5 Communication Technologies To Help Seniors Stay Connected
Communication is an essential part of being human. As we get older, staying in touch with loved ones can become more challenging. While technology is making communication easier in general, many older people have a hard time keeping up. Fortunately, there are some senior-friendly technologies that are ideal for staying connected. Check out the following suggestions, courtesy of North Shore Area Partners.
This special tablet is designed to be easier to use for older users and people who aren’t used to modern devices. It includes larger icons and fewer options compared to other tablets, making it significantly easier to use — a quality Thrive points out is extremely valuable and user-friendly. What’s more, contacts can be preloaded by a family member. Plus, it can only communicate with designated contacts. This is perfect for someone who wants to focus on making calls, video chatting, sending and receiving emails, and a few other tasks.
Great user interface design should only be as complex as it needs to be. This is a perfect example of that. For senior users who only want to communicate with their loved ones, the GrandPad has only the necessary functions and none of the extra complexity (and confusion).
2. Google Nest Hub + Duo
Google Nest Hub is a smart home device that can be used for all manner of uses from checking the weather to controlling the temperature. When set up properly, it can provide a simple and intuitive hub for comfort and control. With Google Duo, it can also be a valuable communication device.
Duo is a video communication app that is available on Android, iPhone and computer browsers. It is very simple to use with intuitive controls. Plus, it can be used right from the Nest Hub. These characteristics make Duo perfect for chatting with loved ones.
3. Facebook Portal
In a similar vein, the Facebook Portal device makes video chatting easy. Although it can communicate with smartphones and other devices, the purpose-built Portal keeps things simple. Its purpose is to allow chatting via the Facebook Messenger network. So, users can call their loved ones with minimal fuss.
It also works with WhatsApp, a messaging service that is especially popular outside of the U.S. So, it can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family that live overseas.
For senior users who want to chat from their televisions, the TelyHD is a great option. It is a video chatting device that can be mounted to the top of a television — and as The Philadelphia Inquirer points out, video chatting can be an especially appealing solution for spread out families. It works using Skype and is extraordinarily easy to use.
It includes a remote that can be used for most of the control needs. For seniors who are reticent to use new technologies, all the set-up work can be done by a loved one. Then, using the device is as easy as pressing a couple of remote-control buttons.
Many older users are hesitant to get started using smartphones because they seem overly complicated. However, in many cases, smartphones are easier to use than other cell phones. They have options to increase icon size for visibility and only need to be loaded with relevant apps. Touchscreens are often more intuitive and easier to use.
The right smartphone can help you to stay socially connected, which is one of the keys to healthy aging. It also means being able to access help even when away from the home. Using a smartphone for internet access can lead to a wealth of information and resources. Make sure to invest in a protective case to ensure your smartphone’s screen is protected should you drop it.
Start Communicating Today
Staying in touch is one of the most important parts of mental wellness. With the above technologies, you can stay connected with friends and family as you age gracefully and healthily.
North Shore Area Partners is dedicated to supporting seniors in their homes in eastern Lake County. Learn how you can get involved or donate!
Image Credit: Pixabay
About Bob Shannon
Bob Shannon, along with his wife, Mary are the creators of seniorsmeet.org. The inspiration behind SeniorMeet, was to have a website that allows seniors to "meet up" and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. In their late 60s, Bob and Mary started to realize they were entering the years where they’re less concerned about being hip than they are about breaking a hip. Being in the stage of life where they're starting to slow down made them realize how important it is to have a supportive community of like-minded seniors, so why not have one online? Check out SeniorsMeet, where there are no “youths” allowed!