How to Teach Aging Parents to Embrace Technology

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

October 27, 2017

An 86-year-old woman grows frustrated because nobody sends her pictures of her granddaughter’s high school graduation ceremony.
A bedridden man in his late 70s is a retired English teacher and reads everything he can get his hands on. It’s hard for him to get to the library, so he has to wait for his grown daughter to swing by and pick a few books out that he may or may not like.
A lonely grandma wants to connect with her adult children more, but they have their own busy lives. She tries to call all the time, but they never seem to have time to just talk.

Home Care Services in Mt. Lebanon PA: Seniors And Technology
Home Care Services in Mt. Lebanon PA: Seniors And Technology

Instead of feeling left out, bored or uninformed, seniors in scenarios like this should be utilizing the amazing power of modern technology and electronic devices designed to enrich life for young and old. From smartphones, e-readers and laptop computers to tablets, digital assistants and more, there are more devices than ever and they do a lot to make our lives easier. However, seniors that didn’t grow up in the digital age are often left behind when it comes to knowing how to use them. Family caregivers that are taking care of elderly parents can teach them how to embrace today’s technology and have some fun with it.
Obstacles to Learning More About Technology
A lot of seniors are quite interested in learning more about different electronic devices, software programs, social media platforms, and apps. However, they simply don’t know where to begin. All they want is someone to patiently explain everything to them and get them set up. Sometimes, they feel like they are too old to learn or that the process will be too hard or complicated. Still, others suffer from pride and refuse to be seen looking “dumb.” No matter what the reason, there are far too many benefits within technology for seniors to ignore.
On the family caregiver side, it can be frustrating to teach an elderly person some of the most basic steps using electronic devices and modern software. Because seniors may not have some of the intuitive knowledge that even young children have with electronics, it can be frustrating to work with such slow learners. Family caregivers are also very busy with their own families, jobs, and other responsibilities. It can be hard to find the time and the patience to teach aging parents to embrace technology.
Tips on Teaching Aging Parents to Embrace Technology
Family caregivers should start slowly with one of the simplest activities. Sometimes it can be helpful to sit next to the elderly parent and have them watch the electronic device. Showing them over and over again means that they will be more familiar with it, and be more inclined to know how things work. After a while, they should have hands-on opportunities to try for themselves. Family caregivers should set their elderly parents up with a social media account or e-book account, as needed. Seniors primarily need to learn how to operate within the software or platform. In no time, they can be communicating with others and discovering things to do and enjoy.
With patience and time, family caregivers can give the gift of technology to their elderly parents.

If you are considering hiring home care services in Mt. Lebanon, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.
Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551