Helpful Tips to Make Technology Better for Seniors

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Technology for seniors is hard to avoid these days as it shows up almost everywhere in our everyday lives. Some seniors still try their best to avoid it, despite all the practical advantages that technical marvels like the internet and smartphones offer. However, most seniors continue to show a willingness to overcome this hesitation despite their reluctance. 

Most older Americans weren’t eager to embrace the internet even just a decade ago. Since then, internet use by seniors has been rising steadily, and we see the same thing happening with smartphones.

While more seniors opt to get digitally connected, there is still a learning curve for mastering these technologies. If you are looking to become more versed in using the internet or a smartphone, there some simple things that you can do.

Learning more about the internet and smartphones will be a valuable learning experience, and fun too. Here are several easy things to apply to your devices to make your daily life easier and more enjoyable. 

Changing Font Size on Phone

Many seniors experience problems viewing their devices as result of eyesight problems and other issues. Many people don’t realize that you can change the font size, making the device easier to view.

Changing the font size on your phone is fairly simple, but if you don’t know how to do it, follow these instructions:

For iPhones, you can change the font size by going to the “Settings” icon, go to “General” toward the top of the page, click on “Accessibility,” and from there choose “Larger Text” and adjust the font size to your preferred preference.

For Samsung Galaxy, open the “Settings” screen and go to the “Display” section, tap “Font Size,” and choose the best font size for you.

Also, you can change font and icon size on computers through the display settings on Apple computers. For Windows devices, right click on the desktop and select “View” and choose “Large Icons”.

In addition to changing the font size, you can also enable voice commands on your phone to make navigating them more manageable. Turning on the iPhone’s voice-activated virtual assistant Siri can help users find directions, use the internet, text, and make calls.

To turn on Siri, go to “Settings,” click on “General,” and go to the “Siri” tab. For Android devices, there is a voice app that comes pre-installed on smartphones.

Use your iPhone and iPad as a magnifying glass.

Whether it’s looking up an ingredient on the back of a box or zooming in on a medication bottle’s small print, the magnifying feature can be handy in several situations, easy to activate, and a great option in case you end up forgetting your glasses.

Whether it’s looking up an ingredient on the back of a box or zooming in on a medication bottle’s small print, the magnifying feature can be handy in many situations. The feature is easy to activate and a great option in case you end up forgetting your glasses.

  • Open Settings and tap on General
  • Tap Accessibility and then choose Magnifier
  • Toggle the option for Magnifier to ‘on’
  • Activate the Magnifier by triple tapping the side button on newer iPhones. If you have an older iPhone, triple-tap the Home button instead.

Extend your phone ring

The amount of time your phone rings before it goes to voice mail is essential, especially for someone hard of hearing or mobility issues. As a standard, your phone rings for 15 seconds before diverting a call to voicemail. However, you can change this by using increments of five seconds, up to a maximum of 30 seconds. Note that this is not adjustable available on the phone, but you can call your service provider for instructions on how to extend the ring.

SOS and Fall Detection

Here’s another tip if you have an Apple product. If you ever find yourself in trouble, the SOS feature (in iOS 11 or later) will call for help and automatically notify your emergency contacts. Please note that you only want to use this feature in an actual emergency!

When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number. You can also add emergency contacts. After an emergency call ends, your iPhone alerts your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel. Your iPhone sends them your current location, and, for some time after you enter SOS mode, it sends updates to your emergency contacts when your location changes.

To add Emergency contacts on your iPhone:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab.
  • Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  • Tap the green plus icon to add an emergency contact.
  • Tap a contact, then add their relationship.
  • Tap Done to save your changes.

Despite how helpful new technology can be, many older adults are still reluctant to use it. Luckily, there are many selling points for the internet and smartphones. One of the biggest pluses about using modern technology is how connected we are.

If you are looking to connect with old friends and family, social media is the perfect way to do this. Technology for seniors can be made simple if you just follow some simple step-by-step instructions.

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