Technology: Using It, Choosing It, Finding Support

Using Technology, Finding Technology Support: Senior Perspective


A big focus of Tech-enhanced Life's work is finding ways technology-based products can improve the quality of life for all of as we age.

But often, for those products to be useful, older adults need to make some changes to their way of life and learn new things. Sometimes, people need some help and advice with that.

This page is our Topic Hub for "Using Technology" — considered from the points of view of an older adult, or their family member, or caretaker. 

If you or an older adult you know would like to use some of the clever new products and services that can improve life, but are not sure how, this is a place to look for ideas. You will find lots of more specific recommendations (Alexa, Smartwatch Medical Alerts, Wearables, Tools for Avoiding Loneliness and more) on various Topic Hubs listed on the main Recommendations page.

If you have something you think belongs on this page and are interested in being a contributor or collaborator, see more about how to collaborate here.



Featured Content: Technology: Using It, Choosing It, Finding Support


Tech Support: Older Adults Explore

The good thing about modern technological innovations — like smart phones, smart homes, computers, video call technology, or telehealth — is that they can improve quality of life in a variety of ways. But tech gadgets are only useful if you keep them working. And today's gadgets often need quite a lot of tech support for that to happen.

In 2020, the Longevity Explorers explored the different approaches to keeping all your gadgets running — especially during the COVID pandemic, when face to face visits are hard or impossible. Here is what we learned.



Technology for seniors from 2020

Technology for Older Adults: Notable from 2020

As far as Technology for Older Adults goes, we saw some positive developments emerging in 2020, despite the pandemic, and some promising products gaining traction. Here are trends and products we think are notable from 2020.



Best senior tablet: comparisons, and how to chose.

Best Senior Tablet: How to Choose

This article is about a category of product marketed as senior tablets, or tablets for seniors. We explore which type of person would benefit from a senior tablet, rather than a more mainstream product like an iPad, and how to decide which is the best senior tablet for a specific life situation.



DIY Technology Solutions to Things Bothering My Aging Relatives

My relatives and their friends are in their 70's and 80's and 90's now, and I am finding they have some recurring "problems" that get in the way of life being as enjoyable as I think it should be. I have come up with a variety of DIY "Tech Solutions" to these problems that I have implemented for them. I hope they will be useful for you too.



video calls seniors

Virtual Connections to the Tech-Challenged

How do you have rich and engaging interactions with your parent who you can't visit in person? Especially if they cannot, or will not, adopt mainstream consumer technologies.

That's the challenge we are exploring in this article.



Setting Up Alexa Calling

How to Set Up Alexa Calling for a Loved One

Are you looking for a way to setup video chats with your loved one who lives independently or in a facility? This article tells you how to do that, using the Echo Show, without requiring your loved one to do any of the "setting up".



How to Find "Whatsername" After All These Years?

Peter Paul and Mary had a hit single decades ago called “Whats-her-name.” The chorus goes: “I wonder whatever happened to whatshername.” Your PC might help you find not only whatshername, but also whatshisname too. Here is how to do it.



An Internet Enabled Life

Having used technology all my working life, and now being retired, I notice that many of my peers are missing out on some of the benefits that come with appropriate use of the latest technology.

In this first of a series of articles, I start by just describing my Internet-enabled life. In other parts of the series, we offer essays describing a myriad of ways the Internet can enrich your day. I want to get you “hooked” to the Internet.



Amazon Echo and Alexa for the Elderly

The older adults in our explorer groups have recently become interested in a relatively new product: the Amazon Echo and its artificial intelligence Alexa. Here are their thoughts on topics like: do we want one; why would we want one; what do we use it for; and wouldn't it be great if it could also do ...".



Omni Fire TV for Video Calls

How to Use Amazon Omni Fire TV for Video Calls

Amazon recently announced a Fire TV Omni Series that features Alexa Calling & Zoom Meetings built-in…. no need to add a Fire TV Cube! Longevity Explorer Frank Engelman has tried it out, and shows how to set it up for one of his "older adult" relatives.



Alexa Questions & Answers

Alexa Questions & Answers

After writing several "How To" articles, relating to Alexa and related products, explorer Frank Engelman has been getting quite a few questions about things not covered in those articles. This page is to collect some of the common questions, together with detailed "how to" answers.



Engelman Interview

Tablets with Simpler User Interfaces: Interview

After completing a comparative evaluation of products in the category we call "senior-friendly tablets", lead reviewer Frank Engelman was interviewed by Richard Caro, co-founder of Tech-enhanced Life.



Scams & Older Adults: What to Do?

This series focuses on helping readers of all generations learn the fundamentals of scams, what scammers are after, how they use mail, email, mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers to steal your identity, your money, and even the Internet bandwidth you pay for every month to access the internet.

The information in this series on scams is intended to help you reduce vulnerability to scams for both you and loved-ones like parents, grandparents, etc. The key message is that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.



Fire TV Cube with TV

How to Set Up an Amazon Fire TV Cube

Recently, a product called the Amazon Fire TV Cube has become available and I am finding it often helps me solve challenges I am working on on behalf my older friends. I have developed this "How to" guide to help other people like me set up a Fire TV Cube for their friends, relatives, or aging parents. I include instructions for how to enable various features I have needed for the solutions I have created for my friends and relatives.



Surf the Web Like a Pro

There is an infinite cache of brilliant essays, news articles, scientific reports, and books available on the Internet, but you cannot access much of it without giving the website owners something of value in return, unless you master a few simple "surfing techniques".

This installment of "An Internet Enabled Life" will tell you how to quickly hack through the annoying jungle of subscription nags and popup-n-pop-downs and advertisements to get at the actual content you care about.



Computers and Me, Since 1968!

Unlike many of my age peers, I have been using computers since before they became small enough to become the popular tools that took us from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age. Now that I am retired they are still an essential part of my life. Here is a brief history of my life using computers, highlighting some of the ways they have made my life more interesting and enriching.



Technology for Sheltering in Place

While staying at home for weeks or months on end is hard for everyone, older adults have some unique challenges. And as the enforced lockdown winds down eventually, those over 70 are likely to be the last to see a return to "normal" life. We created this page so members of the Tech-enhanced Life community have a place to share their learnings about how they are handling the challenges of "sheltering in place", and to compare notes about technologies they are finding useful.



Older Adult Perspectives — Longevity Explorers Discuss:

Key words: 
How to choose technology, how to use technology, technology for seniors

Last Updated: July 16, 2020.