Tablets can be the perfect tech gift for a senior. They are 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. Plus, they’re a ton of fun! Below are some really helpful tips from your friends at Sunshine Retirement Living.
Some seniors may still feel hesitant about using a tablet. You may have already convinced your favorite senior to get a smartphone, but often these screens are a bit too small to use for long periods of time. These helpful tips may help in introducing them 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. If a senior is afraid to use the tablet because of how delicate it is, the device ends up acting as an expensive dust catcher! Purchasing a case, screen cover, and stylus can help seniors use tablets more comfortably.
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 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. Using a tracking app for added security that the tablet will not get lost or taken 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 app icons. Find ones that they want to start with, and go from there. As they get more experienced with the technology, 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 unfamiliar with
The tech terms like “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 favorite senior how they are able to password protect transactions 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 to have to deal with someone making them uncomfortable about learning. They may not have wanted to ask for help in the first place. Making it easy and comfortable for them to learn new things is the first step to them enjoying their new tablet!
Tablet use by seniors is on the rise and can be a great way to stay productive 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.
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