Making our elderly relatives happy and at ease is easier than one would think. Most of them only want a little bit of attention, they just want to be part of our lives.
A way to alleviate their feelings of neglect and abandonment is by keeping in touch. Check in on them once in a while, ask them how their day went, tell them about yours. But of course, with everything happening in the world, it is harder to meet up physically. Good thing there are now ways to maintain contact without having to meet.
Keeping up with our faraway relatives used to be so much harder, but with the help of modern technology, our loved ones are just one click away. With videocalling services from applications such as Skype, there is hardly any excuse to lose out on precious family bonding times.
But not everyone was born into the era of new technology. Some of us, especially our elderly relatives, struggle with keeping up with the latest techs. And it is not until recently did manufacturers consider user seniority.
Lucky for us, there are a handful of devices that can help our beloved seniors stay in touch. If it is Skype devices for the elderly you are looking for, you've come to the right place!
Why Videocalling is Better
For the younger generation, videocalling is hardly the number one choice for communication. Texting and chatting are way more convenient, not to mention more hassle-free. Videocalls are usually reserved for unavoidable or urgent things, such as online classes or getting the hottest news from one of your friends.
But to the older generation, videocalling means more. It is all about the connection they get to maintain with their loved ones. For every milestone they can share despite the distance, or for the simple moments they get to be a part of. Being able to see their family's faces, even through a camera, can mean the world.
Coping with the new technology can be hard for anyone, and it is even harder for the elderly who have to deal with bad eyesight and trembling hands. It can be a source of embarrassment and inadequacy for them to not be able to "get with the times".
Encouraging your elderly relatives to be active in exploring new technology with you can help them in dealing with such feelings. It also opens up the avenue for them to discover a wider reach for people with similar experiences and interests.
It is hard enough that they need to stay indoors all the time these days. By opening their horizon through the internet, you are also giving them access to activities that the younger generation take for granted. Online events for book clubs, crafting groups, and the occasional happy hour with their peers can make staying in feel more bearable.
Why Elders Need Help
Not being born into a world with the conveniences of technology is not a factor that is widely considered when manufacturing apps and devices. A lot of people fail to realize that not everyone can immediately cope with the constant change in apps and gadgets.
Despite the convenience that comes with newer app versions and more advanced devices, it can prove difficult for older generations to keep up with these changes. Understanding the difficulties that seniors face is part of the process of helping them.
There are many factors to consider when choosing apps and devices for our older relatives. Things such as accessibility and ease of use must be weighed to select the best options available.
A few things you can do to make the process easier is to pre-download necessary apps, as well as select which apps and devices are optimal for the older population.
Digital Devices to Get for Seniors
OUR TOP PICK
GrandPad is an aptly named product that is geared towards grandparents and their peers.
It is a tablet specifically designed to make usage simpler and easier for seniors. Your older relatives can use the GrandPad as efficiently as any other device, without the hassle and complication that comes with the usual gadget.
Games, videos, emails, news, pictures, music, and other normal phone features can be accessed easily with GrandPad. Your grandparents will not have to worry about pushing the wrong buttons just to call you. GrandPad can definitely make their lives easier.
Konnekt Videophone is another device for elders that was designed to aid those with disabilities or hearing problems.
Its simple design features easy one-touch calling that will allow its users to call anyone with just one touch. This convenient feature can connect the user to any person in their contact list. From iPad to PC, Konnekt Videophone offers its elderly users a wide range of options to Skype through. Additionally, Konnekt can also contact telephones.
Konnekt Videophone's most prominent feature, the one-touch dial, enables older users to skip past the trouble of going through multiple options just to contact their loved ones. Trusted callers can also set their calls to be automatically answered with no fuss. No more layered menus, and no passwords that can be forgotten. Konnekt Videophone offers the most straightforward experience that can be had.
