Advice & Information

Scrolling & Mouse Tips for Older Adults

Browsing, shopping, and connecting with others on your computer is convenient, and can be fun. However, if you have trouble navigating and scrolling on screens, you may struggle to enjoy using the internet. This is especially important for seniors who may be researching assisted living communities or Westlake Village memory care options online.

Luckily, you can learn to scroll more effectively by trying out different methods and finding the best one for you. Here, we’ve put together some essential scrolling tips for both PC and Mac computers so you can feel more confident at everything you do online.


Scrolling Methods for PC/Windows

If you own a PC/Windows computer, you have several options for scrolling. Here are some methods for easier scrolling on your computer – try them out and see what works best for you!

1. Your Mouse’s Scroll Wheel

On your mouse, you’ll find a wheel located in the middle of the top of the mouse. You can utilize this scroll to move the page up and down with your pointer finger or middle finger on your right hand. Use what feels right to you.

2. The Scroll Bar

On the right-hand side of the screen, document, or webpage, you’ll find a scroll bar that tracks your progress on the page. Simply click on the bar with your mouse and drag it up and down as needed, moving the whole mouse in both directions and holding your pointer finger down. 

3. Arrows on Your Browser

On the right-hand bar of your browser, you’ll also see arrows on the very top and very bottom of the bar. You can use your mouse to click on these arrows to move the page up and down, respectively.

4. Arrows on Your Keyboard

You’ll also find arrows (up, down, left, and right) on your keyboard. Simply press the up or down arrows to move vertically on the page. 

5. Page Up and Page Down Commands

In addition, your keyboard may have “PgUp” and “PgDn” commands to move the page up or down. If so, you can press these commands directly, though this will depend on your keyboard. Some keyboards will require you to activate “Page Up” and “Page Down” commands by pressing the Ctrl and Fn keys at the same time. 

6. Spacebar Commands

Another easy way to move up and down is to use the spacebar to go down and the “Shift + Spacebar” to go up. While this won’t work for documents in the Word application, it’s a great trick for browser windows.

Scrolling Tips & Methods for Mac

Mac computers can be quite distinct from PCs. If you have a Mac, be sure to follow our specific recommendations for scrolling on this type of computer.

Tips to Get Started on Mac

Macs can be tricky to get the hang of. Remember these key points as you scroll on a Mac:

  • You won’t see any scroll bar appear on a browser window until you start scrolling or move your mouse to hover over where the bar is located.
  • Your mouse pointer must be located within the browser window for scrolling to work there.
  • You can adjust scroll bar settings by going to your computer’s “Show scroll bar” settings.

Scrolling Methods for Mac

Other scrolling tips for Mac computers include utilizing:

1. Your Trackpad or Mouse Scroll

If you have a trackpad, you can slide two fingers up or down to scroll through any page or document on your computer. Typically, the page will move in the same direction as your fingers. 

Some computers will scroll the page in the direction opposite to your fingers. This can be configured in your computer settings and personalized to your preferences.

If you have an Apple mouse, you can simply scroll in either direction with one finger on the top of the mouse. Keep in mind that the scroll on the Apple mouse is invisible, so just move your finger where the scroll wheel should be (on the top in the center) to use the scroll.

2. The Scroll Bar

You can also click on the scroll bar and drag it up and down. Just remember that the scroll on a Mac won’t appear until you start scrolling, so you’ll need to either use a different method first or move your mouse to hover over where the bar will appear on the right side of the screen.

3. Arrows on Your Keyboard

Another easy method is to use the arrows on your Apple keyboard (up, down, left, and right) to move around the page.

Pro tip: To cover more space with every scroll, simply hold down “Option” while you press an arrow key.

4. Page Up and Page Down Keys

Your Apple keyboard also has “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys that you can press to move the page up or down.

5. Spacebar Commands

Finally, you can tap the spacebar to move down or press “Shift + Spacebar” to go up. Keep in mind that this won’t work for documents on the application Pages, though it’s great for browsers. 

Top Computer Mice for Seniors

In addition to choosing the right scrolling method, it’s important to have an ergonomic mouse that’s easy to use and straightforward for use at any experience or mobility level. 

Too often, traditional computer mice are ill-suited for older adults who may have arthritis and/or struggle with fine motor control.

To help you find the mouse that fits best with your needs, here are our top picks for comfortable and accessible options:

1. Logitech Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

2. Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse

3. Logitech Trackman Marble Trackball Mouse

4. Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse

5. 3M Wired Ergonomic Optical Mouse

6. SpaceMouse from 3dconnexion 

7. Adesso GP-160UB – Easy Cat 2 Button Glidepoint Touchpad

8. BIGtrack 2.0 Trackball

Ultimately, everyone has different preferences when it comes to computer mice. Be sure to assess your needs and make the choice that you feel most comfortable with.

Connecting Older Adults Through Technology

Taking advantage of the opportunities technology has to offer is a key aspect of connecting older adults to their friends, family, and the larger community. At Varenita of Westlake, we utilize the latest technologies to enhance every individual’s quality of life. 

Learn more about how we advocate for seniors and elevate care through technology by contacting us online or calling (805)-413-3300. 

Scrolling FAQs

Can I Use Voice Commands Instead of Scrolling?

Yes! If you’re a big fan of voice commands, it’s possible to use them instead of physically scrolling. To do this, you may need to first adjust your computer settings to allow voice commands. 

From here, you can use simple voice commands for either PC/Windows or Mac in order to navigate around.

Can I Scroll and Copy/Paste at the Same Time?

Yes, you can. If you want to copy/paste something that you discovered while scrolling, simply use the keyboard command “Ctrl + C” (for copying) and “Ctrl + V” (for pasting). 

Alternatively, you can also highlight what you want to copy and then click on the right side of the mouse to pull up a menu of options. In the menu, you can click “Copy” and then “Paste.”

Will Using a Mouse Make My Arthritis Flare Up?

Traditional computer mice can be uncomfortable for older adults with arthritis and even result in cramps or flare-ups. 

To prevent this, we recommend buying a mouse that’s ergonomic for arthritic hands. See our list above for our top mouse recommendations for older adults!