Event Preparation

Setting up your Mentor Up event is easy with this step by step preparation guide.

Event Preparation

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Setting Up an Email Account

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Preparation

10 minutes

Instruction

45 minutes–1 hour

Practice

As needed

Using email might seem like second nature to you but for older people, it can be a struggle to use email to stay connected to the world around them. You can use your email skills to help people 50+ stay in touch with family and friends, look for a job, or keep their lives organized.

Step 1:

Set Up an Account

Email

Help create an email account on whatever system you’re most familiar with. Help them enter their information.

Password

Help pick a password that is memorable but not too obvious. Remind them to keep the information somewhere safe.

Contacts

Once logged in, help them add some contacts. Find addresses of family and friends and add them into the contacts list.

Step 2:

Teach the Basics

Compose email

Help them compose an email to a friend or family member. Take them through all the basic fields: address, subject, and the body of the email.

Format

Show them how to change formatting like colors, fonts and size, and how to bold or underline text.

Attach photo

Demonstrate how to attach an image or gif into an email. How about using a funny photo you took on Instagram or posted on Facebook?

Step 3:

Review More Advanced Features

Draft email

Explain what a “draft” email is and how they can access their drafts later. Some email systems automatically save drafts, so be sure to point out this feature if it’s available.

Trash

Show them how to delete an email, find it in the trash, then move it back into the inbox. If you’re on a smartphone, practice doing that on the phone, too.

Chat

If you’re using an email system with a chat component, have them practice chatting with friends and family after you’ve set up contacts. If no one else is online, practice chatting with each other.

Additional Resources

For more resources on teaching older adults to use technology, check out these sites:
http://olos.ala.org/columns/?p=148
http://seniorplanet.org/category/tech-tips/
http://www.grandparents.com/food-and-leisure/technology/biggest-tech-mistakes

Report Back

Once you're done, head back to the "Teach Older Adults Tech" page and report your story for a chance to be featured on www.mentorup.org or get a little surprise from the Mentor Up team.

Need help?

If you have questions or need some more tips on Setting Up an Email Account, contact the Mentor Up team at info@mentorup.org.