Ways to Support Elderly Relatives with Technology

A few key products and device customisations can make technology easier to use and benefit the elderly.

Phone and Tablet Features

Text Size

All devices allow you to increase text size, this can be a key first step to make the device easier to use. 

Organising the Home Screen

Spend time sorting the home screen to ensure the apps you use the most are on the first screen and delete apps you do not use to make sure you do not clutter the home screen and make it harder to use.


These can be added to make it easier to access certain features or functions. If there is something you do repeatedly but is hard to find or awkward to access, you can set up a shortcut. Soft resetting the phone is an example where it can be hard to remember how to do but key when the software needs it to start working fully again, so rather than a complex set of buttons needed to be pushed in a certain order, you could simply add a touch button on your home screen for to reset the device. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

On your phone you can have it set up to replace certain text when you type, a text shortcut. For instance, you can select that when you type @@ that your email address replaces this, it can make it much easier to fill in forms and do various tasks online.

IoS (Apple) – Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement 


Both Android and IoS have some incredibly powerful accessibility functions, from allowing you to magnify part of the screen to full guided access of apps. Search for accessibility within the settings then search online Android or apple accessibility to see a full list of what can be achieved. 

Voice Assistant

Using the voice assistant can make accessing details or feature on you are the phone much simpler. Turn this on in settings and set it to the users' voice, this will help with setting reminders, playing music and many other features. 

Face Recognition

Phone security is key, and the first line of defence is someone not being able to access your phone, it can be easy to forget a passcode so turning on face recognition can be a great and simple way to keep your phone safe but also mean you don’t have to remember a complicated code or password. Note that some features will always need the code or password so make a note of it when you set it.


Turn on cloud back-up, it makes sure that if anything happens to the device that contacts, settings, photos and app data is all stored. This helps when replacing a device as it can be like nothing ever happened to the old one.

Useful Devices

Echo Show

A dedicated voice activated service as well as touch screen device to make video calling as well as life admin much easier. You can simply ask the show to call family members etc to start a video call rather than accessing the apps etc. you can also schedule reminders, to take medication for instance.

Google Nest/Apple HomePod Mini

Like the show but these do not have the touch screen feature and are just speakers. However they are much cheaper alternatives and can work just as well with voice commands replacing fiddling with a touch screen. You can customise the devices to take certain actions when you say a certain command. So you could say ‘Good morning google’ and the speaker could tell you your appointments for that day, or whet the weather will be.

Ring Doorbell

A video door bell, easy to install and connects to a smartphone app. This enables you to see whose at the front door and speak to them from anywhere in your house or even when you’re out. This can really help people feel safer in their homes as they can check who is at the door before opening it. You could also share access to the app with family members for extra peace of mind.

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