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How to Make Using the Internet Easier for Seniors

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on

Modern day technology has inundated nearly every part of our lives, and it’s often impossible to perform simple tasks such as filling out a job application or keeping in touch with friends without the use of the Internet. Adapting to this can be a confusing and frustrating prospect for seniors who weren’t raised with such technology, though those willing to learn have a few options. Placer County elder care experts suggest some great ways to make using the Internet easier for your senior loved one.

Hire a Tutor or Sign Your Loved One Up for Classes

Leaving your loved one to figure out how to use the Internet alone is likely to be frustrating for him or her, and trying to teach someone you’re so close with may frustrate both of you. Instead, consider hiring a tutor or signing your loved one up for a class that helps seniors learn how to use the Internet at a comfortable pace. Your loved one may gain a better understanding of the Internet if someone is devoting time to teaching him or her how to use it and answering questions.

Make a Cheat Sheet

If there are tasks your loved one needs to do on the Internet and has trouble remembering how, help him or her make a cheat sheet with clear steps to reference until accomplishing each task becomes routine. For best results, try to include labeled pictures as well as written instructions since the look of technology isn’t always as intuitive to seniors as it is for younger generations.

Simplify the Browser

The easier it is for your loved one to find the things he or she needs to do on the Internet, the easier using it will be. Take some time to sit down and customize your loved one’s Internet browser. Remove toolbars, bloatware, and anything extra he or she doesn’t need. Then, install an adblocker so your loved one won’t accidentally get diverted off track. Also, create an easy-to-locate bookmarks bar with all the sites he or she visits regularly and set up automatic login or keep passwords written down in a notebook right by the computer.

Adjust the Basic Settings

There are settings in Internet browsers that can make fonts appear larger by default, screens brighter or dimmer based on need, sounds louder, and so on. Optimizing these settings for your loved one, who may have a harder time reading smaller print or hearing softer sounds, can be a real help. While you may think these settings are a small matter, your loved one may not know how to find the controls to modify them without assistance.

Many seniors are now realizing the benefits of using the Internet. It can help them stay connected socially and it also provides opportunities for mental engagement. For additional ways your loved one can stay socially and mentally stimulated, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained in the Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program designed to promote a variety of healthy lifestyle factors, including mental awareness and inner calm. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Placer County seniors can rely on. For more information on our senior care services, call a friendly Care Manager today at 916.226.3737.

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