For many seniors, staying connected with loved ones is a challenge. And the social distancing guidelines that come with a global pandemic only intensify this challenge. Fortunately, however, there are many senior-friendly technologies available today that make it easy to keep in touch with friends and family from afar.
If you are tired of spending valuable time in your golden years feeling isolated, you can do something about it. But don’t let modern tech intimidate you. As long as you take important steps to ensure your safety, using the internet, gadgets, and tech is simpler than you may initially realize. Below are six technologies that can help you communicate with the most important people in your life.
(Image via Rawpixel)
1. Internet Connection
First of all, pretty much any technology that you use to connect with loved ones will require you to have a reliable internet connection. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of options when it comes to affordable internet service. Research different providers and plans, and check to see if you qualify for discounted rates.
One of the most versatile devices on the market, the GrandPad, has built-in Wi-Fi and allows users to video chat, make audio calls, play games, watch videos, and much more. And you can even use it on a private family network to edit contact information, add photos, and share other types of content. Best of all, you don’t have to remember any passwords or connect a modem to use the GrandPad.
3. Video Chat Apps
Nothing beats in-person interaction, but video chat is the next best thing. And there are lots of options when it comes to great video chat apps. FaceTime, which is available to anyone with an Apple device (e.g., iPhone, iPad, MacBook), works just like a regular phone call except there is a real-time video as well. Marco Polo (available on iOS and Android devices) is an app that allows you to send video messages back and forth; the recipient can either watch each video live or at a later time. Zoom and Skype are video conferencing apps that work great for groups of people.
4. Social Media Platforms
Social media provides great opportunities to stay connected with loved ones as well. Instagram, for example, is the best app on the market for sharing photos and short videos. Facebook, however, offers the most features for seniors. Not only can you share photos and videos, but you can post many other types of content and create private groups so that only those in the group can see your content.
5. Netflix Party
Do you miss the days when you could just kick back and watch a movie with your loved ones? Well, Netflix Party allows you to virtually watch movies and shows with friends and family from afar. And it even allows you to instant message on the same screen. The only caveat is that you are required to have a Netflix account and access to a laptop or desktop computer.
The online service StoryWorth allows you to record your family history. Once a week, family members will be prompted via email to reflect on a certain topic or share a memory that comes to mind. They can respond either through email or a phone call. After one year, you will receive a collection of priceless family memories and perspectives printed in a high-quality keepsake book. This is a fun, unique way to communicate with loved ones from afar.
(Image via CCACC - ADHC)
Staying socially connected is vital to living a healthy and fulfilling life in your golden years. Don’t let the pandemic take away any more of your valuable time. Consider the technologies listed here, and always remain open-minded to new ways that you can keep in touch with those who are most important to you.