With all said and done, Konnekt has yet another great feature to offer. Your relative's Konnekt Videophone can be personalized according to their needs. Sensitive volumes? More buttons? Konnekt can do it for you...remotely. You will not even have to lift your finger to go through the user manual. Simply contact Konnekt, and they'll do the work for you.
If still in doubt, note that the Konnekt Videophone won an award for Best Consumer Product in Aged Care. Awards speak for themselves, do not they?
CallGenie is an innovative device that requires the least amount of effort from its users.
Designed to help minimize any difficulties experienced by its elderly users, CallGenie automatically answers any incoming calls received from a pre-specified list of contacts. Simply plug the CallGenie into the television of choice, and it is good to go.
You read that right, a television! Based on CallGenie's research, seniors are most often sat in front of their TV set while doing most of their day-to-day tasks. Having CallGenie plugged into the TV removes the trouble of chargeless devices such as the long-forgotten phone that got lost between the cushions, or the bulky tablet that grandma keeps losing.
The program works by staying idle in the background while the user watches TV. The only time CallGenie activates is when a call comes in. It will automatically answer the incoming call if the caller is on the user's contact list. Once the call ends, the TV returns to its usual state, and CallGenie steps back into the background.
CallGenie is optimized for most flatscreen televisions that were produced within the last decade. All you need is a spare HDMI socket and a decent internet connection. CallGenie can handle the rest for you.
Webcams are optional, but if your beloved elder relative prefers face-to-face interactions, CallGenie can accommodate it as well.
Seeing as video chats and calls with our elders is the modern way of staying in touch, and is sometimes the only way of keeping in contact, it is good to have a good-quality camera. This helps our loved ones actually see us clearly, as opposed to the grainy alternative when using most built-in webcams.
The Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam is one of the best webcams on the market. It is very easy to use after the initial installation. The Logitech C920S captures high-definition videos that can make seniors feel like you're really there. It has automatic focusing and white balancing features that make the image even better.
This webcam also comes with a camera cover to make users feel more at ease. No need to worry about privacy concerns as much anymore, as this camera can be left attached to your device with the cover down.
Another great quality videocalling product from Logitech is the Logitech HD Webcam C615. This is less expensive compared to the C920S model, so some compromises come with it, such as less accurate automatic features.
Despite this, Logitech's C615 is still a great camera. The image projected is still of good quality, just a little less sharp. The C615 is a compact model that can provide some extra protection for the camera lens, due to the way the camera mount is designed. This camera is perfectly portable which makes for a handy little gadget to have.
Microsoft's LifeCam is an efficient webcam in more ways than one. Considering its price range, users can certainly get their money's worth.
Though the LifeCam lacks some of the more advanced features found in the Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam, it still provides users with a good overall audio and video quality. It is also easy to use and operate, therefore seniors would have an easier time handling this.
Another point to consider is that LifeCam does not have as high a resolution as other new webcams. This means that images for videocalling are clear, but not as defined or as sharp as it would be with other cameras. Despite the lower sharpness, Microsoft's TrueColor system will automatically shift exposure to make sure that the images produced are well-lit. If the minor difference in image clarity is not a priority, then the LifeCam might be a good match for your needs.
This LifeCam model has a fixed focus lens that lets users zoom in on images as much as 4x. It also has a built-in wideband microphone with a noise reducer that automatically blocks out or tempers down any background noises. It also has an accompanying 4.9 feet long cord that will allow users to set the camera conveniently within a space.
The best thing about the Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000 is the 3-year limited warranty. This warranty is valid for much longer than any other webcam currently on the market. It is also notably a Skype certified webcam, so if that's your app of choice, then this camera is definitely the one for your needs.
Logitech produces some of the best webcams available, and the Brio 4K Pro webcam is no exception. People may balk at the hefty price tag this comes with, but the quality achieved stands true to Logitech's standards.
