Changing times, new technology making it a whole new world. Now, we all know the expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” in the case of seniors learning new technology, it’s quite the opposite. Let’s say you have an older parent that wants to keep up with the ever changing technology. They go and get the newest smart phone, T.V., or computer. Although it’s easy to get angry or annoyed when they don’t understand all the features of the device. Here’s some tips in the event you get that volunteered to them how to use their gadgets. These are simple and basic, but they should do the trick. Keep in mind, these tips and tricks can apply to elderly parents who want to get tech savvy, in addition to people who you are just trying to teach how to use technology, no matter their age or experience.
Keep calm and use your skills:
- Breathe. No matter how frustrated you might get, take a breath and remember how hard it was for you when you first learned how to work things when you were growing up or at a new job.
- Just listen. Sometimes listening to what they want to do, you are able to pick out key words and phrases that might let you understand what they really mean.
- Don’t be rude. As they say, “Respect your elders.” This is no exception, slowly and respectfully explain details and instructions thoroughly.
- Let them do it. You can point or show them where, or what to click. By doing this they learn how to do it on their own giving them their own independence and they don’t feel babied.
- Reputation wins the day. Don’t be afraid to repeat. Try to keep in mind what you find as simple, maybe isn’t as simple for them. Give instructions in small, digestible chunks. Check for understanding before moving forward.
Some simple things you can do for when you’re not there.
- Make some simple written directions including shortcuts for operating the gadget. Eventually, it’s likely the procedures will be memorized. In the meantime, leave detailed instructions that will jog their memory and make it easy to follow.
- Whenever your parents have a technical issue, make a tutorial. Again go into detail into what the problem is and how to fix it. Use diagrams, videos, photos, whatever makes it clear. Go slow in the tutorial so that they have time to follow it with you.
- If they still have a problem, assure them they are always welcome to call to ask any further questions.
In reality, there’s no reason to worry when parents tell us they suddenly want to get tech savvy. Additionally, it can be a great benefit to them. By them learning how to use Facebook, how to take pictures, how to play games and online puzzles, it can build confidence for them, help keep them in contact with family and friends, and keep them busy. Take a minute to think about what you, as well as your parent, could gain by going through this enriching experience together.