It’s easier to stay in touch with people than ever before, but for seniors who lived most of their lives without these recent innovations, the learning curve can seem steep and intimidating. Senior living facilities like the Warren Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing encourage and help residents with tech so they can stay connected with family and friends.
Senior Cell Phone Use Rising
A Pew Research Center study showed that 80 percent of seniors own a cell phone in 2017, while 42 percent own a smartphone. Smartphone ownership among people 65 and older is double the number from 2013. Most of those surveyed report having help learning the device from friends or younger relatives.
Reach Out to the Seniors in Your Life
Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you are pretty handy with a computer or a smartphone. If you have a loved one who lives alone or is in a senior living community, take the time to show them what modern technology can do.
But instead of asking if they would like a phone, show them what it can do. Say something like, “Here, look at my phone. Look how easy it is to see what (your grandson, niece, friend, etc.) is doing!”
Showing them how easy it is to use makes the device less intimidating and would make mom or dad more likely to want to get one for themselves.
Research Community Programs
Check with local government and community programs in your area. Many offer services for seniors that include computer and smartphone education and usage. In San Francisco, for example, the California Department on Aging helped 500 seniors in 2014 with free instruction on things like setting up an email address, using Facebook, Skype, and more.
New Skills Helps People Feel Young
If your loved one is at a senior facility and needs help, chances are that someone working can help if they get stuck trying to figure out a program or a feature. Just like any of us, there will be temporary frustrations while adapting to new technology, but even having a basic grasp of apps that make communication easier can greatly enrich the lives of seniors.