There are eight key points to consider when computer coaching: 

  1. Enable older adults to drive the direction and content of the sessions. 
  2. Adopt “baby steps” to build confidence.  
  3. Together share information that is stimulating, engaging and affirming.
  4. Provide new options only when specifically requested.  
  5. Discover the older adults’ strengths and learning style to build their resilience and wellbeing. Resilience is the ability to adjust to life changes and can be developed by using a strength-based approach.  
  6. Look for a WOW factor!  Create excitement by showing something the older adult did not think possible.  
  7. Demonstrate the different forms of information that are freely available. For example the Internet, music, films and books.
  8. Integrate the use of IT hardware into the body of your sessions.  For example demonstrate how to use the mouse and keyboard while researching a topic of interest.  

A Technology for Wellbeing coach does not need to be a “computer expert”, simply a confident user of one or more IT hardware devices.

There are significant factors that support a successful outcome in engaging older adults with computers and/or tablets. 


Aim to always find and acknowledge the positive steps that the learner has achieved in the process and use that as the jumping-off point for further teaching and learning.

Effective listening requires asking questions that will further provide quality information about the situation in which they find themselves.

Remember, adult-to-adult conversations should always be respectful and supportive.  Sitting back and actively listening to what the older adult wants to share is critical. 

Allow time to be a ‘sounding board’ on topics important to the older adult. 

Requests for specific help can be re-prioritised at the blink of an eye, depending on how the older adult is feeling on the day or what has transpired over the previous week.  Plans for a learning session can be placed to one side in an instant if the other party is seeking general conversation and support.