If you own a retirement community, you should consider having classes for the residents staying there. This will help keep them active while they are learning new things. Learning a new skill can also help keep their brains sharp. One thing you could teach the seniors is computers. You will come across some unique obstacles when teaching technology to seniors, as they did not grow up with the “computer” generation. For this reason, you need to be patient and gentle with them. The below information should help you get started.
Start Out With the Mouse
If your seniors do not know how to use a mouse, you need to teach them how before you move onto anything else. One great way to do this is to play the game solitaire on their computer. This game comes standard with Windows computers. This game works well because it requires them to constantly use their mouse to move the cards around. Once the mouse is comfortable to them, ask them to use it to open programs, such as clicking on an icon on their desktop. Teach them about single click and double click. For example, they have to double click to open an icon on the desktop, and most links on websites require only a single click.
Teach Them How to Use the Keyboard
Most of the residents likely grew up using typewriters. Even though the basic keys are in the same place, a keyboard has many more keys that will confuse them. For example, they only have to press enter to move to a next line instead of pressing a carriage return on a typewriter. Open a blank word processing document and let them practice typing. Teach them how to use the backspace key, and how to turn the cap locks on. Do not spend time teaching them about the “F” keys or other keys they will not use.
Help Them Learn About the Internet
Teach the seniors how to open an Internet browser. Make sure the icon is on their desktop so they can easily see it. Once the web browser is open, teach them what the address bar is for. They may be confused that they have to click in a box before they can type anything. Teach them how to go to a different website, and how to use the scroll bar on the side to move up and down the page. This will take a lot of practice before they can navigate around the Internet so you will need to spend a lot of time doing this. By the end they should be able to open a web address on their own, search for things on search engines, and then how to find open what they are looking for from the list of links.
Hire Tech Support
If you have any computers that are running very slow, this can be frustrating to the residents. If you notice any other problems with the computers, such as screens constantly freezing up or there are weird noises coming from the hard drive, a tech support company can come to the retirement community to repair all of the computers. A good working computer is important for your class. Ask the tech support company to perform maintenance, such as running spyware scans, updating and running the virus software, etc. This will ensure the computers stay running well for your seniors.
Teaching seniors a new skill can be an exciting time for them. Take things very slow and go at their pace to ensure they do not get frustrated while they are learning. Click for additional reading on tech support for seniors.