Performance Support – Grandpa gets a cell phone

Well, he’s in his 90s, but Grandpa decided to get a cell phone. Once he decided, it was on his mind until I took him to the store.

Shopping for cell phone

I will admit to being a bit worried. How was this person going to be able to see the keys and the screen, let alone making use of it each day.

But, so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

He typed in a few numbers.

entering in a phone number on the cell phone

He talked to someone.

Grandpa talking on a cell phone

And, he even learned how to use the functionality that wasn’t at first obvious on the phone – hidden arrows and “Ok” buttons that I made apparent with some simple white stickers.

cell phone stickers to help with arrows and ok button

Along with the small sticker helps, I decided that I had less than 24 hours to really get him up to speed on the basics. So, I spent my time on two things:

  • Told him that we would have a five minute lesson each hour. One hour I would sneak a call in to him so that he could learn how to answer it. The next hour he had to call me or my parents (who were sitting there with him).
  • Create a couple of “job aids” to help him when I was no longer there.

gg_cellphone_performancesupport3 Cell phone job aids

So far so good. He’s called me about six times since I flew home.

In a few weeks I’ll have to virtually teach him how to add minutes to the phone AND how to add his own contacts (since I just added the first 20 he identified).

Who says we can’t keep learning at any age?

Mobile affords opportunities for all ages and it was great to see that 90+ years old is still young enough to quickly assimilate some skills that will be useful. Plus, there was a twinkle in his eye when he realized that he could really do this “new fancy electronic stuff!”

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