After almost 2 years of pandemic lockdowns, and restrictions on travel, it has been a challenging 19 months on seniors. Thankfully, technology has given us new and safe ways to stay in touch not matter how far apart we may be. Communication is vital for seniors, and technology can help provide peace of mind when you can’t travel, or need to retain a safe distance until your loved ones (or yourself) await a vaccination.
Get The Right Technology
This could be adding a new smartphone with video chat capability to your wireless plan, or providing your loved one with a new laptop or tablet that has video chat capabilities. Thanks to “Moore’s Law” remaining true, you can get a tablet for around $50 and a refurbed laptop for around $99.
Get Them Connected
If you have a tech-savvy parent or grandparent, you are in luck. There is a large segment of the senior population regularly using Facebook, and getting their news from the internet. If your loved ones are not able to set up one of these devices, there are companies that can provide over-the-phone assistance to get them online. Candoo (www.candootech.com) and Papa Pals (www.joinpapa.com) are two companies that charge nominal fees to help get them connected, and are worth getting a quote from, especially if the user is technically-challenged. These companies can even provide the added benefit of training when it comes to eCommerce, grocery shopping, setting up a Netflix account and more.
Resistance Is Possible… And That’s OK
If you have a tech-resistant family member, it could be an uphill battle. Seniors that are reluctant to change should be heard; they have freedom to choose to adopt anything you may offer them. Not everyone wants to be online, or video chat, so if they are content with phone calls to stay in touch, respect their wishes.
Bring It On!
However, if they become a quick adapter, it may be beneficial to look into more robust training. The company Senior Planet (www.seniorplanet.org) helps seniors from start to finish with any tech needs they may have, including new computer setup, creating an email account, and even social media profiles.
Seniors may find the introduction of tech to be overwhelming, so shorter sessions with any of these assistance companies would be recommended. No one wants to sit through a 2 hour conference call, getting everything done, so be sure to keep sessions short and to the point. For example, first get your computer out of the box, learn how to power it on, connect to the internet and end the session. Tomorrow, learn how to get online, introduce Google Chrome or Safari, and do some quick web searches. Too much data in one session will more than likely NOT be retained.
Getting Around Using Technology
Uber and Lyft have both added an additional line for seniors that may need a little help getting in to the vehicle. This means if your loved one has a walker or a wheelchair, the drive will help them get in to the car safely, and pack the wheelchair or walker up and be on their way. If you are a Lyft or Uber user, you can send them a car any time they need a ride, keeping the process easy – no training or anything needed, just a phone call to confirm the car, and driver’s name as well as arrival time.
Emergency Alert Systems
MedGuard Alert provides the most technologically advanced emergency medical response system on the market, called the Care Watch. MedGuard Alert provides emergency medical alert systems that allow you to connect with medical professionals from anywhere. Call today to learn more about our systems that start at just $1 a day. You may qualify for additional discounts through Medicaid. Don’t wait, call today. 800-716-1433