As seniors age, it becomes more difficult for them to get out and visit family, especially those who live far away. Their adult children are busy with their own hectic schedules, so it’s not uncommon for them to go for weeks or even months without seeing their aging parents. Thanks to technology, seniors can stay in touch with those they love even if they are homebound.
Learning New Technology
According to Pew Research Center, 59 percent of seniors (ages 65 and older) go online, and 77 percent own a cell phone. Seniors are just as likely to use a tablet as a smartphone, and of those who go online, most of them do so every day. Facebook is the most popular social networking site for the elderly, but others are beginning to learn Twitter and Instagram.
Learning to use technology is often more difficult for the aging population. However, they can work with family and caregivers to master the basics. Many assisted living communities are helping seniors learn how to navigate these sites and set up profiles so they can stay in touch with their loved ones.
Seniors can also learn through classes at the local library or career centers. Many of these programs are low cost or free. They teach everything from the basics of using a computer to understanding antivirus software to how to create a Facebook page.
Staying in Touch
The elderly can employ a variety of options to help them stay connected to their families. One of the most popular options is video chat where they can see their family members while they talk to them. This is especially helpful when they are visiting with grand children or seeing a grandbaby for the first time.
Facebook Messenger enables the elderly to communicate with their adult children even if the kids just have a few moments to spare. A quick “hello” and check-in ensures the adult child their loved one is doing okay until they have more time to visit.
Family members can share the latest photos on Instagram, helping their loved one stay up to date on the latest news for their kids and grandkids. Even if they can’t be present at graduation, a baby shower or other important events in their loved ones’ lives, they can watch videos and view photos to feel part of the event.
Technology and Safety
Technology has advanced to the point where family members can monitor their loved one from almost anywhere and ensure their parent's safety. Some systems use sensors to track their aging family member’s movements and provide information to the family that can be viewed later. Others use a web camera which allows the adult children to monitor the activities of the senior and check in on them whenever they feel the need.
When it’s time for a loved one to move out of their home into an assisted living community like Daystar, the staff can help with the transition. They work hard to make sure the new living arrangement feels like home, including assisting them with communication through technology like video chats or social media. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents by keeping them in touch with those they love.