Community Blog

What Are the Barriers to Your Parent Benefiting from Technology?

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Home Care in Boulder MT

Technology is everywhere and most people today are so accustomed to it that they use it all day, every day without thinking about it. For many seniors, however, technology is not something that they use as a part of their day-to-day life beyond the most basic of devices such as lights and television. While this is perfectly fine if it does not impact their life, there are some situations in which utilizing more technology could be extremely beneficial for your elderly parent. Finding out what is stopping them from using the devices and tools that could help them to live more independently and safely can help you to address those concerns and make changes in their care journey so that your parent can overcome them and start benefiting from more use of the technology around them.

Some common barriers that seniors have to benefitting from technology include:

  • Cost. Most elderly adults live on a limited income and strict budget. This can make the addition of technology such as the internet or a mobile device seem daunting. There are many programs and services available that are tailored specifically to the needs and budgetary restraints of seniors that allow them to use these helpful devices affordably. Research these services and programs with your parent so that they can see that technology does not have to be extremely expensive. Also go over their budget with them to identify areas where they could reduce spending so that they could more easily afford the technology.
  • Learning curve. For someone who has been using advanced technology throughout most of their lives, learning how to use devices such as cable boxes, the internet, or a mobile device may not seem like a big deal. For a senior who is not familiar with these things, however, the idea of having to learn how to use them can be overwhelming. They may not even want to try for fear of failing or embarrassing themselves by needing to ask for help. Reassure your parent that you are there to help them, and that others can help them as well. Walk them through the steps of how to do basic functions and then have them tell you what they want to be able to do so that you can teach them those skills. Keep the manual to any devices readily accessible so that they can reference them as needed.
  • Possible dangers. There is no denying that there are possible dangers associated with using technology. This, however, should not stop your parent from gaining the benefits of staying connected and having access to the information, resources, and other tools of this technology. Talk to your parent about the dangers and reassure them that you will help them to avoid these dangers. Explain how issues such as malware, spyware, and viruses really work, and about common scams such as phishing so that they feel more confident and prepared.

Starting home care for your aging parent is an exceptional way to encourage them to connect more with the world around them. The support and guidance of an in-home senior care services provider can help them to feel confident trying new things, and make the most of those new things.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Boulder, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.