Help Grandma Help Herself: Advanced Tech Support for Seniors

If you have an aging parent (or grandparent), chances are you’ve played a tech support role. But there’s no reason Grandma can’t learn the basics – with a little help, even the newest devices can be used by people of all ages. Here are 5 quick Smartphone lessons for seniors to get the most out of their technology.

Emergency Calling

When teaching seniors to use technology, one of the first lessons should be about emergency calling. While the set-up method and activation differ by device, the gist is the same; it’s an easy way to contact authorities in case of an emergency.

Advise older family members not to rely on landlines alone, as telephone wires can get knocked out by emergency conditions (or even construction). Instead, Grandma should know how to use a cell phone to stay in contact.

Bonus: Teach your loved one how to use their voice assistant to ask for help. This can prove valuable in emergency situations, but can also be a simple hands-free way for them to reach you when needed.

Smart Watch Heart Monitoring

Wearables are transitioning from luxury to necessity, particularly for people who experience health issues. With nifty features like heart rate monitoring, your loved one can pay attention to any unexpected changes or shifts in their day-to-day activities. Some smart watches will even send alerts if they notice a drastic change in heart rate, ensuring that your loved one can take necessary action.

Bonus: Wearables with fitness apps can help seniors stay active, reminding them to take their daily steps and encouraging them to stay in shape.

Location Sharing

Another benefit of Smartphones for seniors is being able to keep track of your loved ones. With the option to permanently share whereabouts, you’ll never have to worry if someone doesn’t respond to calls or texts. With location sharing, you simply need to open the app and home in on the contact you’re looking to find. From there, you’ll be able to see the exact location of their phone, giving both you and them peace of mind in case of emergency.

Bonus: This works in reverse, too. Set up location sharing on your phone so your loved ones will know where you are in the event you can’t pick up your phone.

Custom Interface

Understanding and getting adjusted to smart screens can be difficult. Luckily, most smart devices have customizable options so you can help your loved one set-up their device utilizing their personal preferences. Increase font size, adjust brightness, organize apps in terms of importance and usage and label folders for a clear and concise device that is easy to use.

Bonus: When you’re helping set up your loved one’s screen settings, don’t forget to set their background image to their favorite family photo.

Hearing Aid Compatibility

Depending on the needs of your loved one, finding a device that has compatibility with hearing aids can be a game changer. This small but significant feature can make life easier for your loved one and help you stay connected, too. Smartphones for seniors that boast this feature will make it easy to turn on via the phone’s settings. Enable Hearing Aid Mode to produce better audio quality for hearing aids and increase quality of conversation.

Bonus: Check out the Accessibility section of any Smartphone’s Settings app for more features that can make communication easier for seniors.

When shopping for a grandparent or elderly parent, it’s important to consider what features will be most useful and important to them. As smart technology becomes an indispensable part of everyone’s daily life, help make it as easy and comfortable as possible for your loved ones to benefit from these advances.