We’ve all been feeling the effects of the pandemic. Loneliness and isolation have led to a downward spiral of depression and anxiety for many people. One group, in particular, is particularly isolated and vulnerable: aging adults. Finding a way to bridge the distance between them and the outside world is an acute need right now.
Fortunately, technology has made it possible for seniors to stay connected with friends, family, and society as a whole. Video platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are available for them to hear and see others that are important in their lives.
Now is the time to teach your senior parent how to stay connected with the most widely used video platform of all: Zoom. Though Zoom may seem intimidating or complicated to some senior loved ones, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some tips to help you make the learning curve as smooth as possible.
1. Choose the Right Device
The majority of older adults already have the technology they need to connect on a video call. A recent study by AARP found that over 60% of adults over age 70 are using a smartphone.
One of the challenges with smartphones for seniors is the screen size. It can be too small for some and challenging to use. You can clear this hurdle by having them use a full-size iPad or Android tablet.
If they don’t have one or can’t get one, send or bring one to them. If you have an older iPad, wipe it clean and install the Zoom app on it. But be sure to give it a thorough cleaning first.
Tablets are the preferred choice because of size, portability, and the avoidance of glare as your parent moves around. If cost is an issue, a smaller tablet is a good option.
2. Encourage Them to Explore and Make Mistakes
Technology is new to many older adults that didn’t grow up with it. Trying to figure out how to use it can seem like performing brain surgery. Tell your parent to get used to their device by hitting some of the apps and opening them to see what is available for them. Be sure to show them where the Zoom app is located.
If your parent is particularly challenged with technology, only install the Zoom app on their device and have them only use their tablet for video calling. This will alleviate some of their anxiety, and they’ll be much more likely to use it to connect with others.
3. Patiently Explain to Them How Video Calling Works
Once they’re familiar with their device, explain how video calling works and show them how to initiate or join a Zoom call. Diffuse their fear by opening the app for them and walk them through each of the steps to connect, writing them down for them to refer to when they’re alone.
The key to your parent catching on is your patience. If they feel rushed, intimidated, or that they’re being an inconvenience, they won’t learn and retain what to do with Zoom. It may take several tries for them to catch on, but have patience and confidence in them that they can do it like they did with you when they taught you to ride a bike or drive a car.
4. Encourage Them Not to Give Up
Your senior parent is probably going to get exasperated as they’re learning how to connect with Zoom. They may throw their hands up and declare they’ll never get it right.
Tell them that you believe in their ability and have every confidence that with a bit of time, they’ll have it down pat. Everyone loves a word of encouragement when they’re learning something new; be that cheerleader that they need.
We Provide Trusted Home Care for Seniors
Finding a professional home caregiver for an aging loved one can feel overwhelming. At Dependable Senior Care, we are a fully licensed and insured agency that carefully screens all our caregivers in advance so that they can keep your senior aging safely and comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our experienced aides are highly trained to perform in-home services, including light housework, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders, transportation, and companionship.
All our family trusted home care services can be individually combined into an affordable package to accommodate any budget! To learn more about Dependable Senior Care or schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior loved one today, please call (800) 500-9192 or visit us online.