Now is the time of year that you may be thinking about technology gifts for that special senior citizen in your life. During the recent pandemic, technological advances either provided a new avenue for seniors to open themselves up to the rest of the world or it may have made them feel more isolated.
It’s important to do your research when considering what to purchase. A librarian in Canada and works with seniors all the time, provides the following advice:
- Any device can be set up to be “senior friendly.” Consider what other technology exists in the senior’s world. If someone who had a Mac, an iPad may be the best answer. Someone who is used to a PC may not get the same benefit of familiarity.
- Remove (or hide somewhat) icons for things they don’t need or want and find a good tutorial that teaches them how to use the device.
- If Android, get them set up with a Google account and log everything in. If Apple, make sure they have an Apple ID.
- Set up apps to work with the things they might want to use like getting the Libby app set up to borrow e-books and e-audiobooks from the local library.
- Locate and enable accessibility features like font size, colors, reduce motion, and gestures.
- Provide a carrying case that will keep the device safe, with maybe a larger grip handle and a place to write down passwords.
- Add apps that they specifically want, puzzles, shopping, news, Zoom/Skype/Facetime/Team, e-mail, weather, birdwatching, etc.
- Some people have a hard time typing with on-screen keyboards so consider other options like Chromebooks.
Be sure to research options by using the library’s online subscription to Consumer Reports. Also explore new options especially for seniors on the AARP website.
Once you have your new device and need assistance with using it, find free technology instruction on finditva.com/adults using “Digital Learn.” Digital Learn is a great source to use if you are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a refresher. New tutorials were recently added to provide assistance with using iPhone or Android devices.
If you are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed.
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