Many older Americans report that one of the hardest things about the Covid-19 pandemic is the sense of isolation and not being able to directly touch and interact with their grandkids. To remain safe, many grandparents have had to stop in-person visits with their grandchildren. However, thanks to technology, there are ways to connect with the grandkids virtually.
Below, we will explore some of these ideas, recognizing that different methods may work better for some people. It ultimately depends on how technologically savvy they are. In addition, it is important to remember that these tips may come in handy after the pandemic has resolved itself, as more and more families live in geographically spread out areas.
#1 Consider Video Chats
Video chats may be the most popular method to help connect you and your grandchildren. It is great to be able to see your grandkids while you talk to them and you’ll be able to see them enjoying their daily activities. Now, you’re probably wondering, how exactly will I be able to see them? Fortunately, these days, there are many different platforms to use for your video chats.
One option is FaceTime. FaceTime can be done from Apple iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Therefore, if you and your grandkids both have Apple products, you should be able to connect to FaceTime without a problem. In addition, most people find Apple products to be extremely intuitive and simple to use. Other video chatting options to consider include Skype or Zoom, which can connect to individuals who are using a different device than you.
The Options Are Endless with Video Chats
Many people use these video chats like enhanced telephone calls. But, there are other ways that the calls can be used. For example, think about a hobby that you and your grandchild enjoy. If you both used to take nature walks, it may be possible for you both to take a nature walk while on FaceTime, sharing pictures of local flora and fauna.
Another example of how a Skype or Zoom call could be used would be to have a cooking lesson with your grandchild or a virtual tea party. Think about what you and your grandkids enjoy and brainstorm from there. You’ll find that the options are truly endless.
#2 Embrace Text Messaging
Most families have access to a smartphone from which it is easy to text another person. In addition, texts do not have to simply be limited to words. You can also, depending on your phone, text pictures and videos, and the back-and-forth process can be very interactive. Text messages may also be an appealing choice for grandkids who do not always like talking on the telephone.
You may also find texting to be a convenient option if you, or them, are busy with other commitments. It takes just seconds to send a text message, and the other person can respond at their convenience. There are a couple of quick caveats, however, about this option.
First, grandkids should be aware that their grandparents may not be up to speed on the latest text talk and abbreviations. They should make sure that what they are texting is understandable for older generations. Another caveat is that some grandparents may have arthritis or a range of other medical conditions that may make texting on small screens challenging. If this is an issue for you, consider using talk-to-text options, knowing that these are not always perfect. Re-read your text before you send it to make sure that it makes sense.
Text-messaging may not be as effective if the grandchildren are young. But, in these cases, their parents can help them or they may be able to text photos of their latest art project or outdoor adventure.
#3 Remember, Technology is Evolving
Technology is rapidly changing. Because of this, new apps are always appearing on the market to help keep generations and families connected with one another. For example, if you are interested in sending videos, then the FX Guru app could be a great choice for you to look at. This app gives you the opportunity to add a wide range of special effects to your video, and most people describe it as being incredibly intuitive and user friendly. Another fun app for photo enthusiasts is Photo Funia.
#4 Don’t Forget More Traditional Options
Even with all of these great new options, it is important to remember the traditional ways to stay connected. You can still pick up your phone, be it your landline or your cell phone, and make a phone call to your family member. If you are particularly busy, it may work to make a date each week when you and your grandchildren will have the opportunity to talk. Set a time limit that may work for your grandchild and his/her age and attention level. A teenager may be able to carry on a 30-minute conversation, but this would likely not work for the average pre-schooler.
Another tip that we would offer is to remember that technology is not easy. In fact, technology can be scary for people who have not previously used it. Make Google your friend, and use their guides and how-to videos and answers. There may also be caregivers and experts in your community who can help you develop the skills to successfully use various technologies and apps.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been scary and disruptive. It has changed almost every aspect of our lives, including how we interact with our family members. Many grandparents have been in quarantine for months and they have not been able to have face-to-face visits with their grandkids. Because of this, they are looking for virtual ways to reach out and bridge this gap. Our home care aides at Community Home Health Care can help you connect with your family and all the above-mentioned tips. We understand how important it is to stay in touch with your loved ones throughout the day so you know how they’re doing and they know how you’re doing.
If you’d like to learn more about how Community Home Health Care can assist you or a loved one with your various needs, visit our website.