A digital transformation in aged care is underway. With all these technological advancements, it can be easy to overlook the ones who truly need to get in touch with it: the elderly. Teaching our seniors how to use devices like phones and tablets can be valuable in helping them feel less disconnected from the modern world.
Why is learning digital communication important?
Helping seniors get in touch with tech and the Internet is needed to improve their quality of life. Learning about these things can help them connect and communicate their needs better, as well as understand the changes to the system that takes care of them. Teaching them can also be a fun bonding experience, and will make them feel at ease and involved.
How to help your seniors communicate using technology
- Be patient. Teaching in general is never an easy feat, and with older adults it isn’t any different. Seniors will often need concepts about technology to be explained more than once, so exercise patience! Be ready to answer questions, and remind them gently about how devices are used.
- Explain concepts simply. Avoid using technological jargon while teaching your elderly about gadgets and the Internet as this will only confuse them, which could lead to negative feelings like embarrassment or giving up. Explain things as clearly and as simply as you can.
- Show them its importance. The Internet is an important tool nowadays, and teaching your elderly about it can help motivate them to learn. Show that it can be used to stay updated with the news and communicate with loved ones, and see their interest spark.
- Let them explore on their own. Try to steer clear of hovering over them as they explore. Hovering will most likely make your senior feel anxious or as if they might do something wrong. Letting them explore on their own while being open to questions will make the learning experience smoother.
- Engage in fun activities with them. Watching movies on a tablet and introducing them to simple puzzle games can be a fun time, and can encourage them to explore technology further. It can also be a recurring way for you and your senior to bond and reconnect!
Technology helps the world become more open and accessible. Seniors deserve to be a part of that, and in turn deserve to get a shot at understanding how digital communication works. With patience, understanding, and the right device, you can also involve your elderly in the fast-changing world of modern tech.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.