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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – To stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic, many are following recommendations from public health officials to stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible, but being socially distant doesn’t necessarily mean being socially disconnected.
So what can seniors do to reduce the distance during the pandemic?
One of the best safe solutions is video chat!
Studies have shown that older people who use video chat technology like Skype, Zoom, or Facetime have significantly lower risk of depression than those who do not.
Video chat provides a deeper connection than a regular phone call. You have the benefit of physically seeing how your loved one is doing, and there is also the option to share visually. Maybe show off the quilt you worked on or see the adorable little grandchildren faces.
And once the technology is set up and you or your loved one are comfortable using it, it can open the door to a wide variety of other social opportunities such as regular video chats with old people. friends or the opportunity to participate in video lunches. , online book clubs, or Bible studies, all of which can help us stay connected.
Unfortunately, many older people do not participate in the tech world. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of Americans 65 and older do not own a smartphone, and 33% of the same age group still do not use the Internet.
Many older people find technology complicated or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
To help bridge the digital divide and connect family members with their tech-savvy loved ones, there are three different types of streamlined devices that offer easy-to-use video chat, and more.
GrandPad: This is a great option for video chat for older adults, and more. The GrandPad is an 8-inch tablet specially designed for people aged 75 and over. It comes with a stylus, built-in wireless charging cradle, and 4G LTE to work anywhere on the T-Mobile network – home Wi-Fi is not required.
Out of the box right out of the box, GrandPad provides a streamlined menu of large icons and big text for just the essentials, providing simple, clutter-free access for making and receiving video calls, sending emails voice messages, view photos and videos, listen to music, check the weather, play games, browse the Internet and more.
A GrandPad tablet can be rented for $ 66 per month or $ 588 per year from GrandPad.net. Or, you can purchase one through Consumer Cellular at ConsumerCellular.com for $ 250 plus a $ 40 monthly service charge.
Jitterbug Smart2: If you are more interested in a smartphone to stay connected with family and friends, the Jitterbug Smart2 is ideal for the elderly. Brought to you by GreatCall and powered by Verizon, this smartphone features a large, bright 5.5-inch touchscreen and a simple list-based menu (no confusing icons) with large letters and numbers that make it easy to navigate. navigation.
The Smart2 also provides easy access to video chat through their pre-installed WhatsApp and offers a 5Star Urgent Response service that allows you to speak to a live agent 24 hours a day for any issues, big or small. These trained agents will confirm your location via GPS and provide you with the appropriate assistance you need.
Available online at GreatCall.com and Amazon.com or at Best Buy and Rite Aid stores for $ 150, GreatCall offers a variety of talk, text and data packages to suit your needs and budget, as well as the freedom to modify them at any time. .
Amazon Echo Show: With its built-in camera and screen, the Echo Show voice control also provides an easy way to have face-to-face video chats, but you’ll need a home Wi-Fi connection installed.
The Echo shows, available in three screen sizes – 5 inches ($ 90), 8 inches ($ 130), and 10 inches ($ 230) – will allow you to make and receive video calls to those who have their own device. or who have the Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet.
Once you’ve set up your contacts, to make a call, all you have to do is say, for example, “Alexa, call my girl”. And when you get a call, you ask Alexa to answer the call or ignore it. There is also a feature called “drop-in” which would allow you to receive video calls at any time without having to answer them.
Available on Amazon.com, the Echo Show also offers thousands of other features you might love to enjoy, such as voice access to news, weather, your favorite music, and more.
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