Human beings thrive in relationships, and those who live in isolation tend to experience a lower quality of life than those who routinely interact with others. Personal connection is especially essential for the physical and mental well-being of older adults.

With families spread across long distances, travel may be difficult or expensive, but contemporary technology provides seniors with various tools for maintaining valuable connections. However, this can be challenging if your older loved one is reluctant to use the gadgetry available.

While mastering new communication tools may feel daunting for some who did not grow up using them, most seniors are already online. For those who are not, resources are available for acquiring proficiency with new communication technologies. Explore the following pointers brought to you by McClellan Senior Living.

Research Budget-Friendly Devices for Seniors

For loved ones dragging their feet on learning tech, one way to ease them into it is to select especially senior-friendly devices. For those who prefer traditional telephone communication, for instance, a smartphone enables users to dial and converse just as with a landline while also opening opportunities to explore new modes of communication such as texting, image sharing, and video messaging. To make the transition as easy as possible, consider features like a generous screen and medical support.

For seniors experiencing age-related challenges such as visual impairment or decreased manual dexterity, larger devices like tablets or desktop computers might be preferable. If their current desktop has seen better days, consider an upgrade to help stay connected.

When selecting devices, compare a few different models on the market to determine what will be best, depending on internet capacity, preferred mode of communication, and physical needs. If budget is a worry, remember they can always await seasonal sales to stretch pennies. They can also shop online through retailers like Overstock and save using an Overstock discount code and coupons.

Experiment with Social Media Platforms

Facebook is probably the most popular social media platform among seniors. In fact, according to recent research, nearly half of Facebook users are 65 or older. With its Messenger app, photo sharing options, groups, and ease of access, Facebook offers many opportunities for maintaining contact with loved ones, as well as making new connections based on mutual interests.

However, make sure to warn your loved one to be wary of scams and security threats. Tell them to use caution when considering friend or messenger requests from anyone unfamiliar, especially if they have no mutual connections in common.

For those who wish to stay connected through image sharing, Instagram is a popular social media platform where many seniors are gaining recognition as influencers. For seniors interested in pursuing creative projects, Pinterest, where users can collect and “pin” different images and links to their page, is an excellent source of inspiration.

Those interested in staying abreast of current news and politics might prefer Twitter, where users can follow various accounts based on their personal interests.

Get Face-to-Face with Video Messaging

Video messaging isn’t just for business meetings and online education; it’s also a valuable tool for staying in touch with loved ones. Seniors who have a tablet or smartphone can take advantage of apps like FaceTime or Zoom. Facebook Messenger also has a video messaging option that’s extremely user-friendly.

Other tools for more tech-savvy seniors include Google Hangouts and Skype. Once you’re comfortable with a preferred method of messaging, experiment with ways to make your virtual sessions more entertaining, such as playing around with effects, avatars, and props.

It’s important to help your loved one through their tech transition. Exploring new methods of communication technology can give people of all ages more opportunities to engage with, support, and learn from one another.

McClellan Senior Living can provide seniors with the skilled and compassionate care they deserve. Schedule a tour today!

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