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Tech For Seniors: The benefits of teaching your elderly relative how to use tech

Teaching and old dog new tricks is possible, but it can be hard work so why should you bother to teach an elderly relative how to use modern technology?

The world changes and with it new technological innovations promise to make life easier. There can be a significant learning curve when adopting a new technology for the first time, so it can be tempting to avoid introducing new ideas to your older family members. Whilst they can probably get along just fine getting Freeview TV rather than streaming it on demand there are plenty of new products that will make life easier and should be encouraged.

Smart Home Management

According to the Live in Care Hub 97% of people would rather remain living in their own homes rather than move into a care home. With the application of a bit of technology your relative can remain independent for far longer, and retain that independence even when in-home or live-in care is essential, the benefits of which can be found in the No Place Like Home Report.

Smart doorbells and home security systems allow your relative to see who’s knocked at the door without leaving their seat. If it’s someone they recognise they can let them in, and scammers are much less likely to hang around if they think they might be getting filmed! You can also hook the system into your smartphone – allowing you to see what’s going on even when you’re not on the premises to look after your elderly relative.

Some companies offer full smart home systems. Thermostats that can be adjusted from a smartphone and lights than can be switched on remotely. The benefit to your loved one of being able to ask a machine to turn on the lights is clear.


Of course much of this smart technology relies on the ownership of a smartphone. While it might seem daunting to introduce your relative to something as high-tech as an iPhone, once configured correctly they can use voice commands to access many features such as calling you for advice!

Having a smartphone means you can also get them using messaging services to keep in contact with the wider family. They can access photographs of grandchildren or use video messaging to read them a bedtime story whenever they want, without having to wait for a visit or for someone to give them a lift.

Smartphones can also help organise their life. Imagine if they could just say “Ok Google remind me to take my pills every day at noon”. With an modern android smartphone that’s all you need to do (other voice assistants Alexa and Siri have similar functionality) and your relative will be alerted every day.

Their phone can also help them know what the time or date is just by asking, remind them about birthdays, call the doctor if they need help, keep track of symptoms, play audiobooks and navigate to the shops if their sense of direction becomes impaired. If a phone is too small for comfort then much of the same functionality is present in a tablet, which can be much larger so that fonts and buttons can be easier to distinguish.

It might take time to introduce new tech, but it’s sure to be worth it.

About Phong T

Phong is a Web Developer, Web Coder with 5+ years experience in PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of 9BlogTips.com, provides thousands of free JavaScript code examples, and writes about web development, blogging and small business topics. Follow him on twitter@9blogtips or connect with him on facebook@9blogtips and google+phong-thai.

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