Many seniors live their lives without the internet. Some seniors do not feel confident about their computer skills while others do not trust the internet. Those who take the time to learn how to go online will be pleased to learn that the internet can be safe and easy to use.
Why Are So Many Seniors Reluctant to Use the Internet?
In modern times, children under the age of 5 are comfortable using computers. The reason behind this is that these children grew up with computers in their homes. This is not the case for senior citizens. Having a computer in the home only became commonplace in the past few decades. If a person was not raised with computers or the internet, they may be reluctant to learn computing skills. The idea of turning on a computer and logging on to the internet can be daunting for some seniors. However, once seniors overcome this fear they can start learning basic computing skills. Most seniors will be able to use the internet with ease within a few weeks.
What Are the Benefits to Seniors of Using the Internet?
There are many benefits that seniors can gain from using the internet, such as:
- Seniors can access news and other information instantly. They will no longer have to wait for the television news or newspaper.
- Older people will be able to use social networking sites and email to connect with their friends and family.
- Those that are lonely can use dating sites to meet potential matches and/or new friends.
- Seniors who find it difficult to go grocery shopping can buy their groceries online.
- Internet users can make and cancel doctors and dentists appointments online.
- Seniors can shop without leaving the comfort of their own home.
- Many seniors are now using the internet to get online qualifications. This saves them the hassle of attending classes in person.
What Seniors Should Know About Using the Internet
While the internet is a wonderful tool, it is also misused by unscrupulous people. Seniors need to be aware that there are countless scams online. Due to this, they should only give their personal information to trusted websites. They should also make sure that they only shop at well-known and reputable online stores. This will help prevent them from being caught up in fraud or identity theft.
How to Use the Internet for Simple Tasks
Older people who are wary of going online should not be fearful of the internet. All one needs to do to perform simple tasks is turn on their computer and open their internet browser. This can be done by double clicking on the browser window.
The next step is to go to a search engine and type in whatever one is looking for online. Seniors will be able to perform simple tasks by following the instructions on the website and clicking in the right places. It is important for new computer users to know that they cannot break their computer or internet connection. Many new users are afraid to click links or type in boxes as they believe they may do something wrong. Making a mistake on the computer cannot cause irreversible damage.
Those who do not know how to turn on their computer or open a browser may benefit from basic computing classes. Many libraries across the country hold free computing classes. All one needs to do to enroll is to call the library and register their interest.
For seniors living alone with caregiver support, having a person help to guide him or her through the basic steps can be invaluable.
For More Information
Dummies.com provides some tips for seniors on computer usage. (Don’t be offended by the brand name — the “Dummies” series of books and online tips is very helpful)
Once you’re online, visit this site for a list of websites to help seniors get comfortable with using computers and the internet.