A Guide to Optimizing a Computer for Seniors

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Computer for Seniors

Do your parents or grandparents always call you when they have trouble using the computer? Do they ask you to set up their email or navigate through a computer with several apps open? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, this article is for you. 

Seniors are not at fault for not knowing how to use computers or modern software. Modern computers and software are designed for adults in their twenties, and seniors can’t keep up. Here are some tips to help your loved ones get the most out of their computer, no matter if they’re the youngest or oldest member of your family.

1. Set it up to be as simple as possible

If your parent or grandparents are confused by the menu options and windows that pop open, simplify their computer setup. Go through the menus and window options and ensure the most commonly used commands are the easiest to find. 

An excellent way to do this is by installing for them the OneLaunch software that simplifies a desktop by allowing you to integrate all your most-used apps in one tab. As a result, seniors can get instant access to their favorite applications by clicking on one tab. This alone can significantly ease a senior’s frustration with their computer.

2. Set up the computer for easy navigation

Many seniors will have difficulty using a mouse and need help navigating to different applications with their mouse. A keyboard is great because it is easy to find the keys they need, and they can change the letters on the keys and make them easier to see (and press). 

One option is to use an ergonomic keyboard with bigger, easier-to-read keys than a standard keyboard. If you can’t find one for your loved one’s computer, you can easily purchase one and have them use it instead. 

3. Choose the right software for their needs

A computer needs to access email, browse the internet, and use a word processor at the most basic level. If that’s all your loved one wants to do, you can even get away with the cheapest computer. But the more software your senior uses, the higher chance they’ll need help with it. Here is where you come in. When choosing software for a senior, try to keep it simple; there are plenty of alternatives on hand.

4. Protect against malware and viruses

There is no good reason why malicious software should attack your senior’s computer. But, it can happen due to a fake email, a dodgy website, or a link in an email. 

These are things that your senior won’t think twice about and will click on without knowing it could harm their computer. An excellent way to protect your loved ones from malware is by showing them how to update their antivirus software. If the PC is not recently updated, it will be vulnerable to malware and viruses. 

5. Show them how to use shortcuts and voice commands for frequently used commands

One of the best ways to issue an order fast is using a shortcut or voice command. You can check out our list of shortcuts for Windows computers here. If your senior doesn’t know shortcuts, teach them how to use them (most modern keyboards have function keys that make this easy). Another great way to make navigating the computer easier is to use voice commands. You can use free applications like Siri on Apple devices or Cortana on Windows that allow you to speak to the computer and issue different commands. 

No matter how old they are, your parents and grandparents can enjoy using their computers once you make some minor adjustments. You can find some excellent software to help your loved one, from simple programs to complex utilities. 

And by being there for them when they need it, you can ensure that they’ll use their computer in the right way: enjoying the time they spend on it instead of getting frustrated with it.