We’ve all seen how important it is to remain in contact with the people we love during the current pandemic. No more so than the older people that used to care for us as we were growing up, such as grandma and grandpa. But they have been told to self-isolate and stay out of harm’s way. This basically means being trapped indoors for long periods of time and no longer being able to go shopping or for a casual walk. It’s quite unnatural for them as they have never experienced anything like this. We have all come to regard the lockdown and other measures as necessary but foreign to our nature. So here’s how you can regain that vital contact with your grandparent, over the festive season.

 

 

Zoomers gonna zoom

 

To youngsters, using Zoom is like water off a duck’s back. There’s no issue to be had at all. Everything is straightforward and easy to use, so having meetings with your friends is just a few clicks away. However, your older loved ones, won’t know how to get online and chat with you whenever they want. That’s why teaching them how to use Zoom before the full rush of the holidays begins, is in your best interest.

 

Explain to them what an ‘online call software’ actually is. There aren’t any credits or money you need to have in order to use it. You don’t need to share your real-world contact details, although it would help to build a unique profile to avoid fraud. You do need an email address. But that’s generally it. There are lots of online Zoom tutorials you can go through with your grandparents on the phone. You can send them the link to the webpage and go from there.

 

Simpler mobiles

 

Many older people are incredibly adaptable to modern technology. They learn very quickly and they start to use tech that you use, despite being in their later years. However, for many people, using touchscreens and gestures like swiping, tapping and pinching, etc, are all just too much to comprehend. No worries, with the big button mobile phones you don’t have any of these troubles. They use large buttons so you can easily text or call with them, no need for sensitive screens that make big actions with small movements of your fingers. These phones also have a torch which is activated by a side button. They have up to 5 different SOS numbers which you can set, so if you ever fall down and need to call someone in an emergency, just pressing one button can immediately ring for assistance. 

 

Family updates

 

Something as simple as writing weekly letters to your grandparents can greatly help them to understand what is going on with you and the family. Phone calls might not always be the best solution, as your gran might be hard of hearing and thus, getting across what you really mean might turn into a shouting fest. Instead, writing it down on paper gives your grandparents something to look forward to coming through their letterbox. It also gives them a chance to absorb the information in their own time. They might read the letter one day, and then another and pick up on something that they didn’t catch the first time. It’s also something to look back on in fondness, as storing the letters of family updates can be something of a souvenir of this hard time. One day you could show your own children when you did during the pandemic.

 

Meeting at the window

 

Driving down to your grandparent’s house during the festive season could really boost their morale. Be careful, keep your distance and just wave at them through the window. Something as simple as this can help them to stay in contact with their grandchildren, not quite face to face, but still make eye contact and speak with them. Their voices might be muffled but at least, it’s better than being over the phone.

 

Make sure that they know what day and time you will be outside their door and or windows. This will give you plenty of time to plan, so they are not too busy and they are able to meet the whole family again. 

 

Keeping in contact with your grandparents during the festive season is crucial for their mental health. It’s so simple but teaching them how to use Zoom is going to do wonders for their morale and ability to speak and see you anytime they wish.

 

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Over 50 and fabulous living and writing in Appalachia

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