Their Steps In The Digital Era
Essential Tech Skills For Seniors To Learn
Some basic tech skills for seniors to teach your parents are as follows.
Powering The Computer
It all starts with the basics! Believe it or not, numerous seniors need help starting and shutting down their computers properly. Showing them how to turn on and off the computer is the first skill each senior should develop.
Using The Mouse & Keyboard
Using the mouse and keyboard can be a challenge! Besides assisting your seniors in identifying the functions of right and left clicks, don’t forget to help them practice typing, if they need it, with free online typing programs.
Mastering Basic Word Processing Programs
A stepwise walk-through about features of basic Word programs like Microsoft Word and Google Docs/Excel helps seniors learn to edit and format documents while mastering their typing skills. This essential skill also supports them greatly in online submissions.
Managing Files & Documents
Learning to navigate the desktop empowers seniors in many situations, such as locating and opening files when needed. Also, show them how to create and organize files on the computer.
Operating Internet Browsers
Worldwide websites are the portal to the Internet world. Help your parents become comfortable using Internet browsers (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge). Illustrate how to open the Internet window, where to fill URL addresses, how to erase them when typing the wrong ones, and how to use search engines (e.g., Google, Bing) to look up information.
Getting Hold of Maps & GPS
Knowing how to use Google Maps and GPS could save seniors from being stranded or getting stuck in heavy traffic while on the go. In some cases, these tools become handy in tracking their whereabouts, especially when they have memory issues and dementia. Teach your parents to turn on GPS, locate themselves, and find directions by entering addresses in the search bar.
Understanding Online Communication
Emails and messaging/chat apps (e.g., Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook Messenger) simplify our communication. As communication is a crucial aspect of life, helping your parents obtain some emailing and chatting skills is a virtual way to bridge the distance between them and their friends and family.
Handling Online Shopping
Amid the acceleration of online shopping, this buying habit could be a lifesaver for seniors, especially when mobility issues prevent them from venturing out. Within several taps and a few waiting days, seniors can expect to have groceries and essentials delivered right to their doorstep. Teach your parents to search for items and place orders on online shopping apps like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and SEARS.
Digging Into Digital Banking
In light of the cashless era, online banking has drastically changed how we deal with money. Get your parents started with setting up accounts, creating usernames and passwords, transferring money, and monitoring expenses. All of these can be acquired with free guidance on how to get seniors started with basic online banking found online. Once familiar, your parents can expect to have a breezy time making deposits, paying utility bills, purchasing goods and groceries, and opening savings accounts right from home.
Navigating Social Media
Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and YouTube are excellent multimedia platforms that give seniors opportunities to connect with others, stay updated with the current news, post photos and statuses, and share exciting information — all in one place. First, assist your parents in figuring out their needs, then introduce them to the appropriate platform based on their preferences. Show them how to create a username and password, stay safe in the cyber world, and operate on the platform.
How Technology Benefits Seniors
Here are some ways that seniors can benefit from technology:
- Maintain social connections — Social media and tools like video calls allow seniors to maintain relationships with friends and family. They can have better access to the outside world while enhancing their self-esteem and confidence as an active part of the growing online community.
- Ensure safety — Never underestimate the power of social media during emergencies. For instance, Facebook has developed a Safety Check. This feature allows people to mark themselves as safe and check on the safety of their loved ones when a man-made or natural disaster occurs.
- Keep the brain healthy and active — Did you know that popular, senior-friendly games like puzzles, Sudoku, and crosswords are shown to have positive effects on seniors’ brains? There’s no better place to access these games than the Internet, where seniors can download and play them anytime. Playing brain-stimulating games can increase seniors’ mental capacity and alertness, improve memory, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders coming with age.
- Support health and wellness — Technology helps seniors better observe their health and wellness. For example, fitness bands or Apple watches allow seniors to track their activities and whether they have reached their fitness goals. Many seniors also entrust electronic reminders to keep up with their medications. Such wellness tools are essential for much-needed interventions when something off happens to their health.
- More entertainment — The Internet is a wonderful world wherein seniors can keep themselves engaged and explore new interests with a slew of entertainment outlets. Apps like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music allow seniors to dance to their favorite tunes. They can keep themselves informed about the current world with news apps like CNN and ABC News. Want to learn something new every day? Skillshare and Udemy offer courses and lessons on different topics. Are they hooked on watching TV shows? Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are the place to be. The possibilities are pretty much endless!
If you have questions about tech skills for seniors or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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