To people who have never used it, the internet can be a daunting and scary place to navigate. This is especially true when we look at elderly people. Not only do they lack the understanding and technology, but they also lack the abilities that most of us use every day without thought. If you have the patience and the time though, elderly people can be taught these skills.
This is a really beneficial skill to give to someone, especially if they feel isolated. For example, teaching patients how to connect to their relatives is a great step towards improving quality of life in nursing homes.
Here are some tips:
Explain how the browser works
A good way to start is by explaining how the browser works. Most of us do not realize how complex a browser can seem to those who have never used one. A great analogy to use is the “Car” analogy. Explain to your student that your internet browser is like your car, and you use it to get to where you want to go.
If your student is a complete novice technologically wise, it is a great idea to start them on Chrome or Firefox as both of these are simpler and easier to use then Internet Explorer.
Walk them through the steps of a Google Search
Once they have a good grasp of what their internet browser is used for, sit with them and go through all the steps in a simple Google search. Ask them for something they have always wanted to know, then show them how they can find the answer via a search engine.
You will probably find they are a little bit amazed at this point, which is great. It can help overcome any stubbornness about using the internet. Show them the worth.
Show them how to communicate via email or social media
The next step is to walk them through the set-up of a means of communication. Email is a great one, as it is a lot simpler than explaining how to use Facebook. If, however, they show an interest in using social media, you should take the time to explain the basics of Facebook. Take the extra time to show them how messenger works, as this is a great way to stay connected with friends and relatives.
Finally, show them how to do some simple online shopping. Walk them through an Amazon purchase, help them order something they want. Show them how to set their address and payment details and explain all the jargon. This can be a really great way to show them the worth of the internet.
That’s it, that’s all we would suggest showing them to begin with. By showing them the above things, they will have a nice, manageable entry-point into using the internet. You will have shown them some of the benefits of being online. After this, their own curiosity will guide them in understanding the wide-web. You might be surprised how much they take to it.