The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 17, 2014

How to help seniors with computer issues

With Dear Margo in re-runs and the Dr. Roach column not publishing on Saturdays, the Savvy Senior column will now run every Saturday on the Family page of the Clinton Herald. As suggested by the name, the column takes a weekly look at issues involving senior citizens.

DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: Are there any computer software products that you know of that will let me help my parents with their computer issues from afar? They are in their 70s and frequently call me with their computer questions and problems, but I live across town and don’t always have time to get in the car and drive over to help them. What’s available that can help us? — Weary Son

DEAR WEARY: Helping an elder loved with their computer questions or problems over the phone can be frustrating and difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available today that offer remote access software that can easily help you assist your parents with their computer issues from afar.

One of the best is TeamViewer, which is completely free to use and works with Windows and Macintosh computers.

To get started, you and your parents will need to go to TeamViewer.com and install their free software on each of your computers. How-to videos are available on their site to help with the installation.

Once installed — and with their permission — you will be able to access your parent’s computer right from your own computer wherever you are. Both machines must have broadband Internet for this to work.

This software will give you the ability to actually see what’s appearing on your parent’s computer screen, and will let you remotely take charge of their computer so you can show them how to do something, or you can do it for them while they watch. Almost anything can be done remotely with this software. You can even keep a live video chat open at the same time you’re helping them.

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