These days, technology moves fast! There is always something “new!” and “revolutionary!” being reported on, and no matter what your age, it’s easy to feel a little lost sometimes. But that’s no reason to fear it!
“Technology” can mean a lot of things. You’re probably already using and thriving with technology. Like a tablet or phone you use to read eBooks and search the internet (and read blogs like this!), or dashboard car notifications that remind you to keep up on your service appointments, to a digital watch that lets you track your steps and stay active. All of these can empower you and let you stay active and independent.
You decide which technology you want
The true power of technology is to give you the power to decide which tools you’ll use and how you’ll use them. Once you establish your own approach to technology adoption, you put yourself in control of the situation, taking only want you truly want and need, dispensing with the rest.
You can do this!
You can decide a level of technology that suits your needs and fits within your budget. Simplifying doesn’t mean that you can’t learn more complex technology; it only means that you’ve chosen not to. See how that works? You’re in charge.
What about the technology seniors need?
It’s true, “research has shown that over 75% of senior adults require help when learning how to use new tech,” according to Easy Tech Seniors. But asking for help shouldn’t get you down. Indeed, technology users of all ages need to ask for help – from taking your car to an experienced mechanic to calling tech support when setting up your computer.
What can you do when you’ve decided a new gadget or tool is something you need? There are great ways to get familiar with new technology that can help you have a successful experience. Ask a family member or experienced friend to help get it set up or explore it with you. Emphasize you want to learn, not just have them do it for you. Remind them to stay patient and to avoid using jargon to help you understand completely. Ask questions and keep practicing! Whatever you may be plugging in, learning about, or testing out, the key is to keep trying.
Technology is everywhere in our everyday lives, often without us noticing it. Below are some of our favorites:
Health and longevity:
- Hearing assistance such as headphones, hearing aids and voice captioning devices
- Wearable health monitors and activity reminders
- Online cognitive-acuity games and exercises
Safety and security:
- Emergency alert and assistance wearables
- Home perimeter and access monitors
- Caregiver remote monitoring websites and access devices
Lifestyle and leisure:
- Smart TVs with access to streaming content you enjoy
- Online content accessible at home or on mobile devices to keep you informed and aware
- Food and shopping apps that deliver goods to your door
Top 3 tech tips for seniors
Now that you have a handle on what new tools and gadgets you may be interested in, here are a few tips to help you tame them.
- Passwords: Everything needs a password these days. They keep you secure and ensure that only you have access and awareness of what you do and where you do it. Select passwords you can remember and include a variety of letters, numbers and symbols. If you must write down your passwords, be sure to keep that list in a safe place that only you know about, and not stored right next to your computer.
- Text size and colors: Sometimes the displays you’re looking at on computer or mobile devices let you adjust the size of text if you find it hard to read. Look for text size options and even text color preferences you can change to suit you and reduce any eye strain.
- Data security: Yes, online scams are still alive and well and you should always proceed with caution. If you receive unsolicited messages, offers or requests from sites or individuals you don’t recognize, avoid them. Beware of email messages with attached files and inline links that can do all manner of mischief if you click on them. Never allow someone you don’t know to remotely access your computer and don’t give away your personal information over the phone. As an extra precaution, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to help you secure your computer with protective anti-virus software.
Find even more tips for becoming tech savvy at any age at Aging.com.
In all, technology can be intimidating to us all, regardless of our age. Technology serves us well, though, and innovation helps us live a more fulfilling life when we take control of the situation. Consider the tips presented here and always reach out to others—family, friends, specialists—for help when you need it. The best news is that, in many cases, you can determine the technology you’ll use and the technology you’ll avoid. That’s living life the way you want to live it, letting technology do some of the work for you…and why not?