The rise of COVID-19 has brought on many challenges for seniors, including keeping in touch with our loved ones. With safety in mind, many of you reading this may be isolated at home. It’s true that safety right now is critical for your health; however, your mental well-being is equally important.
If you’re looking for a way to stay connected to your community, but you lack the means or know-how, keep reading for tips on how to stay connected with your family and friends during a global pandemic.
The Importance of Staying Connected
Many of us believe that we can survive on our own, preferring to rely on ourselves. Whether this is to avoid disappointment or assuming our needs are burdensome, we still need people to survive. In fact, humans have a biological need for social connection just as much as we need a home to sleep in and food to eat.
According to Stuart Wolpert of UCLA Newsroom, humans are biologically wired to connect, and as we’ve evolved, the more we’ve grown socially inclined. Being connected is an innate passion in our lives, without which our mental health could suffer significantly. However, according to the University of Michigan, avoiding feelings of loneliness without modern technology remains a challenge for many aging adults, particularly during COVID-19 restrictions.
Choosing the Right Devices
Choosing a device you’re comfortable with is paramount for setting yourself up for success.
While smartphones can be intimidating to a new user, with a bit of patience and a user-friendly model, reaching out to an old friend on FaceTime or Skype could be a click away. iPhones are notoriously easy to use as well as the Samsung Galaxy S20.
Tablets or iPads could be considerably more manageable for aging adults when compared to smartphones. Their larger size can make for more comfortable use and easier reading. Some excellent options are iPads and the Amazon Fire HD 10.
Amazon’s Echo Show is another great option to help you stay in touch. You can even begin a call without anyone answering the other end, as long as you set up special permissions beforehand. These all-in-one devices can be a smart solution to keep in touch with family and friends.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Loved ones are often pleased to connect and will likely be happy to show you how to use your new device. Give yourself grace and a generous timeline to learn so you don’t feel rushed.
Learning a new skill can be frustrating at any age. Remember that learning new technology is challenging for many people; it’s a common struggle, and you’re not alone. If you’re feeling impatient, keep in mind this effort is so you can stay connected with those you care about and take care of your mental health amidst a global health crisis.
Be Smart, Protect Yourself
A critical aspect to keep in mind is cybersecurity. Don’t enter your banking details without first verifying the legitimacy of a website. Identity theft is a real thing, and by neglecting online safety, people can steal valuable information.
A clever way to keep track and protect your passwords is a password manager or generator, like Google Passwords or LastPass. These allow you to access all your passwords with one master password, freeing you from multiple sticky notes with scribbled notes and letting you easily connect with family and friends.
Learning new skills can be daunting, but keep in mind that learning a new skill at any age is challenging. Acquiring technology later in life is an admirable endeavor, especially when it’s for a cause as good as keeping in touch with your loved ones. The connections you maintain as a result of your research and patience will pay off in spades.