10 Tips to Help Seniors Learn How to Use Tablets

10 Tips to Help Seniors Learn How to Use Tablets


Tablets can be the perfect tech gift for a senior.  They are usually easy to use out of the box, are lightweight, offer font enlargements,… and are touch sensitive.  They typically take less time to learn how to use than a laptop or desktop computer, but some seniors may still feel hesitant about using a tablet.  Some may consider getting a cell phone, but often these screens are a bit too small to use for long periods of time.  These helpful tips may help in introducing seniors to tablets.

1. Purchase tools that will be useful for the tablet.

Some resistance to tablets may come from worry over dropping and breaking an expensive piece of technology or worries about neuropathology/shaking hands making it hard to use the touchscreen.  Purchasing a case, screen cover, and stylus can help to overcome these fears.  Having a tablet that a senior is afraid to use because of how delicate it is acts as an expensive dust catcher and is not helping anyone.

2. Teach them how to find applications that they want to download through the Google Play Store, iTunes, or Amazon’s app store.

Don’t assume that the seniors in your life will understand how to use the search feature or go through the app installation process.  Plus, you should let them be hands on with it from the beginning.  They are going to be the one using it from now on, so getting a feel for it now is a good step forward.

3. They might feel unsure about what applications they may enjoy or like to use for their daily lives.

You can show them some applications that they can find a use for, such as health apps or games they enjoy playing normally. The more that they see is possible with apps, the more comfortable they will become doing their own searches.

4. Some seniors may be worried about putting their personal information online.

Teach about tablet safety, such as basic password management.  They may prefer to write down their usernames and passwords, and save them in a safe place.  You may want to look into using a password service.  You can find some that offer apps that will not only save login information safely but will also generate safe passwords for websites to help prevent their accounts from being hacked.

5. Getting a tracking application activated or placed on the tablet can be a good idea.

The benefits that attract users to laptops can also be negatives in that they are easy for anyone to misplace or even steal.  This is just added security that the tablet will not go far, and can be found in the future.

6. Don’t go overboard with adding applications.

Some seniors with no experience using technology may be overwhelmed with a screen full of application icons.  Find ones that you both agree will be appreciated at first, and go from there.  As they get more experienced with it, you may find that they have screen upon screen of their favorite games, book reader apps, and more.

7. Go over any tablet or computer lingo that they may be confused about as some words are common knowledge for people that use a computer every day.

The tech terms cookies and URL might seem like a foreign language to seniors new to technology.  It’s easy to assume that they know what you know, but this is not the case. Be sure that you are not losing them with the tech talk.

8. Don’t forget to talk about how some apps and services are free to play or use, but may require in-app purchases or only offer a free trial.

This may cut down on unexpected bank account or credit card charges.  Show your elder how they are able to password protect purchases to prevent them from making any unwanted purchases.

9. Find out what they already know about computers and technology.

The seniors in your life might not need as much help as you thought that they did to get started with their new tablet.  You can then go over what is necessary for them to start exploring their new tech on their own.

10. Don’t make the senior feel as though you are talking down to them about the tablet.

Your elder may just feel that it’s easier to go on as they have before without the technology than have to deal with someone that is making them uncomfortable about learning.  They may not have wanted to ask for help in the first place, and feeling like they are being treated like a child is a sure turn-off to technology.

Tablets can be a great way to stay productive as a senior by keeping in touch with family and learning new skills.  Tablets are often ready right out of the box to start connecting the seniors in your life with the world.  To speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members, click here today.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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