Engadget readers like yourself are probably more tech savvy than the average person. That means you may get roped into helping older family members with email woes, new phone setups, or deciphering if a message is legit or a phishing scam. In my family, I’ve become my mother’s unofficial IT support hotline, which makes me wonder about older adults with adult kids who are short on time. Turns out there are a number of resources staffed with actual people who will calmly walk seniors through just about any tech trouble they may face. Many local libraries and senior centers host classes and even one-on-one tech assistance to seniors for free, but if they can’t make it to a live session or there aren’t offerings in their area, phone hotlines and online services may be the answer.
For the past couple weeks, I used my mom and her frequently asked questions to try out a few of the senior tech hotlines out there and found three services that are refreshingly helpful, two of which are completely free and a third that includes a free option. If you know a senior who could use help with their tech, directing them to one of these services won’t feel like pawning them off, but rather like you’re sending them to an IT pro with endless patience.