Accessibility Features for Seniors: Making Technology Easier to Use

Discover how accessibility features on computers can benefit seniors and make technology easier for them. Learn about assistive devices and how they can help seniors stay connected.

Accessibility Features for Seniors: Making Technology Easier to Use

For some older people, the ever-changing characteristics of technology can be difficult to understand. However, if your grandparents are very independent, they may prefer total autonomy when it comes to their own technology, such as their PC. Accessibility features are designed to help people with disabilities use technology more easily. For example, a text-to-speech function can read text aloud for people with limited vision, while a voice recognition function allows users with limited mobility to control the computer with their voice.

In this lesson, we'll introduce you to some of the most common accessibility features. We'll also look at assistive technology that you can connect to your computer for greater accessibility. Assistive device solutions are available for potential communication difficulties an older person may have. Accessible mobile phones can help older people stay connected to their friends and loved ones, thus reducing loneliness and isolation, which are unfortunately common among older people.

For people with speech problems, voice-generating devices can help them recover their voice. Once you've completed the needs assessment, a social worker can discuss options that they think could help your family member stay safe and independent, many of which could include assistive technology. The goal of these talks is to discuss what's best for your family member, so if you think a particular assistive device could help, you can present it as an option. While computer updates can be important when new versions are released, automatic updates can confuse, interrupt, or even worry older family members.

Whether you're using accessible technology to check email, chat with friends on social media, or surf the Internet, technology for older people can be easy. Reduce the number of technical support calls you receive by making your Windows PC more accessible to older people. One of the most important ways to set up a Windows PC for seniors is to ensure that all of the basic accessibility features are configured and customized to fit the needs of grandparents. If they use old hardware or if their computer is very basic, they may not even need automatic updates so that they can use the PC for its intended purpose.

To make your grandparents' computer accessible for their specific needs, it's a good idea to make sure that the programs they use are easy to find. Assistive technology can help many people in different ways, whether it's a person with dementia to remember certain things, a person who has survived a stroke to communicate, a person with visual impairment to access the Internet, or even a healthy older person to protect their home. One way to help your older relative take control of their computer is to give them some basic instructions that you can refer to when you share them. By customizing the settings and functions of your grandparents' computer or laptop, you can make it more accessible to them even when you're not around to help them.

Accessible technology is important, in large part because it can help older people age in their homes and live more independently. To access financial help from the local council, your older relative will need to undergo an evaluation of their care needs to decide first if they can apply for help, second, what can be done to help, and finally, how much help the advice can provide. Fortunately, technology for older people has tools that make the Internet and other devices accessible to all users. With these tools in place, seniors can enjoy greater independence and autonomy when using computers and other devices.

Robert Cedar
Robert Cedar

Robert Cedar, owner of Geeks On Command in Boulder, brings over 15 years of tech expertise from giants like Microsoft and Amazon to his downtown computer repair store. Passionate about top-notch PC repair and custom gaming rig builds, Robert's also a classically trained musician who cherishes family time and outdoor adventures with his dogs.

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