Once upon a time, you could only chat with your family in person or by phone. You might have had to schedule your day around it, make travel plans, or think about whether you’d be charged for a long distance call.
Today, you can connect and catch up with anyone at any time via video on Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and a host of other online alternatives. These virtual methods of staying in touch have been a blessing for families who live far apart and eased the difficulty of social distancing during the pandemic.
Better still, video call apps, platforms, and devices give you the ability to keep an eye on senior members of your family who may need some extra support. Here are three different ways to put those virtual video services to work so you can worry a little less about your elderly loved ones:
Schedule regular video check-ins. Even if just for a few minutes, schedule a set daily or weekly time to say hello through your favorite video app or platform. This gives you the opportunity to observe how well they’re doing and find out if they need assistance around the house. Plus, regular social interaction helps prevent loneliness and any sense of social isolation.
Install a home camera. This can be particularly helpful for seniors who may be struggling more with movement and memory issues. Naturally, you’ll first need to gain consent from the family member you want to monitor. It’s important to ensure you’re not intruding too much on their privacy and desire for independence. But with the right system and technology, together you can find a middle ground that gives everyone peace of mind.
Set up a smart home video device. Smart devices—like the Amazon Echo, Google Nest, or a whole host of others—are ideal for keeping seniors safer. Not only are they perfect for family video calls, they’re small and easy to install and program. Seniors can get information on news or the weather, set medication reminders, and listen to music. And because they’re voice activated, they can call anyone connected to the system simply by saying a name, which is critical during an emergency.
Talking through a computer screen will never replace the warmth of seeing family members face-to-face, holding their hand, or hugging them. However, these virtual video solutions give everyone the added comfort of knowing those they love are just the touch of a button away.