This webcam is one of the best for dimly lit environments. It comes with 4K recording paired with HDR, along with Logitech's RightLight feature to help in low-light spaces. The Brio is a good webcam to have for both parties; as in for seniors *and* their loved ones. This will enable both ends to have a clearer, brighter view all around, which makes it easier on clouded eyes.
Logitech's Brio might look like a run-of-the-mill webcam, but it has a special feature that makes it extra useful for elderly users. It has an infrared-based facial recognition system that will scan the user's face to grant access to the computer. This is made possible using the Windows Hello feature, meaning seniors only need to level their face towards the camera to gain access. No more fumbling around to type passwords, and no more getting locked out by input errors.
The Brio 4K Pro is also easily mountable on devices, and it has a neat quality that lets users alter it towards different angles. This also enables them to show a wider perspective of their area, great for virtual family get-togethers or long-distance meetups with friends. This feature seems like such a simple thing, but we all know grandparents love showing off their spaces and the trinkets that they have.
Razer's relatively new Kiyo Pro relatively similar to Logitech's Brio, but with some features removed. Nevertheless, the Kiyo Pro webcam has its own special qualities to boast of.
Most notable is the Razer Kiyo's ring light. Perfect for poorly lit spaces, Razer's ring light helps illuminate the user's face, helping to get rid of shadows and making the image produced much more flattering. However, this same ring light might prove to be a little distracting at first use, so best to warn your elderly relatives before turning it on.
A downside for this webcam is its price, as well as the need to download Razer's Synapse 3 software before gaining access to the camera's adjustment controls. This could potentially be a hurdle for elderly users, but it can be easily resolved by pre-setting it for them during the initial installation. These settings don't necessarily need to be adjusted anyway, but users have the option to do so to optimize their personal use of the device.
Due to recent world events, the majority of the world has shifted from in-person to virtual interactions. This means more people have had to buy devices for their day-to-day, therefore digital frontrunners are swamped with orders and can't produce as much as consumers buy.
This is where the Ausdom AF640 1080p HD comes in. This webcam has been dubbed as the best substitute for better-known webcam labels. Despite Ausdom's relative obscurity up until recently, their webcam can function on-par with other webcams on the market.
The Ausdom AF640 is a tad bigger than other devices, which isn't really an issue for stationary work. This webcam isn't as fussy and has no manual controls, so even if it isn't customizable, elderly users will have less complicated setups to deal with.
Along with its 360-degree rotation capabilities, it has a 90-degree viewing angle allowing for a wider perspective, and a good microphone that effectively drowns out background noises. A setback for the Ausdom AF640 is the slow autofocusing process, which becomes noticeable through constant user movement.
Small Things to Remember to Make a Senior's Life Easier
Seniors do not experience technology in the same way younger generations do. They encounter obstacles that teens could never even imagine.
Shaky hands, forgetful minds, and lousy eyesight, elderly problems with gadgets and devices are virtually endless. As the filial person you are, there are a few simple things you can remember to make your elderly loved ones' lives easier.
1) Set their phone's font to large.
It is hard enough to struggle with a small phone, it is worse to struggle reading the tiny letters that come with it. By simply enlarging the font size, you can make a senior's life infinitely easier.
2) Get them larger screens.
If within the budget, maybe get your gran a device with a larger screen. Small phones that have "mini" in the name are absolute no-no’s, as their weakening joints and shaking fingers will have trouble in maneuvering it. Add in the factor of small, unreadable fonts. Take your pick from the list above. A good old tablet like the GrandPad or Konnekt Videophone are good options, as well as the significantly larger CallGenie (since it is literally a TV).
3) Image quality matters.
In a pinch, pixelated images might not matter. But seeing clearer projections can help them actually enjoy their online interactions with family. Getting them a decent webcam instead of relying on built-in cameras can do wonders for them, especially for their mental health. The simple feelings that come with seeing loved ones clearly can help them keep loneliness at bay, so they can enjoy an active and social life regardless of physical distance.
Last update on 2021-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API