It is essential to your resident safety that the seniors in your senior living community adapt to accessible technology. Newer technology may be intimidating for older generations to begin using, but a lot of it is also be very beneficial.
Benefits of Technology for Seniors
A significant advantage for seniors adapting technology is social connection. With social media and video chatting, residents can keep in touch with loved ones and friends. This can be very helpful for resident safety as social isolation has been directly linked to depression, mental illness, and a number of diseases.
Resident safety itself is a huge benefit of seniors adapting technology. With certain smartphone applications, individuals can track their exercise, medication management, and even request assistance. With more severe situations, emergency call systems can save senior lives.
As technology has the capability to save lives, it is more important than ever that seniors understand and use the technology available to them. Whether you are teaching a group of seniors or a single older loved one, it is essential to start with the strict basics.
It is important to remember that certain terminology and phrases may seem like second nature to most adults. However, many seniors are not as well versed in technology terms as other adults. For example, ‘buffering’ and ‘cookies’ are two terms almost every young adult knows but senior aged residents may not. When explaining terms be sure to:
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Teach the meaning of the term
- Speak terms and names multiple times
A lot of programs host a vast amount of information, which can be incredibly overwhelming for seniors. When beginning to teach new technology for resident safety, be sure the basic settings are set. Other settings tips include:
- Have all fonts larger than normal
- Have icons larger, and brightness turned up
- If there are subtitles, ensure they are on
- If there are no subtitles, you may want to write down directions for seniors
If seniors that you are teaching have smartphones, they should be aware and used to updates. If they do not have smartphones, it is important to explain to them that technology is always improving and changing. An update is generally standard; however, it can change the look or even layout of the technology you have versed them in. It may be beneficial to advise them to avoid updates if they can until you are able to upgrade the device or software with them.
Other resident safety tips for technology are to advise on a device’s battery life, which will not last forever. If there is any information being gathered from the user with this technology it is also essential to teach seniors about the threat of scams and frauds.
Technology Can Save Lives
When available technology can improve the safety of your residents, it is essential that they adapt to it. Remember when explaining any device or software to be gentle, repetitive, and try to make the experience seem fun. If learning new technology becomes a chore, they will push it away, and no educational progress will be made. When helping seniors adapt new technology, just be patient and understanding, it could be a whole new world for them.
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