Some older people are tech-savvy, and others just aren’t. Even the younger generations can sometimes struggle with technology, so don’t be surprised if your relative is reluctant to get a mobile phone or other device. However getting your elderly relative connected can have a number of benefits.
Firstly, it’s easier for them to get in touch, especially in the event of an emergency. It’s also useful for families who live far away to keep in contact. Secondly, technology can be a vital source of company and entertainment for elderly people who live alone. So let’s look at the ways in which you can get your relative connected.
Dog and a Bone
It’s highly unlikely that your relative won’t have a landline at home, but a mobile can also be really useful for several reasons. If they head to the shops or a social event, they have a means of contacting you in case of emergency. But as we all lead busy lives, teaching them to send a text can help you to stay in contact easily when you’re not at home either.
There are lots of phones for seniors on the market nowadays, so start them off with a simple mobile that has big digits and buttons, and see how they handle that before investing in a smartphone.
Although it might seem an impossible task to introduce an elderly person to the internet, it can be an invaluable lesson to someone who is no longer able to leave the house so much. Whether they get a laptop, computer or a tablet, access to the internet allows them to keep in touch with family and friends, order shopping, and entertain themselves with games and TV.
TV and DVD
Another key source of entertainment for elderly people, especially those who live alone, is the TV. So if they haven’t already for a TV package that allows them access to a greater selection of channels, it’s a good idea to explore the options available for them. Most digital boxes are remarkably easy to use, and most feature catch up, recording and repeats that can provide hours of entertainment for someone who is largely home bound.
DVD players are also a great option for people who enjoy films, and you’d be surprised at how easily you can get hold of affordable DVDs for classic films that will give them a trip down memory lane. You could even convert those old family videos to DVD to give them a great surprise for their next birthday or Christmas present!
Even the biggest technophobes can benefit from devices and tools such as the web, digital TV and mobile devices. You just need to have a little patience when helping them learn how to use them, and ensure that you find a model that is suitable for seniors. By equipping your relative with a few key pieces of technology, you can feel more reassured of their safety in case of emergency, and that they have something to keep them entertained when they can’t stay active.
Article by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, weaver of words, who often writes for Locala HomeCare.