The use of a computer, laptop, or other electronic device is a useful tool and important link to the outside world for many of our elderly. It helps them to keep in touch with loved ones, grants access to books, libraries, and other media, and encourages interaction. BrightStar Care, experts in Orlando occupational therapy, are keenly aware of what you can do to help your elderly loved one use their computer.
Many elders have not been afforded the opportunity to gain an extensive amount of knowledge in dealing with computers and other electronic devices. It is not second nature to them as it is for you or your children.
So, if you are assisting an older person in setting up their computer, remember to start simply and with the basics. Here are three suggestions for helping them out:
- Safety: In today’s world of identity theft and scams perpetrated upon the elderly, it is first necessary to make certain that there is adequate protection against viruses installed on the device and that the anti-virus programs are scheduled to run at regular intervals. Remind them not to open unsolicited emails and to never divulge personal information to anyone if they have not initiated the interaction.
- Determine Use: After verifying safety, it’s very helpful to determine what the primary use of the computer will be. Remove any icons that are not necessary to the overall operation. Place them in the recycle bin so that if they are needed in the future, you haven’t uninstalled anything. Doing so will reduce the risk of visual confusion for your loved one.
- Navigate: Pull up a chair alongside them and confirm that the size of the text, icons, and windows afford them comfortable reading. Make adjustments as needed. You should also identify volume control options and set accordingly. While you are at it, confirm that the height of the computer and chair provide comfortable operation and that all wires are safely tucked away so as not to present a trip or fall hazard.
The benefit seen when an elderly loved one uses a computer, laptop, or tablet is immeasurable. Staying engaged with others, playing games, listening to music, watching movies, etc. all play a part in mental, emotional, and physical health. BrightStar Care, providers of Orlando occupational therapy, are here to provide additional support and services. Call us at 407-877-0720.