Why does it take hours for grandma to reply with a simple ‘Ok’? Can’t she type faster? That’s a millennial asking their friends why the elderly struggle with technology. Could there be something wrong with grandma?
No, there is nothing wrong with them. What you should be asking instead is why it is hard for granny and grandpa to master technology. Is it too complicated that they would need more time to understand? Or are they lacking the necessary support to help them comprehend computers and smartphone shortcuts?
Maybe they cannot type ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ fast enough because we haven’t shown them how to do it in a way they can grasp. Do you want to help your parents and grandparents understand technology fast? Here is a compilation of factors that make it difficult for older people to master computers and other technology.
Seniors Own Technological Gadgets, but they Hardly Use them
There is no doubt that the elderly embrace technology today—at least four out of ten seniors aged sixty-five and above now own smartphones. Visit any senior person’s home today, and you’ll find a computer, tablet, or smartphone lying on the coffee table or kitchen counter.
But, if you stick around for a few hours, you’ll realize that the seniors hardly ever lift these gadgets. When they do, it must be a very important message they have to answer. And when they send the message a few minutes or hours later, they get so excited. Who wouldn’t be happy to chat with their kids and grandkids anyway?
Since owning technological gadgets is not an issue for seniors, what makes them not comprehend how to use them? Find some common reasons below.
Seniors Lack Prior Experience with Technology
How many times do you say “I’m done” when teaching an elderly person how to press enter on the keyboard? Or give up totally because you can’t stand the fact that they forgot what you taught them yesterday?
Did you ever think that Facebook is a whole new communication technology for your grandparents? Remember, they are from an era when technology was something as simple as a radio call or a typewriter. They didn’t have as many options as we have today.
Now, they are exposed to more complicated things like laptops and tablets. The computer keyboard alone is something some seniors didn’t see or use in their youthful years, unlike you born during the mobile phone and laptop revolutions.
Cut your grandpa some slack when he asks you where the space bar is on the computer. It may not be his first time seeing a computer, but it may be his first experience touching and learning how to use one.
After a few months of using the gadget, he may not bother you as much as he does at the beginning. He will have mastered everything he needs to know.
Seniors Lack Confidence when Using Computers
Remember how afraid you were when you first broke a cup or plate at home? Weren’t you afraid that your parents would kill you even though they wouldn’t do it literally? It’s the same case with seniors and communication technology.
The elderly fear that they will break the computer if they explore and do something stupid. As if that is not enough, seniors get frustrated and lose confidence when they try and fail.
You would lose your confidence too if you tried to start your computer and find Google ten times in a row without succeeding. Wouldn’t you?
As a result, some seniors only feel confident to use their gadgets when there is someone around to show them how to navigate. Sadly, the people around nod or complain instead of showing them how to use the gadget. Yet, they are asking as a precaution not to break computers or mobile phones in the real sense.
The Elderly Lack Enough Support from Family
According to Forbes, the elderly rely on their children and the younger generation when learning how to use technology. Seniors say they don’t know tech terminology; hence they have to rely on help to operate computers.
Surprisingly, they never get the help they expect. Children brush off the elderly with a smile. In some cases, the children try to help but fail because they lack the patience to teach tech repeatedly.
Other reasons for lack of guidance include:
Seniors who live in isolation with no one to help them become tech-savvy.
Children want to help but lack the time because of busy schedules.
Unfriendly children and grandchildren.
Children who are struggling when using new technology by themselves, hence cannot help.
Seniors struggle alone without asking for help for fear of being labeled as ‘dependent.’
So, we are buying all the gadgets for our elderly parents and grandparents, but forget that they need training. Or we are simply not available to help. It’s sad, but that is the reality.
Seniors can Master Technology with Golden & Tech-Savvy Support
It’s clear that seniors embrace changes in technology. Yet, they experience some hiccups when learning how to use various communication gadgets and apps, especially when they live in isolation. However, there is an opportunity for the elderly, especially those 65 and older to learn technology fast.
Given the right backing, they can find their way of using the next iPhone before it is released. Here is what our mentorship will entail.
Patience with Seniors Learning Computers and Shortcuts
What the elderly need is someone who never gets tired of helping them. It is so unfortunate that some of them feel like a burden. Others feel left out when everyone else is talking about apps such as:
Golden and Tech-Savvy will stand by a senior person from start to finish. We will achieve our mission once the individual learns all the shortcuts to make them tech-savvy.
Simple and Friendly Instructional Methods
Giving the elderly time alone is not sufficient to make them tech-savvy. They also need someone who can make things easy to understand. Not someone who will re-read the manuals that they cannot grasp no matter how many times they read.
Our method of instruction is simple and clear. We use the language that older people understand to make their life easier. Ours is an informal kind of classroom where we have fun while learning with older people.
Grandma and grandpa need someone who will follow up to ensure they are using technology without difficulty. Follow-up shows them that someone cares about their well-being. Golden & Tech-Savvy will do a follow-up to remind the elderly what they may have forgotten.
There is nothing wrong with seniors who find it challenging to master using new technology. Seniors struggle because of a lack of confidence and assistance, and the fact that they don’t know where to start because they have never used technology in the past. With the right helping hand, the older generation can easily remember keyboard shortcuts and navigate their way around computers.