I am not ashamed to admit that I have clients who are my favorite - Senior Citizens. My oldest Senior client is 86 years old. I actually do not like calling them 'Seniors'; instead, I call them 'Mature'. Since I have no living grandparents I feel a special connection to my Mature clients. They also feed me when I do house calls. Seriously, I am not kidding you. I have one client who makes me a three-course meal with Sweet Tea and homemade pound cake when I do my monthly visit for our computer repair and training sessions.
When I work with my Mature clients I noticed three things:
➤ They have A LOT of questions during our sessions because they either do not know
who to ask or their children and grandchildren tire of answering their 'stupid'
questions about social media or technology and do not have the patience.
➤ They refer to themselves as 'old and stupid' when it comes to technology.
➤ When they seek assistance from other repair or electronics stores they are often
scammed into purchasing software or equipment that they do not need.
I first let them know that they are NOT stupid and no question is stupid. It is always important for me to meet my clients where they are at in their level of understanding so that I do not talk over their heads with technical jargon.
Older adults are embracing technology more than ever. Still, we all know at least one older person who can barely text let alone maneuver mobile apps. So while they may be purchasing laptops, smartphones and tablets and all of the possibilities they intend, many older adults say they still don't feel confident about using them. I find that many times “frustration” with new technology will make older adults unsure of their ability to use it, leaving them unmotivated to even try. Frustration creates a significant barrier that leads to self-confidence and a lack of motivation to pursue using technology.
When a Senior, Mature or Older Adult in your life asks you questions about technology try to be patient with them. Utilize the 10 key steps below:
• When introducing new tech concepts, build on existing knowledge.
• Explain the relevance before going into detail.
• Avoid technical words and use consistent language.
• Watch your pace.
• Repeat key concepts.
• Pause in regular time so that they may ask questions.
• Let them actively practice new tech skills.
• Direct them to senior-specific tech resources (Like Geek In Heels).
• Validate expressions of confusion, but reinforce that they can and will learn.
• Seek Out Wow Moments.
Step 10 is KEY and goes a long way. Giving those 'hi-fives' and kudos empowers older adults. I enjoy receiving phone calls and messages from my Mature clients that say, 'Shalisha, guess what?! My computer shut down today and I remember what we worked on. I stayed calm and didn't get frustrated. I was able to get it back working again without any help! I'm a Geek In Loafers!" These are moments that make my job so rewarding.
To my Mature Adults, it may sound fancy and unrealistic to some, but it is not that hard to become a tech-savvy senior. Just try and keep an open mind and let go of any preconceived notions that technology is complicated and not ‘your thing’.
Geek In Heels is always here to help users of all ages to understand technology. Sunday's are 'Senior Sunday's' at Geek In Heels. All the Mature Older Adults of the Triad can receive FREE computer assistance and training. No appointment is necessary.
Well, that's it! That's all that I have. If you have questions, need assistance, want to schedule an in-home repair visit so that you can make me a meal and sweet tea feel free to contact Geek In Heels to schedule an appointment.