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How to Teach Technology to the Elderly January 29, 2010

Posted by columbiaagedcare in articles, Health.
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While information technology has become second nature to younger generations, it still remains a bewildering and scary concept to many elderly people.

Technological advances now allow elderly people to have access to new systems and programs designed to help them live independently. To help them make the most of technology, and stay in contact with friends and family more easily why not set aside some time to help them understand the concept and how to use technology, such as computers, the internet, emailing and even mobile phones.

Chad Hunter has provided four helpful tips on how to teach technology to the elderly these include:

1. Be patient. Take your time and slowly go through the whole process clearly and concisely. Making the person feel rushed, stupid or incompetent will not help the situation. Remember this is all new and difficult to understand.Take your time and take breaks if you get frustrated.

2. Use analogies. Elderly people are used to learning new things and have learnt alot during their lives. Use analogies to describe different terminologies and instructions to help them not only understand but remember when you aren’t there.

3. Spoon-feed terms. World wide web, email, hard drives and symbols like ‘@’ are all new to elderly people with no technological knowledge. Go through it slowly since most of these terms seem like a foreign language to younger learners, you can imagine what your elderly student might be feeling. It would be a good idea to put together a glossary and instructions that they can refer to and study.

4. Practice makes perfect. Sit with your student and go over concepts and practice exercises with them. Give them tasks and things of their interest to do on the computer. Show them how email can connect them to family. Show them how digital cameras can capture hundreds of photos. Once you find things of interest for them, have them practice these steps as much as possible.

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