This tip is for the technology-challenged adults in your life. Or for people like me.

If you have watched any cable television over the last two years you have likely watched (or heard) a Progressive Insurance commercial. If you have no ideas what I am talking about start here. I found myself over the holidays adding this phrase, “I know I sound like a Progressive commercial..”

But this tip from my brother-in-law is genius for non-technical geniuses like parents, sisters, brothers or grandparents.


I have shared this tip with so many friends and family because it is that good of an idea. A friend suggested I write a blog post. So please, please share with your extended family members or for tech-challenged parents, grandparents and older adults in your life.

It’s funny my seventy nine year old mom is on her A-game when it comes to technology. My dad now knows how to reply to a text.

But if their cable or wifi goes out it is all hands on deck to problem-solve before they call in the Geek Squad.

So here is a tip for appliance and tech challenged family members. This tip won’t work for everyone, but it worked seamlessly with my ninety-year-old father-in-law. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

My kids do this with their tech-challenged mom. I may know my way around SEO Quickbooks and WordPress, but if there is a setting off on my phone or car the whole family is in on a group chat.

My youngest son made a video when I got my car so I could set up my music.


My father-in-law is a retired dermatologist and board-certified pathologist. He subscribes to a dozen medical journals and medical school alumni newsletters. He lives in his own house and will celebrate his 90th birthday this year.

I should sign him up for the Weekend Edit. ;0)

When he finds a great article he likes to print copies from his home office and mail them to his grandchildren and sons.

During the extended staycation in 2020, my brother-in-law’s phone number became the unofficial help desk for his dad (and my husband’s dad) because my BIL loves gadgets and is very tech-savvy.

Except, during Covid, his visits to help his dad with technical glitches became several hours in the day. Why? Because of the process of suiting up, gloves and masks, antibacterial checks, bleach on every surface and maintaining 9 feet of distance between them.

They were ready for a nuclear reactor meltdown for a 45-second repair.

Tip for tech challenged parents or family members

It was too much time for proper social distancing, but the concern of Covid was a reality and my father-in-law is close to 90 years old. And then my brother-in-law shared his genius tip for all the incoming phone calls and inevitable printer errors.


This is genius.

He should be writing this tip and not me.

My brother-in-law bought the identical printer at Costco for himself and his dad. Now, when his dad calls with a red button error message, my BIL can problem-solve from his own home and save the risk of unnecessary exposure.

Tip for tech challenged parents or family member

If you are thinking about the costs. My BIL pointed out that the price of a printer was less than the dozen trips (time and risk) to drive ten miles to figure out his dad’s favorite pastime and form of communication with his family (sharing printed copies of newspaper and journal articles).

This tip works for out-of-state parents (or moms like me). I videotape my error messages in my car and send them to my youngest ( he had a summer job at a friend’s family-owned dealership so he knew his way around my European car, slightly older than the brand-new models he was tasked to park.

Tip for tech challenged parents or family member

The funny thing about this tip is my other son (the lefty) would argue he needs a duplicate of my phone. My son reminds me that when I get an error on any device, continuing to hit the enter button does not make the appliance or tech gadget correct itself.

Duh! Thanks for stopping by today. I have a ton of favorite tips and one-hour projects you can search at the top of my blog! Please pin or share for others!

tip for tech challenged family members

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