The threat of another lockdown won’t be great news for our more senior citizens. According to charity Age UK, 1.4 million older people are chronically lonely. An important part of this is that many older people live apart from friends and relatives.
Fortunately, we now live in a time where there are steps we can take to tackle this. Helping older people to use tech that many of us take for granted is one. According to one recent report, over half of older people surveyed agreed that tech can bridge the physical gap between distant family and friends.
Here are some top tips on how to get your older folks using tech - just to help you get them started.
Explain the benefits
Trying to introduce chat apps or social media to someone who’s never used them before, they can seem overwhelming. Change can be scary – particularly in later life. So you’ll need to win them over with what they might find great about getting online.
Start with how they can use social media channels like Facebook or Instagram to look at photos of grandchildren or holidays – make sure you show them how easy it is to scroll or swipe between pictures. Then have a video call with another family member to demonstrate how simple it is to keep in touch and what features they might find handy.
Get them up and running
Fortunately getting internet access has never been easier or more affordable. Simply contact an internet service provider (such as BT, Virgin Media, Sky etc) and they’ll send the kit you’ll need in a matter of days.
You’ll often be able to add internet services to an existing line rental for a small increase.
Choose and buy the technology
One of the biggest challenges to overcome for any tech user is knowing which tech to buy. Take the confusion out of this barrier by doing the research and picking the right device and the best model for your friend or relative.
Another issue for many older people can be small screens or small buttons. But there are some devices which can combat this. A large tablet can provide a big bright touchscreen that’s easy to navigate and font sizes can be adjusted for a better reading experience.
Many new phone models have been especially adapted for an older audience.
Build up their confidence
It might be a good idea to find classes and resources in their local area to give them a confidence boost once you’ve got them started. Is there a local class running which takes a step-by-step approach to getting old people using technology properly? If getting out is an issue, there are some good online courses and YouTube will definitely have some free tutorials you could use.
Set them up with the apps they’ll need
During set up, you’ll need to install the apps you think they’ll find most useful (and least overwhelming). Here are some useful ones for staying in touch:
Facetime – The most popular video chat app for Apple users. If they have an iPhone or iPad etc, this will come built in.
Skype – Another huge video chat app which also offers instant messaging, sends texts and other media.
Zoom – An increasingly popular video chat service that you don’t need an account of your own to use.
Facebook – By setting up a Facebook profile, they can easily keep up with friends and family news, as well as accessing Facebook Messenger – which will allow them to instant message with their contacts.
Instagram – An easy-to-use app for enjoying family pictures.
Congrats on getting your elders set up on the latest tech. No doubt you’ll be receiving a video call from a newly tech-savvy senior very soon.
Request a Techscheme Redemption Code and buy the tech you need to get them started at Currys PC World.
Article was originally published by our partners at Currys PC World.