Digital technology for older adults

Digital technology for older adults

  • Increasingly, older adults are embracing digital technology (eg, mobile phone devices and tablets) to stay connected with whānau and friends, access services and for learning and entertainment.
  • However, many older adults find using digital technology challenging.
  • Here are some simple tips to improve their experience.
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Consider using a device specifically designed for older adults

There are mobile phones and tablet devices on the market that are designed specifically for older adults. These tend to have built-in features that improve accessibility such as large sized buttons, large icons and screen text and simple, easy-to-use features.

Make simple modifications to the settings

To improve the user experience, try making simple modifications to the settings of standard devices. For example you can increase the font size or adjust the specific sounds and volumes of ringtones and notifications.

Consider the use of launchers (for android devices)

A launcher is an app which changes the look of the interface or screen of your digital device, for example to make icons bigger, limit icons, etc. Here are examples of launchers to make things easier for elderly users. These are available for android devices. (Note: There are 2 main types of devices – android and iOS. Android is Google's operating system while iOS is the operating system on Apple devices.)

Examples of launchers include: 

Attend classes to improve your digital skills

Some places like Age Concern(external link) and SeniorNet(external link) offer in-person classes where you can learn how to operate your device, including how to use social media and how to create and send emails with attachments, the basics of internet banking and staying safe online while doing online shopping.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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