Keeping in touch with your support network is a great way to relieve some of the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even if it’s just a quick “Hello, how are you doing today?” check in, this connection can be important in this stressful time.
Here are some tips on how to stay connected:
Video calling is better than phone calling! Getting a visual is more reassuring and feels more connected than just the audio of a phone call.
If you are intimidated by some of the technology that is required, not to worry! There are a myriad of supports and guides that you can access. Here are some solutions that may help you:
- If you don’t have a device that can be used for video calling, consider asking your support networks to mail you an ipad or tablet they may not be using anymore (make sure to remind them to sanitize the device before they mail it!), or you can purchase or ask someone else to purchase a device online that will ship directly to your door.
- Which device? There are a number of devices that will offer easy video calling options. The GrandPad is an option that is a tablet specifically geared towards older people. The best option is using a tablet instead of a laptop, computer, or phone as it will be easier to maneuver, adjust, and carry around their home.
- 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.
- If someone is mailing you a device, consider asking them to pre-install these applications for you. Another good app to pre-install if you are having trouble navigating a table is Generations on Line’s – Easy Tablet Help for Seniors. This app does 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 you know when to expect to talk to your supports.
- Ask your loved ones to give you a heads up before video calling by giving you a phone call first instead, that way you will have time to get your tablet and settle down in a comfortable spot to be ready to receive the video call.
- Try to have your video call in a bright, quiet space so that your video and audio is clear. If you have headphones, they could be useful in hearing audio more clearly.
- Allow yourself some patience. Learning to use this technology can be frustrating and intimidating! Ask for clear broken down instructions and take it slow if you need to. Learning how to use this kind of technology can give you opportunities to make connections with other friends from afar!
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