Welcome back to PSA Thursday, a weekly-ish segment in which we talk about how to handle money, work, and life in the year that is 2020.
Many of us have experienced disconnection from our loved ones this year, especially with older family members. It can be difficult to stay in touch when parents and grandparents aren’t technologically savvy. They might not know how to text, how to use their cell phone to place a call, or how to initiate a video call.
We hope that can change after you listen to this episode.
To help us learn how we can stay connected with the senior citizens in our lives, we brought on Bria Sullivan. She works for a company that owns more than 300 senior living care facilities, and her role is to provide materials to teach those seniors how to use technology — anything from making a Zoom call to setting up a Chromebook to sending a text message. For the past six years, Bria has also had a supplemental side hustle teaching seniors how to use technology.
Today, she shares her best tips on how we can do the same with the elders we love.
Here’s what you’ll find in the episode:
- Why it’s important to listen to the needs of your elderly family member or friend to figure out how they would prefer to contact people
- If they have trouble hearing, they might want to avoid phone calls; if they have trouble reading, texting may not be good for them
- How getting in touch with your loved one on a consistent basis can make a positive difference in their lives
- How to create a “tech bible” that you can give to your loved one to help them remember and follow instructions
- What to include in this tech bible, and how to break down things that seem simple to us, but are monumental to them
- Why you need to be critically aware of iconography and the little motions we take, like scrolling, tapping, and long presses
- Words that you can use to easily explain foreign concepts like WiFi, upload, download, contacts, etc.
- The pieces of technology that seniors typically want to learn, and how to teach them to use it
- Tips for teaching them technology if you can safely visit them in-person…
- …and tips for teaching them via a letter and a phone call
- The need-to-know video call technology and etiquette that you should teach, at a minimum
- Why you should consider “teaching in 3s,” and what that entails
- Why you absolutely shouldn’t switch brands or operating systems, especially once your senior becomes comfortable
- How to handle the emotional stress of teaching technology to your senior friends and family, and why you need to be supportive throughout the process