One of the many ways that technology can help seniors is by creating technologies that are accessible to them. The internet has opened up a world of entertainment and news that you cannot get anywhere else. In fact, there are a large number of users that don’t even have internet in their homes or use a smartphone. This is separating them from the outside world.
Many seniors don’t understand how to use this new technology to their advantage. They may say that they are too old for this or too old to learn new things. However, if you take the time to sit down and show them the various games and other forms of entertainment that they enjoy, they might start to open up to it. For example, there are all kinds of things they can do with a tablet and the internet. They can play games, talk to friends through video chat and even watch movies. Our seniors need to learn to embrace this sort of technology, and they need your help to do it.
Seniors Embrace Living in the New Year
The types of devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers are easy to use and provide seniors with a way to stay connected in the new year. After a powerful 2020 where many seniors were separated from family and friends for a prolonged period of time, it is important that we find ways to stay connected. While they may have limited resources, there are many ways to find an affordable tablet that will allow them to have more enjoyment in life. Even laptops and chrome books can be a good option, or an old phone that could hook to the internet would work. Getting creative on how to get them this technology has never been easier. Many people have old phones and tablets lying around that would be perfect for a senior that has never been introduced to this sort of thing.
Passing the time without doing things that could cause injury is important as we age. The Silent generation didn’t grow up with any type of device. The boomers did not either. But they were at least in the working class as technology advanced and had to learn to keep up for their particular industry. You will see as the generations get younger that more and more of that generation is on social media and other platforms watching videos or reading blogs and articles.
The early computers were not affordable, so most people didn’t have them in their homes. However, as technology advanced, home computers became more of a norm. Nowadays, most Millennials couldn’t imagine a home without a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In fact, the majority have all three of their own. While Gen X had some introduction to technology in grade school or high school. Video game systems were introduced during the GenXs younger life.
Older generations Embrace digital life and the Internet
The older generations are coming around to this online age. However, Millennials have emerged in it for years. In fact, there are many millennials that wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t have a connection. This is because:
- Millennials are not just the generation that has been immersed in technology and all of its uses since they were children. They stand out because they are more likely to adopt new technology, on average.
- Millennials have embraced digital life right from their teenage years, whereas the older generations had to adapt to the new ways of doing everything that happened after the internet became mainstream.
- Millennials are also more likely to use technologies like chatbots and voice assistants than their older counterparts, who use them less frequently.
However, we need to help the older population embrace this technological advancement. Families need to take the time to help the elderly understand how the internet works. Show them the different websites they can go to for movies and videos. Also, show them how to use an internet browser and search bar. There is a whole world out there that they can explore and discover right from their chair.
Cross the Digital Divide: Teach the Elderly About Gaming Apps and Services
While you are teaching the senior population about the wonderful things they can do on the internet, also explain a little bit about the dangers. Things such as fun little quizzes that might be fishing for their ids and passwords. Let them know that strange emails from what appear to be banks might not be what they seem. Don’t do this to scare them. But to make them aware of some of the popular fishing schemes that the younger generation would totally spot in no time.
Understanding how to work this technology opens up a whole new world for a generation that might seem a little lost. For example, the silent generation often didn’t work but stayed home and was a homemaker. Because of this, they never had to go out and try and do new things. These types might be skeptical about trying the internet and may need a little encouragement. However, you could start by loading up some simple games on a tablet. This will not require the internet or any type of interaction. This will allow them to ease into the idea as everyone loves to play games. This will also help them keep their mental health and capacity up.
Seniors and the New Year means new opportunities. This is a great time to start introducing new things into new technologies and lifestyle changes. We all try to go into a new year to better understand what it is that we want to get out of that year. Why would that be any different for the elderly? Help them create some goals for the year. Maybe they want to walk a mile a day, drink more water or get more high-quality sleep. Lifestyle changes can happen at any time.
Appeal to Their Current Interests
When helping seniors embrace the New Year, you should find things that appeal to their existing interests. There are literally millions of online apps and games that you can download to a device. But take the time to find things they might like and download them. Maybe load it up with a bunch of different ones. Then let the person play and give feedback on what they like and what they don’t. Some don’t know where to start, so start for them and let them explore a little at a time. Some might also fear breaking something if they try to download something themselves, so check in with them. Seniors and the New Year can be a fun time to begin new traditions.