Keeping Your Parents Plugged In
With technology advancing with each passing year, it can be easy for those who weren’t introduced to phones at a young age to miss out. However, as smartphones, in particular, have become a staple in almost everyone’s daily life, older parents have been forced to use this new piece of technology or else suffer from an ability to communicative effectively with their loved ones. As any loving child would, you likely want to give your parents a bit of help to keep them hip. The best thing that you can do is to teach them how to use their smartphones. However, what may come naturally to you may prove difficult for your parents. Here’s some simple methods to help you teach your parents how to use their smartphones and the benefits that they can receive.
1. Go Step-By-Step
Many people are visual learners. As such, they learn far better when actually seeing what they need to do. Since you’re not always going to be around to show them how to use their phone, it’s a good idea to write down step-by-step, the directions on how to operate the phone. If you can, it’s always a good idea to include photos with the notes, so they can easily refer to them and find them on their own phone. While this may be a lengthy process, it’s the best way to help your parents learn how to use the phone. Once they’ve gotten used to the basics, they can experiment and explore from there.
2. Include Video Tutorial
If your parents don’t use their smartphones all that much, then they likely won’t always remember everything you’ve taught them after the fact. One way to ensure that they’re always able to use their phones even if you’re not there is to record steps on a video. They can play this whenever they need a reminder of how to do something. It also saves them the stress and embarrassment of having to contact you if they can’t remember how to do something.
3. Stay Calm And Explain Thoroughly
Technology comes with its own language. You grew up with the language while your parents did not. Because of this, it’s important that when you’re teaching them about the phone and using terms like, “apps, wifi, pixels,” and such, that you thoroughly explain what each of those mean. It doesn’t hurt to make a small dictionary for them for later reference, too. Unless you were naturally born to teach, you may feel a bit frustrated now and then when your parent can’t seem to grasp what you’re trying to tell them. It’s important to stay calm, positive, and not sound condescending when you’re teaching them. They likely felt the same once when they were trying to teach you different things, too.
After you have successfully taught your parents how to use their phone, you can introduce to them the many uses that their phone has. Long gone are the days where phones were only capable of talking and texting people. For older parents, you can introduce them to apps that are designed to help improve their memory. These games are not only fun and can keep your parents entertained, but they can also help keep their memory sharp in their twilight years.
Besides memory games, there are many health apps that can track how much they’ve walked, the amount of water that they’ve drunk in a day, and their nutrition. For parents who want to keep healthy and fit, those apps can be extremely beneficial in helping them track their progress.
Finally, you should show them the apps that can help them stay in easy communication with everyone. Video calls, group messaging, calendars, everything they need to stay on task and get in touch with loved ones whenever they need or want to. Staying connected with the family, no matter how far they might be, is important for parents. In time, it will likely become just as important to you. With video calls easily in hand, everyone can stay connected.