The world of technology is moving at an eye-wateringly fast pace, and many seniors feel like they are unable to keep up. In fact, many fear or are overwhelmed by technology to the extent that they avoid it as much as possible. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, roughly one-third of Americans over the age of 65 do not use the internet. And, of those who do use it, about a third of them do not actually feel confident when doing things online.
In today’s increasingly technological and connected world, the use of computers and other devices is critical. Many senior citizens struggle with loneliness in their later years, and technology has the capability of solving this all-too-common problem. Keep reading to learn more about how tech training can build connections and confidence in seniors.
Technology Training for Seniors
Many organizations provide technology training for seniors. AARP, for example, provides free tech training in nearly 40 markets across the U.S. There are many other organizations that provide free or low-cost tech training for older people, too. This training is intended for people age 50 and older and helps them learn basic skills like searching the internet, sending and receiving emails, downloading apps, and taking and sharing pictures.
There are also more advanced classes that help people learn how to do things like back up data, edit photos, or do voice dictation. Classes can also teach senior citizens how to use social media to build and maintain connections with other people.
Tech Training Builds Connections
One of the best things about technology is that it’s made it easier than ever before to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Instead of waiting for photos to arrive in the mail, grandparents can hop on FaceTime and chat with their grandkids on the other side of the country or world in real time. They can reconnect with long-lost friends and family members and rekindle relationships. Even if they live hundreds of miles away from their friends and relatives, they can play games with them online, carry on conversations, and share in their day-to-day lives through social media.
While a lot of people are hesitant to use computers, most seniors quickly pick up on how to use tablets. With iPads and similar devices, they are able to learn basic internet skills without fear of breaking something. Such devices are also small and portable, which can make them seem less frightening. And their simple interfaces make them significantly less intimidating for people who are new to technology than desktop computers or even laptops.
Teaching seniors how to use technology also allows them to meet new people and build their own online communities. The Web enables people to connect over shared interests, such as gardening, cooking, or knitting. While many older people find it nearly impossible to make new friends in person because they don’t leave their homes as often as they used to, they can easily forge new friendships online. This, of course, can go along way toward solving the loneliness problem that is so common among older Americans.
Classes that teach seniors computer skills can also help build confidence. Older people commonly feel like they have been left behind because of the fast pace at which technology has progressed over the course of the last couple of decades. People who once felt like they knew virtually everything about everything now lack confidence because they don’t understand the technology that younger generations seem to have mastered. Through senior tech treating classes, older people can regain much of the confidence that they may have lost in recent years.
When older people learn how to use technology, they also gain the ability to perform a wide range of tasks that they can feel proud of. They can use their inkjet printer to print out professional-quality photos of their grandkids, research the side effects of medications they’ve been prescribed, or learn how to do something new. They can find interesting new recipes to try, use printer inkto print out knitting or crochet patterns, download books to read or listen to, or gain access to millions of TV shows and movies on demand. Learning how to use technology is incredibly empowering and helps increase confidence among older Americans. Learning how to use technology can help older people feel more confident about living on their own, too. When they fully know how to use a smartphone, they’ll feel confident in knowing how to call for help if they ever need it.
They’ll also have the ability to download apps like symptom checkers to determine whether they need medical attention. They can even use technology to discover how to fix common household problems, order meals, and check in with others, so they don’t feel so “alone” when living by themselves. All of these things combined can greatly increase one’s confidence.
The Bottom Line
Technology has become a huge part of our world. Whether we like it or not, it is a part of our everyday lives. From paying for our groceries to filling our cars up with gas to paying our bills, technology powers just about everything we do. For many seniors, the many ways technology has infiltrated our lives can be scary. It can seem like a foreign concept, and a lot of people feel completely overwhelmed by it. Being confronted with unfamiliar technology can be scary and destroy one’s confidence.
Through tech training, however, it is possible to build connections and confidence in seniors. When older Americas learn how to use smartphones, tablets, computers, and other pieces of technology, they gain the ability to stay in touch with friends and loved ones and forge new relationships. They also gain the confidence that comes from being able to keep up with younger generations and take full advantage of the many benefits technology has to offer.
Tania Longeau serves as the Head of Services for InkJet Superstore. Tania oversees a team of Operations and Customer Service Reps from the Los Angeles headquarters. Before joining InkJet Superstore, Tania was a team leader and supervisor working for one of the biggest