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4 Tips for Seniors Learning a New Technology

Older Man using technology, Ipad

Technology has come a long way since the first days of the personal computer. If you are finding it a challenge to learn how to use technology in its many forms, you aren't alone. Fortunately, people can learn technology at any age. In fact, learning new skills and ideas is an important aspect of wellness: Think of it as exercise for your brain, with all the anti-aging benefits that a yoga session or brisk walk can bring to your body.

Here are some tips for getting started:

Take a Class

While some people prefer learning new things on their own, many benefit from getting some real-life instruction from a professional. Technology classes are available online and in traditional classroom settings. Some programs are even geared towards senior students.

Not sure where to begin looking? Online classes can usually be found with a simple online search, though you may want to ask friends and family for suggestions. When it comes to in-person classes, check out the following options:

  • Senior centers

  • Community colleges and trade schools

  • Adult education programs

  • Park districts

  • Retail stores that sell computers

Another option is to hire a tutor for one-on-one sessions. Computer and electronics stores may offer this option, so call around and ask if they offer Internet for seniors tutoring. Another option is to hire your grandchildren or other tech savvy relatives to teach you. This option offers the bonus of being able to stay in close touch with your loved ones.

Find a Buddy

Learning is more fun when you have company. Ask a friend or spouse to join you in your classes or tutoring sessions. Make a point of using the technology for regular communication as this will reinforce what you’ve been learning.

Use the Technology Every Day

Speaking of reinforcing what you’ve learned, the best way to master any new skill or knowledge is practice its use every day. For example, if you are learning to use your new computer, commit to performing 5-10 tasks on it daily. These tasks may include:

  • Checking your email

  • Sending email

  • Setting up social media profiles and interacting with friends and family

  • Learning how to use video conferencing services

  • Add apps to your smartphone

  • Connecting smart devices around your home

Integrate Technology into Wellness Goals

Think about the ways you can use technology to achieve your daily and long-term wellness goals:

  • Mobile phones and tablets can be great for convenient, on-the-spot communications with loved ones.

  • Smart watches can help you monitor vital signs and exercise levels

  • Meditation apps can help you learn to quiet your mind, reducing stress and tension

  • Online recipe sites can help you learn new cooking techniques that can help you make tasty and healthy food

  • Take exercise classes through apps and online videos

Take Your Time

Don't get frustrated if you don’t get the hang of a new technology right away. Everyone learns differently, and your pace is just as valid as someone else’s.

One of the guiding values behind Everleigh is that of wellness and we offer multiple opportunities for our residents to learn new skills. . .including technology skills! Learn more about how Everleigh promotes lifelong learning by scheduling a virtual or in-person tour of one of our active adult apartment communities.