Nowadays seniors are more and more eager to stay up-to-date with new technologies and to use high-tech devices that are now part of our everyday life! How can you help them use computers, tablets, smartphones, all of which can also help them at home longer?
Computers: the most simple device for a senior
80% of French families own one*: computers are very well adapted for a senior’s habits. However, you will need solid teaching skills if you are facing a real beginner!
Fostering a senior into learning how to use a computer is easy: simply make a list all the benefits: access to internet content, manage their pictures, use a word processing software, print documents…
You don’t need to go into technical details at first: just show them the features that they are interested in and how to get to the right apps. We advise you to choose user-friendly devices, with enough storage space, and remember to focus on a limited number of applications (it is always possible to add more programmes later on, if the person shows interest!). You can also find computers that are specifically designed for senior beginners, with a very simple keyboard, and no need for complicated key combinations.
Tablets: more and more popular among seniors
Tablets are everywhere! They have many assets that fit the needs of the elderly, for instance, they are very light. But there is one key feature of a tablet that can become an obstacle: the touchscreen! You need a tablet that is easy to use, intuitive, and that has a large screen. Certain devices are specifically designed for the senior population, with large keys. Readability is one of the main criteria!
If they are the bookworm type, download a virtual book app. If they like crossword puzzles, there are many apps available. And finally, Youtube will allow them to browse through videos and contents according to their interests. A tablet is an open window to the world, but it is important to clarify that its features are different from a computer, especially when the elderly person lacks experience in high tech. According to their needs, tastes and motivation, the tablet can then be a complement to the computer.
Smartphones: almost unavoidable!
Isn’t it hard to imagine your everyday life without a smartphone? Well things are a little different for people over 70 years old. 59% do own a cell phone, but only 5% own a smartphone**… Nevertheless, it is a promising market, held by numerous brands who design senior-friendly devices: simplified use, large keys, several shortcuts for direct access to an information or a feature…
The “touchscreen problem” is also true for smartphones: they may not seem intuitive for someone who is not familiar with new technologies. And it adds up to the issue of the size: even the largest smartphones have smaller screens than a tablet. User interface and readability are key criteria for your final choice!
It is easy to convince a senior to use high tech devices: all you need to do is underline how certain features can make their life easier and more practical, especially when it comes to staying in touch with relatives. A guarantee of security! However, gather all your patience skills, because the learning process can be tedious… Get ready to become the IT support guy! Finally, if this person is reluctant to use any of those devices, try the Weenect GPS tracker: one single button to reach out for assistance, no installation, setup or any kind of handling needed!
*Statistics from CREDOC 2015
**Statistics from CREDOC 2013