Video chat is not only something youngsters do. Many seniors have discovered the amazing benefits to being able to connect to others online from their own living room. Reaching family, friends, and finding new social connections are what combat loneliness and increase vitality in the elderly. Video chatting is especially helpful for those who have a hard time leaving their homes or who have family living far away.
Many technologies offer a video connection to communicate with others. Video calling apps such as Skype, Facetime or Google Duo are more suitable for those who have experience using a computer and navigate through a tablet or phone screen without any issues. But most seniors have difficulties using such technologies.
This is when senior-friendly communication tools such as Oscar Senior come in handy. The app simplifies the senior’s entire tablet interface, making it super easy to operate. As a result, seniors are capable of embracing video technology more easily. They become more independent and their quality of life increases substantially.
Staying in touch with family
Seniors want to be included in the day to day lives of their family. This is hard when they live far away or even in a different country. Video chat helps them get connected and involved in family matters. Sharing special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas dinners on video is very special. They’ll see how the grandkids are growing, the pictures they drew, or simply what they are having for dinner.
“I love being part of my grandkids birthday parties. They call me when it’s time for cake so that I can sing Happy Birthday with everyone else. I love watching their excitement when they open their presents,” says Jen (78 years old), living far away from her grandkids.
Video communication helps caregivers as well. Keeping an eye on elderly parents when the rest of the family lives far away is much easier with regular video calls. The screen reveals their facial expressions and gives us a better understanding of how they are really doing. It helps detect possible changes in their appearance or mental condition that might be an indicator of something serious.
Video calling gives caregivers piece of mind and helps seniors stay independent and therefore age at home.
Chatting with friends
As seniors get older, it is harder for them to move around or even leave the house. Many may still live with a spouse or family who keeps them company. But those living alone may start lacking the social interaction they need and were used to. They may become isolated and lonely, which commonly leads to depression. For these situations, video chat is the best alternative to socializing in person.
“I chat with my friend Pat every day. We watch the same TV show and then call each other to gossip about the characters and guess what will happen in the next episode,“ says Rose (85 years old), still living in her own home in WI.
Seniors may find themselves suddenly single after a devastating emotional loss. They must rebuild their lives, finding new purpose to live and be happy. In these life situations, they need friends more than ever. And friends too, may live far away. However, thanks to video chat, seniors can connect with friends at any time and have a meaningful chat from the comfort of their own home. It is a convenient way to provide the support they need during trying times.
Joining online groups and video chat rooms
Finding an online group with people who share the same interests is the best way to stay socially active and meet like-minded people. Due to restrictions in mobility, some of our elderly loved ones may find it challenging to physically get out and meet people. There are a lot of online networking groups, small or large, made of members who are passionate about a variety of topics from senior health, hobbies, to travel or online dating.
Seniors can find chat groups specifically created for people of different age groups or from different countries, and thus choose the one they are interested in. They can establish connections and start meaningful conversations with other seniors from around the world.
Many online friendships today later turn into in-person relationships or even romance. Using online video to chat from home is a wonderful way to combat loneliness and depression in the elderly.
Many seniors have a passion for learning new things. And learning keeps the mind active and young, so we should encourage our senior loved ones to try their hand at something new. Nowadays we all have the chance to sign up for courses that use interactive video chat software and start learning wherever we are.
What’s more, there is a wide range of courses online which cater to the senior age group. Seniors can find a space to share their own ideas and personal experiences.
They can challenge and be challenged by others who are participating in the same course via discussion groups. Consistent communication in their chosen interests will give them a sense of belonging and purpose in life.
Older adults need close family interactions, social engagement, and access to a range of supportive services to maintain their social wellbeing, fight loneliness and improve their quality of life. Video calling helps them achieve this. Setting up a tablet or a phone with a video calling option for our senior is super easy, and it goes a long way towards helping them feel involved, loved and missed. Let’s help fill their lives with meaningful social connections by introducing them to video chat.
How does your senior loved one use the video calling feature?