Many senior citizens are not interested in the big advancements in technology like smartphones or even computers. They might be resistant to doing things differently, and the use of these types of electronics devices doesn’t come naturally to them because they didn’t grow up exposed to them like kids are now. Most senior citizens can get by just fine without ever thinking about gadgets and apps.
But if you have a really cool grandparent who likes to stay on the cutting edge, a basic cell phone just might not be enough for his or her interests. Your grandmother may be eager to learn to use a smartphone, and you may be the one to teach her.
So How do You Teach Grandma to use Smartphones?
Many, though certainly not all, senior citizens are on a very different learning curve than younger generations. Here are some things to keep in mind when helping to introduce your grandparents to the world of smartphones.
No matter what, don’t get frustrated with your grandmother for her lack of knowledge or the speed at which she catches on. Using a smartphone may be a very new and different experience, so be extremely patient throughout the entire process. You don’t want to make them feel ignorant or put undue pressure on them, you just need to take extra time and effort.
Go Over the Basics
Don’t assume that your grandmother knows the basics of working a cell phone, because every smartphone is different. First go over the basic aspects of using the particular phone she has, such as how to make and receive calls, and store and look up numbers. Go over other mechanics like how to use the camera and text messaging if she’s so inclined. Show her how to access and change pertinent settings on her phone, like the ringtone and volume. Also teach her how to access the Internet and app store, as well as how to perform searches or purchase an app.
Set Up Useful Features and Apps
Next, help your grandmother use her smartphone by setting up some things for her. For example, bookmark her favorite websites and show her how to get to them. Then, download the apps she knows she wants and help her practice using them. You may want to suggest some useful apps for her. Think about what your grandma will primarily be using the phone for, and help her accordingly. She probably wants to communicate with her loved ones, so think about installing an app that allows her to video chat with her faraway relatives, and teach her how to use it. In the beginning, don’t try to do too much at once. Give her some time to practice using the features and apps she’s most interested in before introducing her to more. The more she practices, the more she will get the hang of things on her own.
Consider Her Physical Needs
Don’t forget to consider if your grandmother requires any particular modifications for her phone. If she is hearing-impaired, help her find the volume that works best for her. If she has difficulty reading small text, change the text on her phone to a larger font. There are also many accessories available for disabled or impaired people, and there are things that will help make using a smartphone easier, such as a full-size keyboard or voice-activated dialing.