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Bridging the Technology Gap with Our Elderly

teaching his fatherDo your senior parents take 3 hours to get past the login screen on their computer?  Do they hear you talking to Siri and look at you like you’ve lost your mind?  Is it any wonder that some of our parents look at technology as if it’s some strange disease they might catch, should they get too close?

Unfortunately, many beloved aging parents experience a “learning gap” about computers, Internet and all things tech.  It is fueled, in part, by fear of the unknown as well as by the challenges of an aging brain that didn’t grow up with “puters,” as my 3-year-old grandson calls them.

Since avoiding computers undermines enjoyment of the “good 21st century life,” I decided to conduct my own online search for ways to “help aging parents learn new technology.” Skipping results that suggested “brainwashing,” I easily found programs to help bridge that gap.  Many are free, such as Eldy, which also simplifies the experience for your parents by providing six large buttons that take them directly to email, online chat/communication, the Web, word processing and more. With such programs, the chance of their deleting desirable items or forgetting how to access email is much less likely to happen.

I found other online courses that also teach seniors basic computer and offer tutorials: Skillful SeniorGFC LearnFree.orgMenganga.  Most of our public libraries and universities also offer courses and by attending these, your parents get added social and emotional benefits of meeting new potential friends and learning with other computer “newbies.”   Access to the world for your parents is up as frustration and limitations come down!

Here is an upcoming webinar, that can help in the process of learning new technologies:

·      January 21, 2015: Guide to Tech Services & Products: Making the Best Match for Your Family’s Needs. If you’re not a tech wiz, how do you find and evaluate the new digital products that are available right now? In this second of two webinars, we’ll offer useful tips and checklists to guide your decision-making.  Click HERE to register.

Webinar runs from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (ET) online. – See more at:

Share how you’ve brought technology into your parents’ lives — or not?  What are the benefits to them and maybe to you, too?  If you want more ways to help you and your parents thrive during any challenges you might be facing, you’ll find it with one of our Certified POP Family Coaches.

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