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Are Virtual Interactions Harming Seniors’ Quality of Life?

News & Blog

Across the globe, video calls and virtual social gatherings have become the norm for all sorts of interactions. From weddings to game nights, from dinner parties to business calls- all forms of communication now revolve around virtual interactions.

And, while this technology has truly aided many in continuing life of normalcy- for some it has caused more trouble. Specifically, for seniors who are not so adept at handling technological devices.

Technological Repercussions of COVID-19 on Seniors

When COVID-19 first became a worry, the world made a swift switch over to virtual interactions. These virtual calls and meetings quickly allowed family, friends, co-workers, and clients to continue interacting with one another, even at a distance.

In theory, video calls and virtual interactions should have been a wonderful way for seniors to continue socializing with friends and family. Unfortunately, this has not been a reality for all.

For many seniors, the switch to technology-prominent social interactions has caused them to feel even more lonely. When video calls freeze or virtual settings won’t load, seniors are often the ones who get left out of the meetings.

Some seniors may not even have the financial means or know-how to be able to enter into those virtual settings to begin with.

Keeping Seniors in the Loop

It can be difficult to keep seniors in the loop when you’re not physically with them and they’re having technical difficulties.

But don’t let that stop you from trying! If you can find the right way to go about hosting, virtual interactions can make a world of difference to seniors who are at home alone.

Here are 3 ways to keep seniors in the loop:

  1. Take time to teach.

When technical problems arise for someone else, it’s all too easy to grab the phone or computer and just fix it quickly for them. However, in doing so, you are not allowing your senior to learn. It’s better to teach your senior how to fix their own problem, then to fix it for them.

Next time your senior has a technical difficulty, try to patiently guide them toward the solution. This will give them greater social independence in the future.

  1. Find the mode of technology that’s right for them. 

Just because your senior struggles with understanding one new tech piece, doesn’t mean he or she will have trouble with all. Try to focus in on what exactly the trouble is and work from there. For instance, if your senior has trouble with the swiping motions on newer smartphones, perhaps give them an older model smartphone that utilizes buttons.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for your senior and what clicks more easily.

  1. When all else fails, fall back on a phone call.

Technical issues are never a good reason to leave someone out. Especially, our loved ones. If you and your senior can’t get the new technology to work, fall back on a simpler mode of communication. Simple but consistent phone calls are better than once-in-a-while high tech video calls.

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