Top 5 tips for helping loved ones overcome a fear of technology
Many seniors can be frightened of devices and the complications they bring, but we know how to help overcome those fears. Our expert Technical Support Officer Elliott shares his top tips for helping seniors overcome a fear of technology, and they’re
simpler than you might think.
With our new Let’s Get Technical pilot program at Feros Care, we’re all about connecting the older generation with technology to improve their lives. By making the most of the latest in devices to connect the most vulnerable members of society
with the outside world, in turn, we’re helping them to feel less socially isolated.
But while we love to change lives in such a positive way, the biggest task along the way involves breaking down the fear of change when it comes to technology. Many seniors can be frightened of devices and the complications they bring; thanks to our many
years of experience here at Feros Care, we’re well-versed in helping overcome those fears, and we’re here to provide support.
Elliott Cronan is a Technical Support Officer for Feros Care and works with seniors as part of our Let’s Get Technical program, spending 10 one-on-one sessions with each client to get the best possible outcome for them.
“Most of my clients have dabbled in technology but are not really into it,” explains Elliott. “They’re worried they might break something, or get hacked, or scammed. They might have a tablet but haven’t touched it for six
Elliott shares his top tips for helping the older generation overcome a fear of technology below.
Start with the basics
“The biggest way to scare people off is to overcomplicate things,” Elliott explains. “Start with the basics – all you really need to begin is to talk to the person on their level and work out what they want to do.”
Long before he was part of the Feros Care team, Elliott would help his grandmother understand how to work her phone. “Every time I saw her, we would try a couple of things. Once she’d mastered those, we’d do one or two more.”
This might involve showing them how to read and reply to emails; use Google Maps; or follow their closest family members on social media. Cater directly to their interests and what may suit their lifestyle best.
Do it with them, not for them
“The most common thing my clients say is that a lot of family
help them by doing it for them, but not by showing them,” Elliott explains. “I know it might get frustrating to explain the same thing a hundred times, but getting them to actually do it is the key.”
By trying it themselves and having a go, your loved ones are much more likely to take it on, and they will be so thrilled when they have success. Elliott gives the example of one client who learned how to turn on and off his lights with the Google Home
system set up through Feros Care’s Smart Home Modifications program.
“He’s not the most confident with technology, but I showed him the basics and now he loves that sort of stuff,” Elliott says.
Explain they won’t break anything
Seniors can occasionally be concerned with unfamiliar devices; they worry about pressing the wrong button and accidentally deleting a program, or breaking the device due to its fragile nature.
“I try to explain to my clients, it’s harder than you think to cause true damage to a device,” laughs Elliott. “So don’t worry. You might accidentally delete things, but you can always get it back and recover it.”
Get them a tablet
If phones seem that little bit too small, and laptops too big or too frightening, there’s the perfect middle ground for the older generation to utilize – the tablet. It’s the perfect starting point for those who are just getting to know
the possibilities of new technology.
“Tablets are really maneuverable, you can take them anywhere. Use them in bed, take them to the living room or even for a drive if you have to,” explains Elliott.
Get a Technical Support Officer to break it down to their level
You might not understand exactly how to teach someone in your family how to use technology, and that’s okay. Feros Care is here, and our Technical Support Officers know exactly how to word it to address the questions that seniors may be seeking
responses to; they’re also chock-a-block full of patience and empathy, ready to go at the pace of the senior and cater to their style of learning.
“A client may not understand a system update, so I explain that it’s like getting a car service – you do it to maintain the car,” Elliott says. “The updates are usually based around the hacks or security breaches so it makes
the computer or tablet stronger. And that’s usually something my clients can understand.”