Technology tips for older people (over 70) in times of corona isolation

Seniors belong to the main risk group in the corona crisis. According to the Robert Koch Institute, corona deaths in Germany are currently on average 80 years old. For this reason, the authorities always emphasize that older people in particular have to stay at home to protect themselves against the corona virus. Of course, seniors react differently to the current situation and some do not take the epidemic so seriously. Older people in particular hit the exit restrictions hard. According to experts, blocking contacts in particular can have serious psychological consequences for many people. For this reason, we have put together a few tips and ideas on how you can make home quarantine as safe, convenient and frustration-free as possible for your parents or grandparents. More and more technical innovations can support older people in their everyday life and also offer entertainment and distraction. Because quarantine and social distancing may last for months.

Aid for older people in technical form

Older people over 70 have got a new laptop

Some of the over 70s are already familiar with the use of apps for ordering food and recipes. Therefore, most of the advice here is aimed at older family members who have difficulty using the technology at home. Before you restrict contact with your parents or grandparents about Corona, or if you are supposed to do everything remotely, take a look at the following ideas about digital devices and intercommunication. These will bring many new opportunities for seniors.

Start with the cell phone

Prepare older people over 70 with the appropriate technology for corona insulation

We'll introduce all of the digital networking options below so you can keep in touch with your older loved ones, but many people over 70 will feel most comfortable using a phone. Make sure that you know the basics of making and receiving calls when you make one Smartphone or cell phone with large buttonslike Doro's.

Older people over 70 can handle a smartphone well

Go through their contacts and add that Numbers from friends or family members that may still be in a notebook. Add your phone number to favorites on Android and iOS so your name appears at the top of the list. Also find the charger for the cell phone and make sure that seniors have it on hand. The labeling of the charger “phone”, eg. B. with a sticky note is never a bad idea considering how many different chargers are in all households nowadays.

There are now several initiatives that Hotline for lonely seniors offer in the corona crisis. Such as the “Silver Net” project. Older people who are alone and have no one to talk to can call the telephone hotline. On 0800 4 70 80 90 there are conversation partners between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. The hotline is free of charge for callers.

Check internet and email access

older people over 70 have difficulties using digital technology

Ask your parents and grandparents how and where they are save the important information want that you may need, such as the Wi-Fi password, your email address and password, and maybe your Facebook login. When they are ready to share this information, it may make sense for you to have a copy of it.

Show them where the Wi-Fi icon is on the smartphone. Sort the apps and rearrange the home screens of your phone and tablet. If you haven't done so already, add payment details to the App Store or Google Play Store if you want to buy apps and games, or make online purchases.

Sort grocery deliveries and utilities

Prepare older people over 70 for corona isolation

To at Online grocery shopping to help, and depending on how curious your family members are on the internet, you have a few options. They could simply give you their shopping list by phone so that you can order and have the groceries delivered online or via a supermarket app. You could also set up your own profiles so that you can do everything yourself on the phone. It is best to get them an inexpensive tablet or laptop. You can also access your parents' computer using Remote Assistance (Quick Assist) in Windows 10 or the Share Screen feature in the Messages app on Mac. That means you can surf while you click and order.

Food delivery service for the elderly

You may also want the variants of Food delivery services Try out in their area or ask your relatives at which nearby restaurants you would like to order to take away by phone. And ask about local WhatsApp or Facebook groups that offer to run local errands.

Set up her Online banking if you do not have access data yet. Use an online service at a pharmacy to order a prescription for medicines that have been prescribed as long-term therapy (so-called Recipes).

Internet providers are already beginning to restrict personal visits by technicians. But do a quick speed test to see that Check internet speed, and if it’s too slow to support video calls, call the provider to see if anything can be done without a visit.

Now is the time to make video calls

If your parents and grandparents are already on WhatsApp, it's probably easiest to use them to chat via video. And WhatsApp video calls help. The same goes for FaceTime for iPhone users. You don't have to learn anything new, and it works well enough.

For longer chats or group chats Skype a good choice. HouseParty is well suited for an online family celebration. The app Marco Polo might also be worth considering if you still have to go to your work place and not work from your home office. It enables video messages to be sent when you cannot always make live calls. Don't forget that WhatsApp also has built-in voice memos, which is perfect for all family members who like to leave voice messages.

Consider a smart display or smart speaker

Smart display for regular video calls

For those who live alone or have problems controlling technology due to diseases such as arthritis, we recommend considering a smart display. What is a Smart display? It is essentially a tray on a stand that normally has a voice assistant built into it. The best smart displays currently include Amazon Alexa Show 8 and Lenovo with Google Assistant. This means that your relatives don't have to grapple with holding or setting up devices for regular video chatting. All you have to do is put it in the right place and answer your calls.

Amazon Echo Dot helpful for seniors

If you don't feel like the camera, a cheap Echo Dot (from 30 euros) or Google Home Mini (from 20 euros) or the camera-less, cheaper and smaller Nest Home Hub are suitable as a companion for elderly people living alone. If you are not interested in Google, there is also the Amazon Echo Show in this category. The Facebook portal TV, which turns the television into a video device and automatically pans and zooms around the room, depending on who is speaking, is unfortunately not currently available in Germany.

Keep them fit with a health and fitness smartwatch

Select a smart watch for seniors

A major concern of the 70-year-olds about the exit restriction is changing her exercise routine. Maybe they had to stop going to the gym or doing aqua aerobics. If they have a Fitbit or another, simpler Fitness tracker you might want to talk about how to change your daily activity goal or daily step count for the time of self-isolation.

No matter if you go up and down the stairs, through the garden or – as is currently allowed – for short, socially distant walks near your home, there are ways to reach 2,000 or even 5,000 steps a day . Something as simple as a resistance band for home workout and streching could also be very helpful.

apple watch series 4 fall detection function

For parents or grandparents who are at risk of falling indoors, Apple has introduced a fall detection system with the 4 series. This means that the Series 3 is unfortunately no good here. The Apple Series 4 or Series 5 watches are expensive accessories, but the additional warning system is worthwhile.

E-books, streaming and game night

Elderly woman with gray hair reads e-books on e-readers

If your relatives are over 70 one E-reader As you already own the Kindle, you can now download an entire library of e-books for them from the Kindle Store. Kindle's user interface is simple enough to read, but some older people may find it difficult to find and download the titles they want to read.

In addition, a Streaming stick make sense for on-demand TV and movies if they don't have a smart TV. Select a TV stick with a remote control such as a Now TV stick (approx. 40 euros) or an Amazon Fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote control (approx. 30 euros) instead of one that is based on in-app scrolling.

Don't-annoy-yourself game for 4 players via Facebook Messenger

The contact to your parents and grandparents cannot only be made via video calls – especially if none of you are likely to have a lot of interesting things to say about your everyday life. Try it Mobile games in group mode from – like Scrabble Go and Uno King for iOS and Android as well as the man-annoy-you-not game for 4 players via Facebook Messenger. Two real chess boards and a Skype session on the laptop could also work well.

Ultimately, you know how to best entertain your own family and yourself. Do you already miss your grandchildren? Let her on a webcam “babysitting“. The best mood-lift might even be the suggestion that they search for vacation spots when the coronavirus crisis is over.

Find new vacation destinations after the corona crisis

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