In today’s digital world, seniors often find themselves surrounded by a vast array of new technologies. From smartphones and social media to tablets and online banking, the presence of technology is undeniable.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by these advancements, but rather than shying away from them, we can embrace the opportunity to become tech savvy and make our lives easier. After all, technology has the power to enhance speed and connectivity, and offers countless benefits, even in our golden years.
Gaining digital literacy skills is crucial as we age as it empowers us to access information and services online with confidence. In this age of information, where answers to questions are just a click away, being online and connected opens up a world of knowledge and possibilities.
By having digital literacy training, we can equip ourselves with the necessary skills and connectivity to navigate the digital landscape and improve our lives in various ways. This connectivity becomes even more vital for those of us who aspire to maintain our independence and age gracefully in the comfort of our own homes.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply looking to brush up on your digital know-how, Starts at 60 has made this guide to help you become a tech savvy senior in no time!
For some seniors, the constantly evolving world of technology can be intimidating and even a little scary. Just when you feel like you’ve grasped the latest trend or gadget, a new learning curve appears!
Despite its overwhelming nature, technology can be incredibly helpful and beneficial.
Explore options for technology classes designed specifically for seniors at your local library or senior centre. If such classes aren’t available, expressing your interest can help kickstart a local learning program.
Seek assistance from your tech savvy children, grandchildren, or trusted friends. You’ll be surprised by how willing they are to help you learn. Receiving tips from someone you’re already comfortable with can reduce the intimidation factor and serve as an excellent starting point for improving your skills.
Focus on acquiring skills that directly impact your life in a positive way. Identify the technologies that align with your interests and hobbies. For instance, if you enjoy watching movies, explore devices like Roku or Apple TV that allow easy streaming. Tailoring your learning to your specific needs makes the possibilities seem less daunting.
Embrace a hands-on approach and explore new devices or applications on your own. Many technologies are intuitive, and you might surprise yourself with how much you can figure out. Remember, most devices are more resilient than you might think.
You don’t need to become a technology expert to benefit from it. Even a basic understanding can go a long way. By learning to access resources like Google and YouTube, you gain the ability to find answers to nearly any question you may have.
The Be Connected program is a collaboration between the eSafety Commissioner, Department of Social Services, and Good Things Foundation that allows older adults to boost their internet and digital device skills. Through their website, users can access numerous free online learning resources covering various topics like device setup, scam prevention, myGov usage, and cloud-based photo and document storage.
Tech Savvy Seniors aims to enhance digital inclusion, reduce social isolation, and improve access to online information and services for seniors. This training program provides instruction on various skills, like email usage, smartphones and tablets, social media, online shopping, internet banking, and cyber safety.
MedAdvisor is an Australian medication app that simplifies the management of your prescriptions. This app offers features such as medication reminders, dosage instructions, and information about your medications to help ensure their effective use.
By connecting with your pharmacy, MedAdvisor allows you to conveniently order new prescriptions through the app.
Emergency Plus is a GPS-enabled app created by Australia’s 000 services, and it is available for free. In the event of an emergency, Emergency Plus ensures that the 000 services can easily locate you, regardless of your whereabouts.
Libby is an ebook and audiobook heaven! Local libraries worldwide provide access to millions of ebooks and audiobooks. With a library card and the Libby app, you can borrow and download them instantly, without any cost.
Lumosity is a brain-training app that aims to enhance your cognitive abilities through engaging games and activities. This app is a fun and effective way to stimulate your mind.
Spotify is a music app where you can find almost any song ever recorded. It recommends playlists based on your music taste. Spotify also offers a wide range of fantastic podcasts to explore.
This app can be extremely useful! The National Public Toilet Finder shows nearly 20,000 public restrooms throughout Australia, which can be very convenient when you’re on the go and need the toilet.
Online scamming is a way that cyber-criminals use to gain access to your bank accounts, credit cards, personal information, email address books and more. Cyber-criminals target different age groups with different scenarios and for seniors especially, there is a huge risk associated with providing any financial details to anyone or any service online.
Rule 1: If a pop-up box appears on your screen and you are not 100 per cent sure it is related to the website you are on, DO NOT click on it. Press escape or look for a (usually) very tiny red cross to exit the window. This pop-up is likely to take you to an unrelated website and is using the host website to lure people in with a trusted connection.
Rule 2: If you receive an email from someone you do not know or the email address is not authentic (Note: The Australian Taxation Office and Australian banks do not communicate confidential information via email) delete it from your inbox immediately and then delete it from the trash.
Rule 3: Only ever enter your credit card details into websites you believe are 100 per cent authentic. To make a decision on the authenticity of a website, follow these three steps:
Rule 4: Never send any financial or personal information via email. No bank account details, no birth dates, no credit card details and no full names or addresses!
Rule 5: If you do encounter a problem or suspicious scenario while you are online, report it to the Australian police or government. By clicking here, you can lodge a complaint and report a scammer with the Australian Scam Watch program. This is crucial in helping shut cyber-criminals down and helping to create a clean online Australia.
Becoming tech savvy seniors may sound fancy and unrealistic to some, but it’s actually not as difficult as it may seem. The key is to approach it with an open mind and let go of any preconceived notions that technology is complicated or not meant for you.
While it’s true that most of your lives were lived without today’s modern gadgets, that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace technology now. Give it a chance and let it demonstrate its capabilities to improve your life.
One of the great benefits of technology is the ability to stay connected with loved ones and friends, regardless of your location. Whether you or they are at the grocery store, travelling abroad, or simply in the yard gardening, technology enables you to maintain those connections effortlessly.