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Video Calling for Seniors

Video calling can be handy to get in touch with your loved ones at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, it makes it easier for caregivers to check in on their loved ones. Let’s take a look at some of the barriers seniors experience with technology and some devices and services to get them started.

Understanding Why Video Calling is Hard for Seniors

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, video calling has become even more popular. However, video calling for the elderly can be difficult due to seniors’ varying abilities with technology. The Philadelphia Inquirer compiled the difficulties seniors face and how you can help them. They include:

  • Access
    • Problem: forgotten passwords or trouble with setup
    • Solution: suggest a user-friendly option or help them set up a new account
  • Skill
    • Problem: embarrassment over needing certain technical concepts explained several times
    • Solution: be patient and explain one step at a time
  • Intimidation
    • Problem: the perception that the process is complex
    • Solution: pre-install necessary applications on your loved one’s device or send clear instructions and images to help them install

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Video Calling Devices for Seniors

Deciding on the best video calling device for the elderly depends on your loved one’s ability level and technical skills. Here are some examples of video calling devices for seniors:

  • Amazon Echo Show: This voice-activated device features a seven-inch color touchscreen. The “drop-in” feature can also allow certain contacts to get in touch without the need for the user to answer. The Echo Show can also play music, watch live TV, and even check who is at your front door.
  • Facebook Portal: This device’s integration with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp makes it easier than ever to get in touch. Facebook Portal’s camera also pans and zooms around the room to follow the person you’re talking to.
  • Google Nest Hub Max: Much like the Amazon Echo Show’s “drop-in” feature, family members with certain permissions can contact the user without the need for the senior to answer on the other end. The Google Nest Hub Max also functions as a security camera.
  • GrandPad: Designed for seniors 75 and older, the GrandPad provides a basic user-friendly menu with large icons and text. This subscription-based tablet, which works anywhere within the Verizon network, also works in conjunction with Uber and allows you to choose where your loved one is allowed to go.
  • Konnekt Videophone: Equipped with auto-answering technology, huge buttons, and extra-loud audio, the Konnekt Videophone is perfect for seniors with hearing loss and other disabilities.
  • Oskar Senior: Much like the other options on this list, the Oskar Senior allows the senior to automatically answer calls and chat with caregivers instantly. Conference calls also allow them to have group hangouts with other family members.
  • Smartphone apps: If your loved one is capable of using a smartphone, consider teaching them about apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp.
  • ViewClix Smart Frame: In addition to video calling, the ViewClix Smart Frame is also a great way to display memories. As the remote user, you can log in to the ViewClix Cloud with your web browser and upload photos to be displayed in a slideshow for your loved one. Furthermore, the device automatically receives all authorized video calls immediately.

Alternatives to Video Calling for Seniors

If your loved one is unable to comprehend video calling, an elderly phone call service may be preferable. These services will call the elderly to take medication and provide regular check-ins. Examples of an elderly call service are:

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