Technology Tips for Seniors
Those that prefer more traditional methods of doing things may be a little intimidated by taking on the ever-changing world of technology. And while it can be daunting, technology can offer so many conveniences for seniors that it’s worth leaning into and learning how it can be a benefit rather than a burden.
Fellowship Square dives into the topic of technology for seniors.
As it turns out, most seniors are pretty open to technology and use it for the benefit and convenience of connecting with loved ones and family through digital communication such as texting, video chat, and social media formats as well as email, according to the Tech Trends and the 50-Plus study by AARP.
In addition to helping connect people who live far away or home-bound, technology can also serve as a great form of entertainment and education. Countless streaming services are available at the touch of a button and there are so many resources (many free ones!) that offer education and tutorials on so many different skills that can become a new hobby or even a part-time job!
Beyond connectivity through Facetime, watching a favorite movie on Netflix, or learning something new from YouTube, technology can also provide seniors with some great conveniences in their lives when it comes to health appointments and everyday tasks. Teledoc appointments that can be done over the phone or via computer or tablet allow seniors to stay up to date with routine health checkups without having to leave the house. Grocery delivery, meal delivery, and shopping online for everything from pet medication to household wares is also a convenience for seniors and allows them to get their weekly chores and tasks done at the click of a button.
While technology can be daunting, it’s also a helpful resource in so many ways. Seniors should, of course, be wary of unsolicited emails or other internet scams that seem too good to be true. The National Crime Prevention Council reminds seniors (and anyone using the internet) of these tips to stay safe online:
- Install anti-virus software and get a spam blocker, which can deter pop-up ads as well as phishing scams
- Don’t accept instant messages from strangers and do not fall for scams that begin with a sad story or threat. Contact family members that are mentioned or contact authorities if threatened. When it comes to an unsolicited job offer or promise of free money, be wary — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- When shopping online, be sure the source is credible and secure. Look for the Veri-Sign or TRUSTe seals or a URL that begins with https, the “s” stands for “secure.”
- Back up important files
- Do not open unknown emails, particularly ones that claim they have a prize to distribute
- Create smart passwords (with at least eight characters including letters, numbers, and symbols) and change them every three months or so. Do not share passwords
Fellowship Square encourages seniors to get in touch with technology! There are also local community organizations that offer classes to help people get a handle on how to use technology safely to make their lives better and easier. So why not give it a try?