An elderly user with his iPhone.

Mastering Your iPhone: Easy Steps for Seniors to Embrace Technology

My grandfather has come a long way from writing down contact numbers in his address book, to Facetiming and watching Netflix on his iPhone. It may have taken an immense amount of patience and willingness, both from him (and me) to learn and start treating technology as a friend, instead of an enemy. Two years down the line, I can safely say all the times we spent together cracking his iPhone were absolutely worth it. He claims it has not only made his life easier but that he also feels more connected to the whole family and his community like never before. Sadly, his success story is not very common though. But I am determined to change that, one small step at a time.   

Did you know that over 70% of senior iPhone users struggle with their usage, still? If you are one among them who would love to use the iPhone, but worry whether you are doing it right, please keep reading. This article is intended to serve as a quick starter guide. This list includes all the resources and support options my grandfather found immensely helpful and still depends on. 

One of the top reasons that caused discomfort for him, in the beginning, was migrating from a button keypad to a touchscreen. His shaky hands and weakening eyesight did not make things easier. For anyone who has not grown up with smartphones, getting used to an iPhone’s interface can seem quite challenging when you are getting started.  

But the good news is that it isn’t as difficult as it seems.

The trick is to start slowly. Begin by adjusting the font size, enough to help you learn to make calls and send and receive texts. If you need a helping hand getting started with this, I’ve got you covered. I’ve listed below all the important resources and support options available. These can help you anytime you feel stuck and need a helping hand.

Apple’s official support website, support.apple.com, and the Apple Support App:

This can be your first point of contact for setting up or resolving software issues on your iPhone. Apple’s online support team is available 24 x 7. You can also chat with them online if you prefer a direct interaction. The Apple Support App, installed on your iPhone can also help you reach their support team either via phone or chat. This is perfect for anyone who is looking for personalized support. 

Most Apple products come with free after-sales support for the first 90 days. Some products also come with support for up to 2 years. Purchasing AppleCare+ helps you extend your coverage as required. Here are some useful links to help you access their various channels for support.

  • Apple’s Feedback Form – Use this form if you wish to share your feedback with Apple support about an issue you have with your iPhone. 
  • Apple’s Support Page – Follow this page to get in touch with the Apple technical support team. You can also call them at 1-800-275-2273 (for US customers).
  • Apple’s YouTube Channel – This channel shares tips and guides on using your Apple devices. Since these posts come straight from Apple, subscribing to this channel can be quite helpful in keeping yourself updated on the latest. 

While support from Apple online support seems like the best option, it could sometimes take weeks for you to hear back from them. It could be the sheer volume of requests they receive on a daily basis. Therefore, while these options are valuable, they may not always be able to fulfil the in-person interaction and attention an elderly iPhone user is looking for. 

That’s where the Apple Support Centre becomes more helpful as it offers in-person assistance. Read on for more information on them.

Apple Retail Stores and Authorized Service Providers:

You can visit your nearest Apple store if you are looking for that personalized attention. The support personnel at all Apple Stores are trained to help new iPhone owners get started. You can also seek assistance from their Genius Bar for hardware repairs, if any. What’s more, you can also sign-up for the workshops they conduct. This is a great way to meet fellow iPhone users, share your challenges, exchange your knowledge and experiences, and learn a few tried and tested tricks as well. 

The top reason Apple stores have gained popularity is that they focus more on user experiences than selling their products. Here are a few basic things to remember before your visit. 

Steps to follow to receive assistance:

  • Book a ‘Genius Bar Reservation’ at your nearest Apple centre. 
  • Remember to take a photo ID and your sales receipt with you. 
  • If you are looking to get the battery changed or serviced, Apple highly recommends that you keep the charge in your device to 30% or lesser. This will help avoid unnecessary delays in troubleshooting and issue resolution. 

You can locate your nearest Apple store by searching with your zip code on Apple’s official website. If you do not have an authorized Apple centre nearby OR have to wait long to get an appointment, you may want to consider using a third-party support website.

Third-Party Remote Support Websites:

For those issues and situations that may need immediate and personalized attention, a third-party remote support website like ours comes in handy. We, at ExpertHelp.com, offer you dedicated Experts who guide you until the most accurate and helpful solution is arrived at. Our pay-per-use payment option allows you the peace of mind of knowing that there will only be no hidden or recurring charges to confuse you. Apart from the standard chat support, we also offer you the option to purchase the phone and remote support for that extra attention. Our team of Experts comes with a vast base of knowledge, including but not limited to iPhone and other Apple products. Due to this, most remote support websites, including ours, are able to offer you a satisfactory resolution much faster than most brands. You may also find it an advantage to find alternate solutions and fixes that have not yet been documented by the brands themselves. To sign up, simply visit www.experthelp.com and enter your question. You can then choose the speed of response and the medium of support, depending on the nature of the issue. 

Your satisfaction is our top priority, and to ensure this we also follow the popular 5-Step Service guide that is recommended by all top brands in the world, including Apple. Our confidence in resolving your issue is also reflected in our no-hassles, 100% Money Back Guarantee we offer. We look forward to offering you the best possible support. So next time you need undivided attention, simply give us a shout!

Family & Friends:

I admit that getting my grandfather started on using his iPhone was in no way the easiest thing I’ve done. For one, his speed at grasping new techniques and learning a new device differs greatly from my generation’s. Although we did not start off on the right foot, after a couple of heated discussions and heated drama later, we finally figured a way out. Looking back, it was one of the best choices I’ve made. Not only has this helped him become incredibly independent, but it also taught me the greatest lesson in compassion, patience, and gratitude. From my experience, here are my two cents about how best to approach seeking help from your family and friends. My grandpa approves too. 🙂

  • Look at the time you spend as an opportunity to create a positive and enriching experience for both parties involved. In fact, it is only when you teach someone, that you really find out how much you know.
  • Find a calm and relaxed moment to approach your relative/friend with your doubts and questions. When you do, please be genuinely interested in learning.
  • Let your family or friend be aware of the advantages you are looking forward to, by learning to use your iPhone.
  • Think through your questions and be as articulate as you can be about them.
  • Last, but certainly not least, express your appreciation for their time and knowledge. An occasional treat may also do wonders, haha.

One of the favorite reasons to always recommend these interactions is so that elderly users feel more comfortable seeking help and opening up about their technology-related doubts and concerns. It will also teach us, the younger users, to be more patient while offering support to our seniors.

I’m certain we can all agree that welcoming any new technology can be horrifying for elders, but it isn’t as difficult as it seems. However, with just a few easy steps, using an iPhone can become a joy for all.

The trick as mentioned earlier, is to begin slow.

Basic functions such as making calls and sending messages are the easiest to learn first. Once you have learned these, you can easily familiarize yourself with the settings that work best for you. The next big step is exploring the incredible world of the apps; Start by finding a couple that interests you. Pick from your favorite categories – news, sports, music, science – the list is endless. A great idea is to get started with social media (Facebook or Instagram, for instance). Check out our previous blog on The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors for a full list of advantages these sites offer in addition to inter-generational bonding.

You can also, always seek support from your friends, family, and the many online tutorials available.

Summary:

I recently read on Seniorliving.com that, one of the prominent changes seen with the elderly and technology is how they have grown to be more reliable on not just their phones, but other gadgets, like the AirPods, Apple Watches, and even home assistants. 

This is such a promising trend. And, as with everything else, with time and practice, you’ll build up confidence, bringing out unlimited possibilities and maintaining connections as you’ve never imagined you could. So, pick up your iPhone confidently and welcome yourself to the incredible world of technology and learning!

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