09.17.2013Personal Tech

How to Get Grandparents Using Smartphones

It's no secret that senior citizens have typically been slow to adopt new technologies, including social media. However, recent trends show older people are among the fastest-growing demographics online. More than half of adults 65 and older are online.

So, how can you help your grandparent get comfortable with using technology? Here are a few tips to get grandparents using smartphones:

Step 1: Get grandma or grandpa equipped with the proper device. There are a ton of top-notch devices available on the market today, and while this is a good thing, it can also be overwhelming for someone who’s never picked up a smartphone before, much less decided to start using one in their everyday lives. How can grandma and grandpa start narrowing down this decision-making process? We suggest having them head to their local Verizon Wireless store to speak with one of our knowledgeable sales reps. Our reps will help them identify the perfect device for them based on features they're looking for and how they plan to use a smartphone.

Step 2: Never stop learning. Attend a Wireless Workshop class, offered at several local Verizon Wireless retail locations. Wireless Workshops are a perfect starting point for first-time smartphone users, or for people who are looking to get more out of their device. The setting offers an intimate environment to ask specific questions to a Verizon expert related to your typical or anticipated using habits. Bonus - the workshops are free!

Step 3: Jump right in. This is the fun part. Now that your grandparents have the ideal smartphone in their hands, it’s time to customize it based on their interests. Do they like reading the paper in the morning? If so, they can do it right on their smartphones now by downloading free news apps, including CNN, the New York Times or USA Today (available for Apple and Android devices).

Also, be sure to show grandparents the fun side of having a smartphone. Have a grandparent who loves to play games? Challenge him/her to a game of Words with Friends (free version or $1.99; available for Apple and Android), an entertaining app that keeps the word game going all day long.

There is a never-ending supply of apps. Apps that provide detailed weather updates, access to each night’s sports scores and a listing of the movie show times at the local cinema just scratch the surface. Actually, there are upwards of 300 apps created each day, according to a piece from USA Today. There’s an app for everyone, and exploring the App Store regularly will get grandparents using smartphones even more.

Do you have a grandparent who regularly uses a smartphone? If so, let us know how they use it in the comments.

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