A person holding a tablet with a Caucasian man and two children on the screen with text "Staying Connected"

Who remembers The Jetsons, the animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1963? George Jetson was most likely one of the first to incorporate video calling to stay connected with his family and place of employment. Video calling was once considered a futuristic idea, oddly enough, it is now readily available on most everything.  But there are still those who don’t know how to use the video apps but would benefit from the interaction.

When older adults experience loneliness and isolation, it can lead to depression and physical ailments. That’s why keeping an older loved one engaged with family and friends is important. Video chatting/calling is a great way to connect across the miles and can go a long way to brighten someone’s day. How do we introduce our loved ones to the concept and encourage them to use it frequently? Here are a few helpful tips to consider.

• Share a face-to-face tutorial on how to use video calling

• Keep it simple

• Write down the steps to make a video call

• Demonstrate the idea by calling someone they love to talk to

• Have the senior person demonstrate what they have learned

• Contact their friends and have them start a chat by calling

There are many apps on the market available for video calling. If the family member has a smartphone or tablet, apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp are available. For the Apple users, FaceTime is the

go-to app. Personal computers and laptops can also use webcams and speakers to start a video call.

While we can’t say video calling prevents depression, engaging an older adult is always a good thing to do. Share a cup of coffee and make a plan to video call with an older loved one, friend, or relative, and even better share a funny moment together.

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