How To Teach Senior Citizens to use a Computer

In this day and age, senior citizens should also learn using computers. For the elderly, learning the basic use of computer can help them do important tasks such as paying their own bills, making business letters and communicating with their love ones that are far from them. Senior citizens are also eager learners of new technology so this should ease up the task. There are some steps and ways to teach them properly and make them learn more about using the computer. All you have to do is to make sure that you have a good functioning computer.

  • Be patient. When you are teaching the elderly, have enough patience for them because sometimes they are harder to teach than the younger ones. Make yourself approachable so they won’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Let them be comfortable with the computer. The elderly may feel intimidated in front of the computer, so you must make them feel comfortable all the time and encourage them that learning to use computer can be done by anyone regardless of their age.
  • Show respect. In teaching a senior citizen, you may have to repeat each step that you are teaching to be able to help them catch up. Most elderly expect to be treated right and be respected. You can show respect to them by being patient to them all the time even though they may be harder to teach than the usual. In teaching them, you must speak slowly and softly, show them individually how to do and navigate the computer. Then it is important to let them do it on their own still with your help so you can make sure they have learned.
  • Explain things clearly. Once you have started the process in teaching them, make them comfortable by showing each part of the computer. In that way, you can help removing their fears of using the computer if they understand the use of each part. Show them the monitor, mouse, keyboard, memory, processor and video card. Then allow them to learn the use of it.
  • Get started. Now that you know how to approach them, you may start teaching them the basics. You may start turning on the computer, explain the use of the mouse and keyboard manually. The best way to get started is to teach how to play solitaire on the computer. It is easy to be learned and they will enjoy it. It will instantly resolve their fears and intimidations once they get to enjoy using it.
  • Teach the basic programs. Start teaching them how to operate the necessary things about computers and how to navigate it. Explain to them how to use basic programs on the computer like Microsoft Word and Excel. Tell them what these programs can do for them. Show them the importance of these programs to get their interest on it. Then help them to understand about the Internet and demonstrate how it works. Make them search on the search engine to introduce it to them.

    Most computer first-timers find it hard to handle a mouse. They may even hold it in a wrong way. You can guide their hands while moving the mouse. Avoid talking and using complicated words such as computer terms that will be harder for them to relate to. Make every setting on the monitor to make the letters appears larger so it won’t be hard for them to read it.

  • Give some reminders. Remind them to practice navigating the computer more often. Tell them that the more they expose themselves into it, the more they will learn. You may write down some important lists on how to navigate the computer and give it to them so they have their guide when they’re on their own.

It is really a nice feeling if you know that you helped someone. Learning about computers is certainly something that will help occupy them during their old age. Good luck!


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