Many seniors have adult children living outside of Montreal. Not being in contact with family members can present many health problems for the elderly, including depression and a lowered cognitive function. However, there are plenty of simple ways for seniors to stay connected with family members and friends, as long-distance communication isn’t what it used to be. No longer do we need to wait for letters to arrive in the mail: Instead, thanks to modern advancements in technology, older parents in Montreal can connect with their adult children and caregivers instantly.
1. Phone Calls
Phone calls have long been the most popular means of long-distance communication. While the invention of cellphones has made text messaging possible, only 18% of Canadian seniors 75 years and older own a mobile phone. For this reason, family members of seniors will most likely benefit from simple, old-fashioned phone calls.
If your elderly loved one lives in a residence, you should make sure they have a private phone line. It may also be a good idea to program important numbers into the contacts list, including family members, caregivers, and doctors.
You can also provide them with a cellphone; however, it would be best to set it up for them, as this is often a new and intimidating challenge for seniors who have never operated a mobile phone. Having a senior caregiver show them how to use it is a good idea for those living away from their elderly parents.
According to Statistics Canada, 68% of Canadian seniors use the internet multiple times per month.
If your elderly loved one is among this group, then staying connected via e-mail is a great idea. Along with sending “virtual letters”, you can also attach pictures to update the family member. Remember that seniors often have a hard time reading small text (for example, on a phone screen), so it’s important to increase the font size on their device.
3. Social Media
Social media is no longer used exclusively by the younger generation. These platforms, particularly Facebook and Pinterest, are getting more and more popular among the older population. Setting up a profile is easy, and can allow for a simple method of staying connected with friends and family.
On Facebook, seniors can see pictures of their children or grandchildren, direct-message family members, and post photos of their own.
4. Video Chat
When a simple phone call just doesn’t cut it, video chatting is an ideal way to connect with those living outside Montreal.
If your elderly loved one has a smartphone, then they already have the ability to make video calls to people in their contacts list: On iPhone and iPad, the application ‘FaceTime’ comes pre-installed, which allows for video messaging with other Apple users. Similarly, Android phones come equipped with “Hangouts”, which can be used for the same purpose.
Alternatively, if a senior has access to a laptop with internet, Skype is a popular option for communicating over video. This makes staying in touch with family members or caregivers easier.
5. Establish a Routine
No matter how you choose to contact your elderly loved ones, the best way to stay in touch is by being consistent. Whether it’s every day or once a week, establishing regularly set times to catch up will help ensure you keep in contact, especially for seniors living with memory loss.
If you have elderly parents living in Montreal, home care can be a big help to staying connected with them. Along with physical & home care, caregivers can help by setting up accounts like Facebook, or applications such as Skype and FaceTime, which seniors may have a hard time doing on their own. They can also show seniors how to use their devices to contact friends and family.
If you need a caregiver for an elderly loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact Complete Care Coordination today for a free consultation.