One of the many amenities we provide at the assisted living community of Bethesda Gardens in Frisco is designed to help our residents keep connected with friends, loved ones and the fast-evolving world of the internet. The free Wi-Fi internet our community supports is, however, difficult to enjoy fully if you're not comfortable with computers or smartphones. Even where income constraints, visual impairment or other physical conditions don't make the use of technology more difficult for them, more than a few seniors still struggle with feeling a little lost in the hyper-technological 21st century.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can close that gap and join the ranks of tech-savvy seniors, even if you've never previously been a computer whiz.
Basic literacy in the use of digital technology brings several direct benefits that can improve your overall quality of life.
Keeping abreast of the internet can have surprisingly positive effects on health and well-being. As an AARP report notes, it's helpful with:
In the age of COVID-19 especially, it's useful to be able to access a range of delivery services for basic shopping tasks. The internet puts those kinds of services in easy reach.
Now that we've recognized some benefits of tech literacy, here are three key things to keep in mind on how to get them.
One of the primary factors that holds people back from getting tech-savvy is fear: fear of looking foolish, fear of breaking something if you hit the wrong button, fear of failing to learn. Conquering your fear is one of the most crucial steps in taking on a new field of knowledge.
The key components to this step are:
Get familiar with the various devices prominent on the market and what they're best used for. Though this can seem like a dizzying task, they can be boiled down to some simple essentials.
If you're mostly going to use a mobile device to manage your connection to the internet, it's best to start your learning process on one of them. If you're more inclined to typing up documents and tracking finances with technology, starting out on a desktop or laptop unit would be easiest.
Although some seniors might lag behind the general population in tech adoption, it's highly likely you know someone in your assisted living community who knows the basics of how to manage battery power, turn on the machine and use search engines like Google. Don't be afraid to seek those people out and get them to teach you those basics.
Once you have those under your belt, you can start seeking out online courses to learn more about how to get the most out of your tech:
Or contact nearby community centers and see if they offer computer training classes. Especially once the era of social distancing ends, they'll be able to help you benefit from being tech-savvy in your assisted living community.