“No, that’s not the power button, this is supposed to control the volume”
“You are supposed to switch on your Wi-Fi to receive WhatsApp messages”
“How can you forget how to set an alarm, I just taught you”
“No, you can’t catch a COMPUTER VIRUS”
We are all aware that it is so not easy to educate boomers about technology. This task can be a tug of war in itself. Especially in a country like ours, where machinery like computers and smartphones were not available in every household before the 21st century, its not just the old but also, a major part of the middle-aged people are far from being technology-friendly.
Older adults have lived most of their lives without technology and hence they are more comfortable sticking to the traditional methods of doing things which is why some of them don’t even have the readiness to learn about new technology. Those who are willing to learn, experience problems while learning which makes the process seem tedious to them and they lose the zest and confidence. Getting overwhelmed by endless options, not being aware of basic tech terms like ‘reboot’ or remembering a password, there can be many hurdles which boomers face when dealing with technology. Moreover, physical limitations like visual impairment is a common obstacle among the age group. Losing patience while dealing with something new, perhaps, is the biggest of all these problems.
In today’s fast-paced world, where everyone is busy with something or the other and the internet has become as important as money itself, it is extremely essential to educate boomers about basic technology. A smartphone is not a toy to the elderly, it can be a life-saving device. Through the emergency call facility, they can reach out for help just at the push of a button. It helps them get reminded about their appointments and time of medication through alarms and reminders. Health tracking applications have become an inspiration to exercise and become fit. Today, when nobody has time to actually meet each other in person frequently, it becomes crucial to educate boomers about social media too, so that they don’t miss out on connecting with their loved ones. In the workplace also, it is essential to keep up with latest software in order to remain competent with young candidates. It is also a major source of entertainment for everyone, there are audiobooks for every age group and nobody minds listening to the hit songs of their time. For those who are not comfortable using the light-emitting screens for long periods, the latest technology, especially smartphones come with user-friendly features that support the visually impaired.
The fact that smartphones are now essential to life and we can’t deprive our elders of the facilities shouldn’t be ignored. We have to educate boomers (our elders) to keep up with technological advances. It is understandable that it can be quite challenging to teach the elders about new things. To help you train better, here are a few tips which are sure to make the learning process easier for the elderly.
- Explain the value of the feature or gadget to make them willing to learn.
- Don’t use advanced tech terms, explain in simple layman’s language so that it becomes easy to comprehend.
- Take it slow so that they don’t get overwhelmed by a flood of information. Teach one thing at a time.
- Make them practice what you just taught so that they feel confident about using the gadget.
- Write down the steps to perform a function in case they forget and you are not around.
- At last, don’t lose patience and be polite. It always works wonders everywhere in life.
Lastly, everyone should know that it is never too late to start learning something especially when it benefits you. I hope you have a nice time educating the elders at your home about the latest technology.