Staying in touch with family members from afar is always challenging, but luckily there are ways to bridge the gap. Adopting some simple, senior-friendly technologies such as tablets and virtual assistants can make a big difference in your senior’s ability to feel connected to family. Along with good technology, a strong internet connection will be key to staying in touch.
Living Independently While Staying in Touch
Aging alone can be a tough process, especially for seniors who are very close to their family members. For advice on how to help seniors live more independently, M4A has some excellent resources and services to keep your loved one safe and supported in their community. Building better local connections ensures those with the ability to interact face-to-face can help keep your senior going strong.
Beyond building personal connections, a successful aging-in-place environment includes the ability to stay in touch with family. With that in mind, spend time teaching your senior how to use technology that will make it easy to chat. If your senior has a smartphone, ensure they have the appropriate apps to make it easy for video calls.
Also, be sure to help your senior navigate their phone, which can be difficult if their eyesight is limited. Help them adjust the settings on their phone to enlarge the icons and text, which will make messaging much easier for them. You can even set up voice control functions that will make it simple for your parents or grandparents to call.
If a smartphone is too hard to navigate, tablets can be great options for seniors. There are plenty of options out there that are great for the elderly, enabling users to stay connected, share photos, and surf the internet. The screens on tablets are larger than smartphones, making it easy to use for older adults. And, there are plenty of fun apps out there for playing games or reading books.
When you help your loved one set up their smartphone or tablet, be sure to download apps that allow for video calling. Many messaging apps now allow video calls, so do some research and ask your senior what interface is easiest for them to use. Make sure their messaging and/or calling app is located on the home screen of their phone or tablet, and show them how to make and answer calls and messages. Texting with seniors can be an entertaining affair, especially if you show them the hundreds of emojis they can use.
One of the best options for senior-friendly technology is a virtual assistant that can respond to voice commands. Products such as Amazon’s Alexa can make it easy to send and receive text messages, or even make video calls. It takes out the screen interface, allowing for ease of use and spur-of-the-moment phone calls.
Digital Trends explains that another reason a virtual assistant is great for the elderly is the ability to call for help. If your loved one has an accident at home and is unable to reach their phone to call an ambulance, they’ll be able to call out to a virtual assistant to get help quickly.
Boost the Signal
While investing in appropriate technology is important, your senior won’t get very far without a comfortable internet experience. Help get your senior set up with a fast connection that will ease frustrations and make video chats more clear so your loved one can stream videos and send photos easily. Even if your senior lives in a rural area, it’s still possible to get reliable high-speed WiFi in their home.
Technology makes it simple to video chat with loved ones across continents, often with crystal-clear resolution. Help your senior stay in touch by ensuring they have the right technology to easily make phone calls and send messages, and consider investing in a tablet or virtual assistant if their smartphone is difficult for them to use. And, get them connected with a reliable internet service so they can easily get in touch. Thanks to these options, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with family members from afar.