Bringing Granny Into The 21st Century – Introducing Simple Tech To The Elderly

Today, there is an unprecedented amount of tech surrounding us that gives everyone the ability to communicate in a seemingly unlimited number of ways. Whether you want to make a call, send an email, write a text message or use social media as a way to communicate with those close to you, it can safely be said that there has never been a better time for friends and family to stay connected. Unfortunately, many older people have not yet embraced these options for fear of the unknown or because they simply do not believe them to be necessary. Thankfully, however, it is not hard to help your grandparents or anyone of older age to learn how to use these forms of communication – especially once they understand what it is they are missing.

Text Messages

I love you

If that special senior in your life does not already have a cell phone, then it is high time they make the switch. Nobody’s going to throw out grandpa’s old rotary phone just yet, but it is very important that people – particularly the elderly – have some form of mobile communication device with them in the event of an emergency. We recommend starting out with a large-button, regular phone (no QWERTY) and showing the person in question how to type with each button. Since old-school phones often had letter/number association, this is perhaps the easiest way to transition an older individual into texting.

Email

envelope

Probably the least “tech-savvy” way of communicating these days, email is very similar to the form of communication many elderly people are used to – namely, writing letters. If you can instruct your grandparent or friend on how to use the computer in a basic fashion, then using email is relatively simple. They will love the ability to share photos and you can certainly expect them to forward every email they receive that is enjoyable (and maybe every email period, asking if they now have “one of those e-bugs”).

Instant Messaging

Whether you are using a form of standalone instant messaging or a system built into a social network like Facebook, instant messaging can be a fun way to keep in touch with grandparents. They will enjoy the way in which conversation is occurring in real time, making it feel more personal than email or text messaging. Since this works virtually the same way as email (login, type your message), you will be able to cover this element of communication while also showing them how to type a message via mail.

Social Networking

Facebook for Dummies, anyone?

We eluded to this earlier, but social networking is perhaps the most effective way to keep in touch these days. Grandparents will love how easy it is to share and view photos, news and messages all from one central source. There is little doubt that most senior citizens will fight tooth and nail against adopting social media at first, but the vast majority of those who successfully do wonder how they ever lived without it. Do your grandparents a favour and introduce them to Facebook, at the very least, so they can keep up with other family members who are already using the service.

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Lachlan Thomas works for a company that specialises in granny flats and relocatable homes. According to him, a granny flat is a good option as tenants can share transportation and other amenities with the other occupants of the main house. During his free time, Lachlan spends time blogging about the latest happenings in the construction business.