Advice for staying in touch with family
As experts in caring for the elderly and vulnerable, at Bluebird Care we want to offer you the best practical advice during the current Covid-19 virus, but also for you to use when life begins to return to normality.
It is normal to miss loved ones, particularly grandchildren, when you don’t see them in person on a steady basis, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t play an important role in their lives.
Whether your family live far away, you are unable to regularly see them or more recently you have been impacted by social distancing measures, there are many simple ways for you to keep in touch with them.
Technology today means it is easy to communicate, particularly when long distances are involved. Make sure you take advantage of emails, phone calls and video calls as well as social media and blogs to enable you to share photographs and memories.
At first many people lack the confidence to use a computer, but you can always ask a friend or relative to help you. Once you get set up and started it is no harder than using a mobile phone. Not only will this save you money, it will also enable to you to interact in a more productive way with your family. You can have better, more meaningful conversations with grown up children whilst the younger ones are able to express themselves more and show you things so that you feel more involved.
Using video calling as a way of communicating
There are many ways for you to be able to make free video calls, why not give one of these options a try:
WhatsApp – WhatsApp enables you to video call with up to four others. Quality can vary and depends on your Wi-Fi signal which can make chats a bit trickier if yours isn’t great.
Skype – this is the original video calling app, and still one of the best. It can be used on your phone, computer and tablet via an app that allows you take advantage of free video calls and chat.
Zoom – Zoom is similar to Skype and has become a more recognised name during the COVID-19 lockdown. It can host up to 100 participants at once, and a free account offers you a group call for 40 minutes at a time.
Facetime – Apple users have the ability to chat with other Apple users using Facetime via their iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Facebook Messenger – For a quick and easy way to make a video call you can simply find the person you want to call in your Facebook Messenger contact list, tap on their name and click the video camera icon. You can also set up a group video call if you wish to include more people.
Using technology to help with interaction
- Host a quiz – remote ‘pub’ quizzes are popular right now and there are loads of ways for you to host one and get the whole family involved. All you need to do is write some questions and use one of the platforms detailed above to host it.
You can also use a more sophisticated app. Something like Kahoot and invite everyone to join your quiz. Make one that is grandchild friendly and you have a great way of helping them home-school whilst mum and dad get on with some work.
- Play a board game – if you grandchildren enjoy playing board games, make sure you have a look at Pogo, which hosts a variety of family favourites such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Yahtzee. Pogo allows you to play these, and more, virtually with friends and family once you have registered.
- Watch a film together – If you want to settle in for the afternoon or evening and watch a film together, Netflix Partylets you do just that. The platform synchronises video playback so that you can all watch along together as well as a group chat function that means you can interact with each other during the highs and lows of your chosen movie.
- Host a virtual house party – the Houseparty app has risen to fame during the lockdown as people look for ways to interact with friends and family over the internet. The app allows you to take video calls to the next level by utilising in-built games, quizzes and drawing tools for an extra layer of fun.
Whatever your own personal situation, confidence with technology and interests, it is almost certain that you will be able to find a way to keep in touch with loved ones. The above platforms and ideas are only a few of the ways that you can ensure you are able to continue interacting with your family and friends. You can of course come up with your own ways of using these platforms that best suits you and makes sure that you feel connected whenever you need it.
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