Your Quick Guide To Teaching Your Elderly Relatives IT




Whether it’s navigating outstanding debts or simply staying in touch with loved ones, today’s technology plays an instrumental role in daily life.

However, last year there was a disappointing lack of IT support for the elderly during the first lockdown, which likely fed into feelings of isolation and helplessness. Sadly, this issue was entirely preventable, and it’s important that this sad situation is never experienced by anybody ever again.

While the prospect of further lockdowns may seem unlikely, the events of the past year has likely taught everyone to expect the unexpected. Nobody fully knows what’s around the next corner, so getting ahead of issues such as these is always advisable.

Consequently, here’s a quick guide to help you teach your elderly relatives IT.

Find a Relatable Starting Point

Teaching anybody anything is much easier when they’re fully motivated.

Therefore, finding a starting point in their learning that resonates with them is recommended. For example, if the elderly relative is struggling to stay mobile in daily life, then helping them to navigate online shopping programmes could be highly useful and a great starting point. This will show them the true worth of computers and build a solid foundational level for further learning.

Temporarily hold off from going into anything more complex. Your older loved one needs to know the core purposes of computers before delving into anything resembling ‘nuts and bolts’, so build their motivation and enjoyment factors before tackling anything elaborate.

Support Their Learning with Dedicated Resources

Teaching an elderly relative IT may at times feel like a taxing solo endeavour.

However, there’re dedicated online resources out there that can support the learning journey. You could break down all their information yourself or recommend that the relative keeps the link for themselves if it’s user-friendly. That way, they can refer to it on their own time, and better their chances at navigating more complex programmes.

The most useful resources are where each step is accompanied by visual media such as screenshots and videos, and all the text provided is broken up into digestible chunks rather than overwhelming paragraphs.  One such example would be this linked guide about how to split cells in Excel.  By following well-structured resources like this, your relative will be able to follow the instructions and increase their confidence.

Practice Patience Throughout the Process

To put it bluntly, teaching your elderly relatives IT will not be easy.

Not only might they be unacquainted with computers, but they may also be completely disinterested also. After all, they’re from a time where these technologies simply didn’t exist. They may favour alternative forms of arranging their affairs or contacting their loved ones and think that these devices are a load of expensive drivel.

It might be that they want to live a tech-free life, which is valid, and you should let them if it’s possible for them to do that. However, if there’s a pressing need for them to learn IT in their personal circumstances, it’s important to remain positive and committed in your goals in teaching them. Practice patience, no matter how much resistance they offer in that situation and expect your effort to be more of a process than a quick lesson or phone call.

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