A guest post by Mary Shannon, seniorsmeet.org
Staying in touch with family and friends has always been important, but it is even more so as you get older. Chatting with your kids, seeing pictures of your grandchildren and catching up with old friends online helps fend off loneliness and it lifts your spirits. Talking to people used to be limited to phone calls and, for family members who moved far away, occasional trips to visit.
Fortunately, new technology has changed all that, and we want to help you enjoy all the advantages it offers. Here are ways technology helps seniors stay connected to family and friends.
Choose Your Device
No matter where you live, having a computer to help you with everyday tasks makes accomplishing things so much easier. From paying your bills, to reading the news, to shopping at your favorite stores, you can do almost everything online from your computer.
For seniors who like to use a laptop, the choices are nearly endless. Options include large and bright displays to help those with diminished vision, lightweight and easy-to-carry systems, and machines designed for convenient internet browsing.
If you prefer to use a desktop, Dummies explains that you can customize the display of your monitor to as large as you need. Additionally, you can go for a dual monitor setup, add a bigger keyboard and utilize a comfortable, ergonomic mouse. Once you get the system set up, connect your email and social media accounts to check in with everyone, stream movies or exercise videos and host a group meeting on Zoom.
As Snug points out, tablets give you mobility and computing power in a handheld device. You can take and share photos right from the tablet, zoom into the screen with the pinch of your fingers for easier reading and call and text family from downloaded apps.
Whatever option seems right, there are many deals to help stretch your dollars, from top-notch desktop options to tablets and laptops for when you’re on the go. If you opt for a tablet or laptop, be sure to add a protective case. You can find inexpensive styles that shield the device from damage and scratches and keep things such as dust, lint and pet hair from getting into the charging ports.
Phones Aren’t Just for Calls
Chances are good that you already have a pocket-friendly computer: a smartphone. Mobile phones have come a long way, and the newest smartphones have technology that can help keep you connected to everyone. Smartphones are easy to use, respond to touch and voice commands and may even recognize your face.
You can get great deals on popular models for some of the biggest carriers through major retailers, and options are available for either prepaid service or monthly plans. There are also phones designed just for seniors, like the Jitterbug.
Don’t forget to pick up accessories such as PopSockets to help you easily hold the phone when your senior scrolls. Traditional voice calls can be placed on speakerphone if you want to walk around while talking. To see the person on the other end of the line, turn it into a video call.
Senior-friendly apps are available for download in the Google Play Store or in the App Store on Apple devices. Many can be downloaded for free, while some are a one-time purchase price and others are a monthly subscription. Download Skype or WhatsApp for free video calls and chats – as a bonus, both are available in web versions so you can use them on your computer too.
Movie buffs can install Netflix Party to watch movie and TV content with friends and family from afar. It comes with a chat feature in the app so no worries about talking during the movie! If games are more your style, get Words With Friends or Wheel of Fortune so you can challenge anyone in the world!
With all the technology available today, you don’t have to feel disconnected from loved ones. Keeping in contact has never been easier thanks to computers, smartphones and apps.
Turn to FirstLight Homecare for more information, tips and advice that will help you make the most of your golden years!
This post was authored by Mary Shannon of seniorsmeet.org.
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels