How to help the seniors in your family go digital
How to help the seniors in your family go digital
Here’s how you can help them pick up some useful digital skills, especially during this circuit breaker period
min read Published on 08 May 2020

Time for lunch? Food delivery is often a few clicks away.

Need to do a banking transaction? No worries, your banking app allows you to transfer funds with a few taps and a swipe.

While most of us are quite at ease with online transactions and digital tools, things may not come as easily for our parents and grandparents who did not grow up on tablets and TikTok.

Helping them pick up some digital skills would allow them to stay safe at home, while still being able to carry out their daily tasks and social activities without stepping out.

Here’s how you can help them pick up some important skills quickly:

Staying connected with friends and family

They may already be familiar with messaging apps like WhatsApp, but now is a great time to get your older relatives comfortable with other ways to stay digitally connected.

Whether it’s with friends or family, being able to keep in touch through sending a simple E-mail, or by having a family “gathering” on a group video call will help seniors feel socially connected and stave off the boredom.

Online banking and digital payments

Many retail banks and insurance companies offer internet or mobile channels for customers to access a range of financial services. It may seem a bit fiddly to set up at first, but most banks’ websites would have a simple guide on how to set up electronic banking, and to explore other digital options.

With their electronic banking set up, you could slowly introduce them to the use of cashless payment methods such as PayNow and other e-payment services.

Check out Season 3 of the “Learn Together with Me” show, to be aired on Channel 8 at 2.30pm on weekdays between 20 and 29 May. Host Dennis Chew and celebrity guests will share tips on common digital services and applications like making video calls with your family, using PayNow for cashless payment.

Purchasing groceries

Shop together with them online to show how easy it can be to order essentials or food at home, instead of heading out physically to wet markets and supermarkets during this time.

IMDA is collaborating with live stream star Max Kee, a wholesaler of Lian Huat Seafood, to make online shopping more relatable to seniors. Join the Facebook Live on 12 May, from 12pm at , where seniors will be able to buy and make cashless payments using PayNow for food products by participating merchants from Tekka market.

Reading newspapers and ebooks, listening to audiobooks

Before they head out to get to their morning paper, show the seniors in your family how to use the NLBMobile app. NLB has partnered with SPH to give free online access to eight SPH newspapers during the Circuit Breaker period.

In addition, he or she can browse through the latest copies of magazines, as well as borrow e-books and audiobooks.

Picking up more digital skills

From 19 May, log on to IMDA’s online Digital Pod Learning Series, which will offer short classes streamed live online twice weekly, to equip seniors with essential di­­gital skills.

The series will cover a range of topics including how to access features on their phone, how to use social media, coding, photo editing, protecting themselves from online risks.

Visit Online Classes (Digital Pods) for details, or select from a suite of online resources from the Seniors Go Digital website.

For one-to-one assistance for seniors on basic digital skills…

Book an online ‘consultation’ session to speak to a volunteer and receive help for digital needs with the Virtual Digital Clinic.

Conducted over the Microsoft Teams video platform, the clinic provides seniors with one-to-one guidance on basic features of commonly used mobile apps or phone settings.

It runs weekly for 12 weeks, from 15 May until 18 July. These sessions are available in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil language. For more details, visit here.

 [Cover image: Lee Kow Fong, aka Ah-Guo]