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How to Introduce Technology to the Senior Community

With a boom in technology, baby boomers and generations before them are unfamiliar with technology and the various devices we use day-to-day. There are multiple gadgets on the market geared toward the retirement community, whether for communication, entertainment, or helpful aids for everyday activities. Learning how to introduce technology to the senior community is a great way to pass down your knowledge to help better the lives of elderly individuals in nursing homes or living alone.

Build on Existing Knowledge and Explain Relevance

Every individual is different, especially when it comes to the style of teaching they learn from best. Get to know the person’s existing knowledge of technology and their preferred learning method and build from there.

It is also helpful to explain the relevance of why technology can help them and why you are teaching it to them. They may not understand the importance of using technology such as fall detectors, security cameras, smartwatches with health metrics, etc.

Take It Slow and Avoid Tech Jargon

Your pace for learning new technology will be drastically different from someone who barely interacts with it and never grew up with it. Start with tech that’s friendly for any age before jumping into more complicated technology. Always keep an eye on your pace, and slow down when there is confusion.

Avoid using tech jargon that only you can understand. Instead, make the information digestible and easy to follow for the best learning experience.

Validate Confusion and Encourage Confidence

There will be a lot of confusion initially, which is entirely OK. Address their confusion and don’t get frustrated when you need to repeat information; they will be trying their best to understand. Continue to encourage confidence throughout the teaching and show the individual how they can leverage technology and age in place or age more comfortably in a nursing home.

Write Down Instructions and Offer a Hands-On Approach

There will come a time when you won’t be there to answer questions, especially if the elder lives alone.  Write down easy-to-follow instructions they can use in moments of confusion when they need help. When you are teaching, offer a hands-on approach; this often results in quicker learning and allows the person to feel more comfortable using technology independently.

No one is too old for technology, and it is never too late to learn. Use encouraging words throughout the process and remain patient; they won’t have an affinity for the technology your generation might have. Teach with compassion, and eventually, the person will catch on and appreciate your help even more.