For seniors who grew up with fold-out paper maps, bulky physical encyclopedias, and brick-like, chorded dial-up phones, the thought of jumping head-first into 21st-century technology may seem daunting. Between complicated smartphone settings, complex computer setups, and inaccessible features, many aging adults feel confused and overwhelmed by modern devices. However, despite cyber-conservative attitudes, some elderly folk are turning toward simplified gadgets with easy-to-use features to reap the benefits of technology without drowning in a pool of electronic overload.
For example, seniors who take advantage of modern tech gain access to instant communication avenues—perfect for those rendered immobile and physically isolated. Additionally, elders can stay engaged mentally with online games and applications while also browsing the web for important information. However, regardless of the digital benefits, many still feel in over their head when approaching technology. To combat outright refusals to use helpful gadgets, ease your senior loved into the digital age by simplifying the tech around them.
Read on for five ways you can make technology more accessible for your elderly loved ones.
Supply them with scaled-down devices
One reason seniors shy away from potentially helpful devices is overcomplicated settings and features that most aging adults can do without. While the newest smartphone release may be exciting for you, the elders in your life likely want a scaled-down version with fewer components. Instead of forking out the money for a state-of-the-art device, consider purchasing your loved one a simplified model, like a senior-friendly phone from Lively Direct. That way, they can appreciate the technology without feeling trampled by unnecessary bells and whistles.
Purchase devices with large, readable buttons
An unfortunate side effect of aging that many seniors experience is loss of vision, a disability that affects nearly every aspect of life, including one’s ability to utilize technology comfortably. Many high-tech devices feature tiny text and buttons that most visually impaired elders can’t see, making them nearly impossible to navigate.
However, while there are gadgets that may be out of reach for your senior loved one, other elderly-friendly devices come equipped with large, bold lettering and font. That way, those with poor eyesight can use their phone, computer, or tablet without headache-inducing squinting.
Write down passwords and essential user instructions
Another reason some seniors are hesitant toward modern technology is because of difficult-to-remember passwords and instructions. However, you can avoid phone call questionaries from your elderly loved one by writing down essential passcodes and quick guides they can turn to in times of frustrated confusion.
Make setting adjustments
While there are plenty of devices with inaccessible features on the market, you may be surprised at how many gadgets have elderly-friendly setting adjustments that you can switch on with the click of a button. With customizations like increased font size, text-to-speech, closed-captioning, and changeable contrast, you can essentially tailor-make your device to fit your loved one’s needs.
Purchase larger models
Many high-tech developers often strive to downsize, packing feature after feature into the smallest device possible. However, while pocket-sized smartphones may be convenient for those without age-induced impairments, your elderly loved one may require a larger gadget to operate their device. Consider purchasing a bigger model—whether it’s a mobile phone, computer monitor, or tablet—to ensure they can navigate each screen with ease.
Helping your senior loved one find their footing amongst a sea of complicated, high-tech gadgets can be tedious and frustrating. However, by simplifying technology around them, setting up senior-friendly devices, and turning on accessibility features, you can help ease their technophobia and set them on a path to digital success.