It is no secret that we often find seniors struggling with technology, even though they are essential for everyday life. There can be many reasons for this – from declining vision to a lack of familiarity with new devices. But there are ways to adapt and help your elderly loved ones use technology more effectively.
In this blog post, we will discuss why seniors struggle with technology. We will also look at the challenges they face and some tips on adapting to the new technologies.
Reasons why seniors struggle with technology
There can be various reasons why older adults have difficulty using technology. Some of the key issues include:
- Lack of familiarity
One of the main reasons seniors struggle with technology is a lack of familiarity. They may not have been exposed to technology at a young age, so they don’t understand how it works.
Besides, they may be more familiar with using devices or methods that are no longer applicable in today’s world. For example, many seniors grew up using landlines instead of cell phones. So they may have trouble adjusting to the newer technology.
- Too overwhelming
Technology can be overwhelming for some older adults. Especially those who are used to a slower pace of life. They might feel anxious and stressed when technology is being introduced to them.
The frustration with technology can be too much for seniors to handle. When this happens, they might give up on technology entirely. Because it’s not worth the trouble or stress in their lives. It is especially true if other issues are going on simultaneously. For instance, a health issue or the death of a loved one.
- Reduced vision and hearing
As people age, their vision tends to get worse. This can make it difficult for them to use technology that requires good eyesight, such as a computer or phone. In some cases, seniors may find it hard even to see the screen at all. It can be frustrating and lead to a reluctance to use technology altogether.
The same can be said for hearing loss. As people age, technologies that use voice commands or video services can be difficult to use (i.g. mobile, Facetime). Even more so without being able to hear what’s going on around them. Aging also makes it harder to distinguish between different sounds and pick out important ones. Such as someone talking from background noises.
- Cognitive decline
Another age-related health issue that can impact technology use is cognitive decline. Some seniors may have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that causes memory loss and difficulty thinking. These conditions make it hard for them to learn new technology skills. Or even remember how to use technology they’ve already mastered and more.
People with cognitive decline may also have trouble understanding what technology can do. Also, why they should want technology in their lives at all. It is especially true for those who haven’t had much exposure to technology up until this point in life.
- They don’t understand its importance
Another reason why seniors might not like technology is that they don’t see the point of it. They see it as a distraction from what’s important in life. They might think that technology changes too fast and isn’t worth their time or effort to learn when it’s outdated so quickly anyway!
How to Help Them Adapt
There are ways to help your senior loved ones overcome this obstacle. Here are a few ways how you can help!
- Start off small
One of the reasons for seniors struggling with technology is that they often try to learn too much at once. If your elderly loved one is hesitant about using technology, start off small by introducing them to basic devices. For example, a smartphone or tablet. These gadgets have simpler interfaces that are easier for seniors to understand.
Also, instead of explaining all the features at once, introduce them gradually. That way, they don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Demonstrate the process and make adjustments
One way to help seniors learn to use a new device is by showing them how to use it yourself. It can be a bit time-consuming, but it can be very helpful in getting them started. This includes simplifying the language, breaking down tasks into smaller steps, etc.
Besides, many technology products allow you to adjust the settings according to your needs. For example, you can increase the font size on phones and computers. So seniors can have a better viewing experience.
- Make them practice
It is easy to forget how technology works if you do not use it regularly. So, it is important to encourage your elderly loved ones to practice using technology. It will help them become more familiar with the devices and feel more confident.
You can help them by setting up reminders to remember when they need to practice. For example, ask them to send a text message or do a video call with you a few times a week. This will help them stay connected and engaged with technology.
- Get help from external sources
If your loved one is still struggling to adapt to technology even after trying the above methods, it might be time to get them some additional help. There are many technology courses and tutorials specifically designed for seniors. Alternatively, you can hire a technology tutor to assist them on a one-on-one basis.
- Be patient
It is important to remember that everyone learns differently and at different speeds. So do not be discouraged if your elderly loved ones do not pick up technology immediately. Just keep practicing and trying new things until they feel comfortable. Also, explain to them the usefulness of technology to motivate them to learn!
The technology gap between seniors and younger people is growing fast. Older adults can feel isolated from society as technology becomes more advanced and widespread. But there are ways that you can help bridge this gap!
We hope this article provides you with some tips on how to help seniors struggling with technology. So you can ease them into adapting to the latest tools and gadgets. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to share!