There’s got to be a better way to stay connected and in touch with your loved ones. Who can remember all the passwords, sign-ups, and details of every program?
If you’ve got loved ones in a senior living facility, you are intimately familiar with the common frustrations. I bet you’re used to your mom, dad, or relative having some kind of irritation about technology.
The truth is, these technology irritations are truly cross-generational. I know I hate buying a new computer. I forget passwords. I always have to look up how to put an accent mark over the ‘e.’ Yet, I’m nowhere near retirement age.
The whole deal about technology seems to stem from a simple fact. It is here to help us. It is here to serve us. It is here to make it easier—not harder—to stay connected.
While I can’t answer all the techno questions on the planet, I do want to share a few tips that have helped me.
Identify The Big Why
Just like Simon Sinek says, the first thing is to know you are ‘why.’ Sinek is well known for breaking down lofty ideals into simple questions. He does this for global corporations. But, I think it’s equally important that we do this for ourselves.
Why are we relying on technology?
The simplest answer in my humble opinion is because it helps us stay connected. We aren’t all living down the block or across the street. If you have a mum, dad, or dear one in a senior facility, you are relying on technology for their safety and peace of mind.
This is why the best senior facilities are actively upgrading their technology usage. Senior homes of today are not like the ones of the past. Today, top facilities are relying on assisted living software to keep residents safe, engaged, and in touch.
Data is what helps management staff and caregivers stay current. With one central data collection, it’s easier to keep track of all the latest insights and developments for each resident. Instead of having a hodge-podge of written notes, caregivers can quickly access resident information and make informed decisions.
Encourage Safety and Connection
Many CDC protocols for social distancing emphasize daily practices that help people maintain safety and health. Simple things such as connecting via Zoom, having a virtual meal with friends, and organizing a virtual book club help seniors stay in close contact while maintaining social distancing.
There’s no question that in many senior facilities, people are relying more and more on technology to stay in touch.
Naturally, residents are more likely to feel comfortable with virtual interactions when technology is easy to use. This kind of extra step paves the way for a happier experience of virtual connectivity.
Engage Your Loved Ones
Asking the ‘why’ question is helpful—but not just for you, for facility staff, and caregivers. Asking the ‘why’ question helps individual residents boost their confidence. Having a clear purpose for learning activities is critical for taking initiative.
When your mom, dad, or relative knows ‘why’ they want technology, it’s a lot more likely that they will make the effort to learn. It’s pretty much common sense.
Here are a few of the ‘why’s that may give people the extra energy needed to overcome hurdles or obstacles to learning new technology.
- Connect with children and grandchildren. Use video, games, and Zoom to stay current and up to date with what’s going on in their lives.
- Contact friends and family in diverse ways. Don’t feel limited to phone, written notes, or one form of contact.
- Feel organized. Imagine the ease of having all information and data in one place. Never struggle again with remembering passwords, codes, or log-ins.
- Be self-sufficient. Many seniors prefer to be self-reliant for day-to-day technology.
- Take online classes. Whether learning a new language, exploring art topics, or expanding into new skills, learning fosters open-mindedness.
As you take time to explore the deep reasons for using technology, you’re likely to feel a stronger sense of commitment, meaning, and purpose.
Embracing technology happens moment-by-moment, day-by-day. With a little attention to understanding the value, it’s entirely possible to reframe our whole way of looking at it.
I hope these ideas help you and your loved ones embrace technology, find you why, stay safe—and most importantly, stay connected.
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