Helpful tech tips for seniors
COVID-19 has made it necessary for everyone to become more tech savvy.
If you’re a senior, there are many tech options at your fingertips to help you stay physically and mentally healthy in the comfort of your home.
First, you’ll need to make sure you have a smart phone, computer or tablet – such as an iPad.
Consider purchasing a large-text keyboard for your computer. They’re perfect for those with vision issues because they offer larger letters and symbols. There also are various Android and iPhone apps that can enlarge smartphone keyboards.
Once you have your hardware in place, you’ll be ready to use tech savvy options to help with:
Video calls with family and friends
Take advantage of technology to socialize with your loved ones. There are many options available. Some options allow a large group to talk all at once while others work better for one-on-one conversations.
You can enjoy your favorite cup of coffee or tea while catching up with loved ones using Zoom or Skype. They make it possible to see and talk with multiple family members at the same time.
Note: To get started with Zoom or Skype, do a Google search. Once you find the respective website, open it and download it to your computer or tablet.
Other apps to try are FaceTime and Facebook Messenger, which work well for one-on-one video chatting.
Note: FaceTime is included on every iPhone, iPad and Apple computer. When you click on a contact on your iPhone, you can choose to FaceTime the person rather than calling them. On an iPad or Apple computer, simply find the FaceTime app on your desktop and click on it to start a FaceTime session.
Tips for video calls:
- To start, check to see if your family member or friend also has the same app on their device.
- During your video call, tap on your screen or use your mouse to view more options to adjust your audio or screen.
- Make sure your device is charged and that you have a charger nearby, if needed.
Depending on the pharmacy, you may be able to have your prescription(s) delivered to your home. Call your pharmacy to find out more about mail order options or check online to see if your pharmacy has a website. Most pharmacies offer the ability to manage your prescriptions online. Once you create an online account and order your refill, you can pick it up at the drive-up window or curbside if you’ve already paid online.
Groceries, toiletries and household items
Ordering groceries online is a convenient way to help you practice social distancing. Most major grocers offer the ability to order items online – including Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix and HyVee. You can choose to have your order delivered or pick it up curbside or inside the store.
Search for your favorite store to find their website. Once on the website, look for an online grocery option. You will need to create an account. From there, you’ll be able to choose the groceries you’d like and pay online by debit or credit card.
Pet food and supplies
Many pet supply companies have websites that allow customers to order pet food and other items online. Check out chewy.com, petsmart.com or petsupplies.com.
You can also call your local pet store to find out if you can order items over the phone, pay for them by credit or debit card and then do curbside pickup or have the order delivered.
If you’re one who likes to send cards and letters, but you’re running low on stamps and don’t want to buy them at the post office or store, you can visit the United States Postal Service store online at usps.com/store and purchase stamps there.
Ordering from restaurants
If you miss eating at your favorite sit-down or fast food restaurant, many offer delivery or curbside pickup. Call to find out details. You may be able to order and pay online.
Social media platforms
Facebook, Instagram and other platforms allow you to keep in touch with friends and family or follow interests and hot topics of discussion.
Online games, puzzles and books
Keep your mind sharp by playing games or reading your favorite books online. Do a Google search to find some of the most popular game and puzzle apps. For those who enjoy reading, Kindle and iBooks give you access to thousands of books.