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Posted on May 28, 2018 by Christine Crosby in apps, connectect, generations, grandparents, technology

Easy Ways to Help Older Grandparents with Technology

Easy Ways to Help Older Grandparents with Technology

Technology has helped bring people together. Unfortunately, it has also driven people generationally apart. While smartphones and the internet offer a fantastic connectivity tool that can hugely benefit the elderly and millennials alike, many seniors are uncomfortable using these resources.

Now that technology has become an essential component of everyday life; it’s high time people started helping their older grandparents understand it to improve their lives.

The good news is it’s possible to bridge the gap between technology and the personal interests of the elderly. Here are some tips you can follow to help older grandparents use modern technology.

Teach the basics patiently and keep things simple 

Family members are known to lose patience when teaching their senior loved ones how to use technology. That shouldn’t be the case because seniors are not digital natives. They didn’t grow up on emojis and messengers.

Therefore, it’s important for family members to be patient and allow grandma and grandpa to take their time when learning about technology. They should be taught the basics and allowed to practice every new step on their own before being introduced to something else. For instance, texting is a great way for senior loved ones to keep in touch with their teenage grandchildren. Teach them how to read and send messages. Have them practice in your presence. Be ready to answer any questions and do more than one demonstration.

It’s also essential to avoid terms and phrases they may find complex such as soft reset, data speeds, and how internet routers work. Grandparents are unlikely to use all the preloaded apps on their smartphones. Make the apps they’ll use easy to find, for example, by creating shortcuts, and consider hiding or deleting everything else.

Explain to them the importance of privacy and online security

 While you wouldn’t want to frighten your older grandparents from using their new smartphone or the internet, it’s still important to warn them about the dangers of cyber crime. The elderly are more likely to become victims of identity theft or online scams than other age groups. Remember, if they fall prey to cyber criminals, they’re likely to develop an aversion to the internet and technology.

Tell them the importance of creating strong passwords and help them develop a system for securely keeping track of their different passwords. Install antivirus and anti-hacking software on their devices.

Increase the size of keys and fonts on their devices

technologyHuman vision tends to reduce with advancing age. Smartphones usually come with the small default font and keyboard sizes that can make it difficult for elderly users to read and type messages.An excellent way to help elderly users consume content more readily and without straining is by increasing the size of the on-screen keyboard keys as well as the font size.

Get them grandparent-friendly apps 

These days, it seems there’s an app for just about anything. Are you looking for something to make grandparents embrace modern technology? So, speak with the app consultants.

Furthermore, some of the best apps to get for older grandparents are those that connect them to the rest of the family. At the moment, more than 11 million Americans aged 65 and above live alone. Unfortunately, this social isolation can have serious health consequences, such as high blood pressure, depression, cognitive impairment, and increased mortality risk. Here are some apps that can help elderly parents overcome isolation:

  • Kindoma Storytime: The app allows grandkids and older grandparents to read stories, play or draw together in real time while video chatting.
  • Minecraft: Kids can invite their older grandparents to play this game remotely and have fun while guiding them along the way.
  • Keepy: This app allows kids to share school projects, artwork, and souvenirs with other family members.
  • Scoot & Doodle: The app allows kids and their older grandparents to work together on homework.
  • Skype: This favorite app allows loved ones to connect through live video chatting.
  • Snapchat: Popular with the younger generation, this app can enable grandkids to send texts, drawings, photos, and videos to their older grandparents.
  • Ancestry websites: Such websites, like MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com, provide an excellent opportunity for the elderly to collaborate with their older grandchildren in exploring their family’s history.

Other apps that can help older grandparents use technology include:

  • The SURE Universal Remote: The app allows older grandparents to set up their smartphone to control the TV, entertainment center and even the robotic vacuum.
  • Kaspersky Password Manager: This app helps seniors remember their passwords. It lets them save their various passwords and log in to look them up whenever they can’t remember them.
  • TeamViewer: The app gives users remote access to their older grandparents’ PC or smartphone. This app also allows the users to control the devices whenever their elderly loved ones run into tech problems.
  • Wiser Launcher: The app allows seniors to personalize their home screens, turning icons into big boxes that are easy to locate. It also allows them to add a considerable dialer and speed dial contacts to their home screen with ease.

Everyone wants his or her older grandparents to live safely, happily, comfortably, and in good health. Technology can achieve all those and much more. For instance, mobile applications, help senior loved ones overcome loneliness. In other words, the mobile app development companies that come up with these products, therefore, play a huge role in helping the seniors triumph over the digital divide. So, by embracing the apps and other forms of technology, older grandparents can improve their knowledge, socialization, and mental and physical health.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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