For younger people, using computers is completely second nature. They use them in school and at home, and they can’t really fathom what life would be like without them. For the elderly, computers can be very confusing. There are some older people who use them without a problem, but the older the person is the less likely he or she will be using a computer for anything. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. A lot of senior centers and similar places, as well as some libraries, have people who can help teach the elderly to use computers. Some families also have the younger members work with the older ones so that everyone can email each other, talk on a social network, and send pictures.
Those are great ways to keep up with children and grandchildren when they’re far away – across the country or across the world. Most places have Internet, so don’t assume that you can’t get it where you’re living. Ask around for the best options based on price and speed. That way you won’t be paying for something you don’t need, but you’ll have an Internet connection that’s fast enough for what you need to do with it. Some older people also use the Internet to sell crafts that they make, send electronic greeting cards, and make new friends. No matter what they want to use it for, they can learn how to navigate it.
Patience is important when teaching the elderly how to use computers. They may not grasp things as quickly as their younger counterparts – but be careful not to talk down to them. They aren’t stupid, and they should still have your respect. Explain things clearly, and make sure that one step is understood before you move on to the next one. That way, you shouldn’t have to worry about confusion developing later. If it does, start at the beginning and go through the steps again. Write them down, if that helps. With a little effort, elderly people can be just as active on a computer as someone much younger.