It is never too late to teach your mum, dad or older relative something new, even if its technology.
We live in a society where technology is constantly growing. New platforms, to initiate and increase communication, are constantly being created. Research from Open Access Government suggests that 41% of the older adults over 75 years in the UK use the internet, this shows a 20% increase since 2011 which is very good, considering how widespread the world wide web has become in the past decade. However, research also shows that older adults are still often unaware of the existence of different kinds of technological platforms.
Your older relative will be surprised at how much they’re able to do on the internet. Freedom through the internet actually contributes to independence at home. The world wide web will open brand new doors for your older relative.
We at Visiting Angels Home Care have complied a few tips that you can do to teach your older relative to use the internet for things like to manage their finances, communicating with friends and family on social media platforms, online shopping, how to watch their favourite shows online and how to arrange a GP visit or how to order prescriptions online.
1. Getting started online
It would be beneficial if you help your older relative set up a few essential accounts which will be beneficial for them if they are alone and need a few things.
Setting up an email account for your older relative
One of the first things you should do for your older relative is to set up an electronic mail account. You can choose from a variety of free, easy and popular electronic email platforms such as GMAIL, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail. Electronic email platforms are one of the best ways to stay in touch with friends and family online and it is extremely popular with older adults as sending an email to their loved ones is almost the same as hand writing a letter.
It would also be beneficial to make your older relative aware that they need to stay safe on these electronic email platforms. You should inform them about spam emails and what they should do if they receive one. However, the last thing you would want to do is scare them away from the online world, so inform them but don’t scare them away from the internet.
Age UK have a step-by-step process on how to set up an email account and for your older relative.
Click here to read and implement!
Set up a social media account for them
Social media is a wonderful way to share information and connect with your loved ones or to get to know like-minded people. Social media is all about staying connected and achieving that sense of “staying in touch” with people.
According to social media research , Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms with the older generation.
Facebook is a wonderful place for your older relatives to share family photos, to get in touch with your loved ones across the world or even rekindle with a childhood friend. You can post almost as much as content as you like on Facebook as long as your older relative is sticks to the Facebook posts guidelines and is aware on how to effectively utilise the privacy settings.
Help your relative keep on top of their finances through online banking
As most of the younger generation know, online banking can be extremely handy when you need to manage your finances from your house or if you’re out and about. Most banks have an online banking facility and it is not difficult at all to tell your older relative all about online banking. You can help them register at their local bank and assist them to set up a personalised mobile banking experience. Remember to take it slow and be patient with them, technology is evolving and it can be difficult to grasp at times.
Help your relative on how to book a GP appointment online
With the current situation, it has become increasingly prominent to book GP appointments online through the GP’s website. If your older relative is not registered with their local GP, it would be best to register them first and then you can teach them how to book an online GP appointment through using NHS online.
Click here for the step-by-step process!
2. Teach your older relative on how to download multiple apps on their smartphone
Patience is a virtue! Do you remember how much time it took you to ride a bike properly? Your parents were patient, it is only right if you are patient with your older relative too. Age UK have a lot of articles about downloading apps that you can read to your older relative.
Click here to read their informational guideline!
From Whatsapp to Facebook and Skype, your older relative will be exposed to brand new horizons. There are so many things your older relative can do from their finger tips and from their smart phone.
Use your knowledge too and help them remain independent at home by teaching them how to become tech savvy. Talk to them about online safety, how to keep their storage intact and how they can simply have fun with their loved ones. Information is key here.
3. Once your family member has their social media accounts set up, it would be really good to ask them to join online community and networking groups.
There are so many things you can type on the Facebook search engine from “online bingo” to area community groups. For example, if your older relative lives in Ealing or Hanwell, they can join so many community groups simply by typing in these areas on the Facebook search engine.
There are a lot of online resources your older relative can use to be entertained such as watching their favourite show on video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Did you know that our caregivers can teach your older relative to use the technology as part of their scheduled visits?