There are so many reasons a senior citizen should like a computer. They can keep them connected with grandchildren via Skype and e-mail. They can easily shop online, sometimes finding those “hard to find” items they might not locate at the stores downtown. They can read local and national news, keeping informed about the world. But sometimes computers are frustrating, and seem like one more darned gadget that they have to navigate.
You can make computers easier for senior citizens with a few easy tips. Probably the most important thing to remember is that the computer may be brand new to them. Whether they haven’t ever used a laptop – or have never touched the keys of a computer at all, have patience with your parent, grandparent or senior citizen in your life learning about the computer.
What some senior citizens may find helpful is to have you write down the steps to get on the Internet, send an email or create an attachment to an email. Writing down the instructions step by step means that they can look over this information later on, if they forget a step or two as they try on their own. Try keeping all computer information in one place, a spiral notebook or a file folder near the computer.
Most local libraries offer short free courses on how to use the Internet and do word processing. Your senior citizen may find one or several of these courses helpful in developing their confidence. Seeing that others just like them are learning about the computer for the first time can also help them realize that they “aren’t the only one” who is learning about the computer.
Try giving your senior citizen some fun projects to encourage regular computer use. Encourage them to email you or their grandchildren. Help them learn how to research their family tree. Show them how to find knitting patterns online. One or several projects that they enjoy will go a long way to help them keep at developing their computer skills. Simply using the computer regularly will help improve their computer skills a great deal.
Remember to teach them about safety on the internet, viruses, worms and “phishing” e-mails. A senior citizen will find it very helpful, and a boost of confidence to know when there could be something wrong with their computer – or when something could be a scam and how to protect themselves. Having this information can help encourage them to use the computer regularly, because they will feel self assured that they will know what to do if something happens.
Lots of people, regardless of age, find technology challenging. What is most frustrating for senior citizens is that some feel that technology is challenging – because they are senior citizens. If your senior citizen finds learning how to use the computer takes them longer than expected, offer them words of encouragement. Remind them of past accomplishments, of current accomplishments. They have done so much in their lifetime, certainly a computer can be a “piece of cake.”
You may be surprised at the progress your senior will make using the computer. With a project that they enjoy, and a bit of encouragement – they likely will be well on their way to using the computer regularly. But remember that they may need computer assistance, just as most of us do from someone who knows a bit more than us. Check in with them about their computer use, ask how they are enjoying using their computer. Many seniors can easily enjoy using a computer regularly – ask them and they’ll show you how to use one!
The Article is sponsored by Galorath, Inc., who are specialized providing software cost estimation tools for old ages for businesses and consumers by giving them a total cost of ownership so they know what effort and what costs are needed.
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