It’s important to check in with the older LGBTQI2S people in your life. A quick, “Hello, how are you doing today?” can make a world of difference. Let them know that they are thought of and cared for in this stressful time. Here are some tips and resources for you to use:
Video calling is better than phone calling! Getting a visual can be reassuring and feels more connected than just the audio of a phone call.
Older people may have differing levels of technological ability. Here are some ways that you can support someone who may be having difficulties.
- If they don’t have a device that can be used for video calling, consider mailing them an old iPad or tablet you have (please make sure to sanitize the device before you mail it!), or you might consider purchasing a device for them online that will ship directly to their door.
- Which device? There are a number of devices that offer easy video calling options. The GrandPad is a tablet specifically geared towards older people. The best option is using a tablet instead of a laptop, computer, or phone as it may be easier to manoeuvre, adjust, and carry around.
- Which app? If both parties have Apple devices, FaceTime will be the easiest option to use as it comes pre-installed in the device. Other good options are Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp.
- Consider having these applications pre-installed to the device. Another good app to pre-install or recommend to the older person who is having trouble with using a tablet is Generations on Line’s – Easy Tablet Help for Seniors. This app provides a step-by-step guide from the basics of how to tap a touchscreen, to how to take photos and make video calls on a tablet.
- Other tips:
- Set up a schedule so that your video calls are regular and so that they know when to expect to talk to you.
- Before initiating the video call, phone them to give them a heads up to have their tablet or video calling device handy.
- Have your video call in a bright, quiet space so that your video and audio are clear. Using headphones with a microphone is also helpful for clear audio.
- Be patient. Learning to use this technology can be frustrating and intimidating! Encouragement and clearly broken down instructions can help lead you to connect with the older LGBTQI2S person you care about and help them to connect with other people in their support system.
COVID-19 Resources for Seniors
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Grocery pick up service for seniors in low income housing (TCHC)
- Free food for seniors operation (Ottawa and Toronto)
- Ontario Protecting Seniors During the COVID-19 Outbreak – Province Investing $10 Million to Mobilize Businesses and Volunteers to Support the Most Vulnerable
- Sunshine Friendly chatline and virtual programming
- Ontario Association of Residence Councils- Webinar on April 15th ‘Courageously Living Through COVID-19 Together: Residents and Families’
- Prince Edward Island