With technology developing and evolving year on year, it is now easier than ever to keep in touch with family and friends - wherever they are in the world!
Of course nothing can beat human face to face interaction and hugs, but if your family live far away, or your friends have moved away technology like video calls and quick picture messaging can keep you up to date with what's going on and bridge the gap in long distance communication.
We wanted to share with you our guide to using technology to keep in touch with loved ones, and share tips on which platforms are free and easy to use.
Benefits Of Using Technology To Keep In Touch With Loved Ones
With the help of technology and apps you can:
Help reduce loneliness in elderly and vulnerable people who may not be able to leave the house or travel
Keep your loved ones up to date with what's happening, and never miss their updates - be it baby's first steps or a wedding proposal!
Gain peace of mind - the whole family will keep an open line of communication, knowing everyone is happy and safe
Keep in touch with friends and see them live on screen whilst chatting
Use tables and apps specifically designed for elderly, conditions, or people living with a disability for ease of use
You need to make sure that before you set up you have decent wi-fi to be able to connect video, a device which is up to date and can accepts apps which can help you make video calls, and you have someone to help and show you how to use the device and the apps.
Apps & Devices Which Help You Communicate With Loved Ones
Smart Phones: Whether you choose an Android or an iPhone, most smart phones have the ability to make video phone calls and download the latest apps which help you keep in touch with loved ones. A smart phone can do almost anything these days: make calls, make video calls, take photos and videos, host apps to help keep up with communication, broadcast radio and TV, watch films, listen to books.... The possibilities are truly endless!
Tablet: Just like a smart phone, your tablet can do all of the above with the added benefit of it being bigger so it's easier to use for elderly people, people with impaired vision and people with disabilities.
Now that you have your device, here are the apps which can help you set up video and voice calls, ad keep in touch with loved ones:
Skype - this app allows you to make free voice and video calls to your loved ones. You will have to download the app and set up the account, ask your relative or live-in carer to help with this.
FaceTime - this is a feature of the iPhone which comes with the phone. You can make voice and video calls straight to friends and family but the catch is they also need to have an iPhone for this to work!
WhatsApp - WhatsApp is a free app which you can download to your phone and it let's you text message, picture message, video call, and voice call others for free as long as they also have a WhatsApp account.
Facebook - Facebook is a social media platform which helps you see up to date with friends and family. Ask your relative or home carer to help make you a profile and find your friends and family - you will then see their daily updates of pictures and videos, will be able to send them messages, make voice and video calls! This is a free platform to use.
If You Are Helping Your Elderly Relative Use Technology To Keep In Touch With Loved Ones:
Make sure that you:
- Show them this guide to illustrate the importance of using technology to avoid loneliness, have peace of mind, and keep in touch
- Set up their device and apps, internet and anything else they need so it's a seamless process without glitches as this can put them off
- Give time and clear instructions on how to use their new device and the apps installed. Use words they will understand or teach them new jargon so they can easily navigate the digital world
- Demonstrate how the device and apps work, even make a few phone and video calls together so they remember the process
- Take time to answer questions - remember how you feel when a new social media platform comes out and it's hard to navigate and learn at first!
Using technology can be a positive experience for older people and help them avoid loneliness and keep in touch when family is away! If you need help in setting up devices, ask your live-in carer who would be more than happy to help you.
If you are looking for a companion or a helping hand around the house who can help you set up things like apps and devices to keep in touch with loved ones, call our friendly live-in care specialist team on 01264 319399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange domiciliary care.