There are many unanswered questions about COVID19. One thing is certain: seniors are among those most at risk.
In these uncertain times, loved ones may be reluctant or unable to visit senior family members. (For the latest on COVID-19 and its effects on our services, find our most recent update here.)
While this hesitancy comes from a place of love and concern, seniors should not resign themselves to several uneventful and boring months without visitors.
Instead, use this time to adapt. Learn how to connect with family members online. Take advantage of technology to continue learning, growing, and living a full life.
Here are some ways to foster connection, pick up new skills, and have a bit of fun, too.
Fewer in-person visits mean fewer in-person visits, not an end to socializing altogether. With a little creativity and effort, seniors can easily take advantage of online platforms and video chat to stay in touch with family and friends. Some of the easiest to use are FaceTime and Zoom.
Thanks to FaceTime, there are more seniors connecting online than ever before. To get started, most iPhones and iPads come with the FaceTime app pre-installed. Search for the green icon with a camera. Once you have FaceTime up and running, type the name, phone number, or email address of your desired contact in the search box at the top. When you see the name of the person you are trying to reach, simply tap the phone icon on the far right of the screen and wait until you hear a dial tone. Click here for a YouTube tutorial.
Zoom is another, easy-to-use platform that can be used on any device, including desktop and laptop computers and android phones. For a quick run-down of the basics of using Zoom, watch this YouTube tutorial.
A Few Words On Personal Safety
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 75% say technologies like a PERS device and medication management apps make them feel more confident about their safety well into old age.
A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is another important example of seniors using technology to improve the quality of their lives. A PERS device, GPS locator, or mobile application alerts medical services in the event of an emergency, Caregiverstress.com writes.
Medication management apps remind seniors when to take prescriptions and when to refill them. Ask your doctor about RxmindMe or Personal Caregiver.
How are seniors using technology? One of the most common uses of the Internet among Americans 65 and up is to learn.
Seniors are using Google and YouTube to learn more about their favorite subjects and hobbies, like knitting, painting, restoring classic cars, sculpting, and dancing. For more in-depth instruction, seniors can turn to websites like masterclass.com or udemy.com for expert instruction and complete online courses. Masterclass enlists a whole host of professionals, often famous ones. Learn acting from Samuel L. Jackson or cooking from Gordon Ramsay. Udemy is great for practical skills, like speed reading, positivity psychology, and memory.
Some overlook the best technology benefits for seniors: entertainment and fun. Here are just a few ways seniors can use the Internet and technology to simply have a good time.
Workout safely while at home with these fun and straightforward YouTube videos. Videos include anything from seated exercises for seniors with limited mobility to lively, senior-friendly Zumba.
Play Video Games
The Nintendo Wii offers several engaging ways for seniors to work up a sweat and have fun while doing it. Nintendo’s Wii Sports and Wii Fit enable seniors to simulate playing golf, bowling, or tennis.
Seniors can also visit the app store and search for their favorite classic games, like Tetris, Solitaire, and Dominos.
Enjoy Classic Films
Finally, there are several platforms you can use to watch some of your favorite classic films. Search Amazon Prime and Netflix for Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and It’s A Wonderful Life. Use Disney+ to watch favorites like Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi.
Stay connected and happy while the nation navigates the global pandemic. NYE Health Services encourages seniors to video chat with friends and family, learn new skills and/or brush up on old ones, and make a point of having some fun. Contact us to learn more about the services we have to offer!