Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Tech Tips for Seniors

So your grandson or granddaughter has been running circles around you when it comes to texting, emails, and they've even tried to get you to buy a cell phone plan. If you think an iPod is a container for a glass eye like your grandfather had from the Spanish-American War, then you may be a senior who is overwhelmed by the technology available today. Here are some tips if you want to get in the tech game and still feel comfortable.

The first thing to realize is that you can be taught how to use tech devices, it just may take a little bit of re-training of your mind. Anyone who is new to a situation will have some trepidation and will be experiencing something that may be lead to frustration. Just remember that you are simply inexperienced with technology and not stupid. All it takes is getting to know whatever tech you want to use and your comfort level will increase.

When you first met your spouse, you didn't get married on the first date. It was a gradual process of courtship, falling in love, and then having a marriage and children. The same is true with learning new technology. You'll get the hang of it eventually, you just need to be patient.

Next is to find a good teacher. If your kids or grandkids have time in their busy schedules, ask them to help show you how some of their tech works. If those people are unavailable to help you, try finding a local senior center or college campus that may be having classes on how to use computers and other devices. Even your local library may be of assistance in this regard with seminars and classes. Many classes are free or may have a small fee, but they are great ways to at least get some hands on experience with tech devices.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to becoming an expert on your new cell phone, PDA, or iPod. Get some hands-on experience with whatever you are using such as computers, cell phones, wireless devices, or netbooks. The more you use it, the better you will become at your tech.

It is a great idea to find devices that are suitable for seniors. A perfect example is the Jitterbug cell phone. Keys are larger as it the Jitterbug is a simple and basic phone with no texting or fancy bells and whistles. It is a phone, plain and simple.

Other adaptive technologies are available if you have trouble seeing or typing. There are such a thing as virtual keyboards and text enlarging programs that can adapt to your specific need when using a computer.

One final tip is almost a catch-22. The internet is a great way to find information on tech devices or computers for seniors. If you can just get to the point where using a computer is a good idea and become used to finding information on the internet, an entire world of information will be opened up to you when it comes to learning about the world of technology.

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