Using Technology to Stay Stay Close to Loved Ones
Admittedly, technology and the senior generation don’t always go together. After all, older people often find it difficult to use new tech and end up resorting back to their old ways of doing things. However, if you can manage to get your senior loved one on board, there are many ways technology can be used to keep in touch. The following apps/tools, for example, are great ways you can use technology to stay in touch:
- Online Video/Text Communication Apps: When you live a good distance from your loved ones, it can be extremely difficult to make time for regular visits. This often leads to senior loneliness and isolation. Thankfully, apps like Skype and Voxer, allow you to stay in touch via text, talk and/or video. Skype in particular allows you to communicate face-to-face with your loved one, even when they are miles away. Another communication/social engagement app that also has telehealth and activity monitoring to consider is grandCARE Systems.
- Read Together: Your young child would likely love to hear Grandma or Grandpa read them their bedtime story. Apps like the readeo or Hootreading app allows you to orchestrate this, even if your loved one lives doesn’t live nearby. It’s also handy even for those who do live near their loved ones. Often, seniors can’t get out to drive once it’s dark, so this app will allow them to share this fun experience with their grandchildren, without leaving the comfort of home.
- Project Sharing: Sharing school projects, art-work and the like is an enjoyable part of having kids and grandchildren. The Keepy app allows you to organize, share and save your children’s school projects/art-work. You can give your senior loved ones access to your account, so they too can see the little masterpieces their grandchildren created. This is also a great way to organize your children’s projects, cut down on clutter and ensure these treasures are kept safe.
- Ancestry: Older grandchildren could be interested in exploring their family history through websites like MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com. This is a fun way for seniors and their grandchildren to spend time together in addition to learning something interesting about their family history. THankfully, this project can be completed together even when there is a physical distance between them.
- Playing Games: It’s pretty well-known that playing games, like crosswords, or other puzzles, is a great way to promote cognitive health in seniors. However, it can also be a way for seniors and their children and grandchildren to stay in touch, building relationships and bonds. Apps like The Wheel of Fortune allow grandchildren, children and grandparents to play this fun game together, even when they are miles or evens states apart.
Helping Seniors Become Tech Savvy
The above apps/websites are only helpful if seniors are able to utilize a computer and/or smartphone. Check with your loved one’s local area for options. Many senior centers and local colleges offer seniors classes to learn the basics of using technological devices and the internet.
Loneliness is a big problem for seniors. Thankfully, technology can make the miles melt away between family members. Try these apps out for a new way to keep in touch with your senior loved one.