Embracing Technology During Lockdown

With the country still in lockdown and the government encouraging "social distancing" in the fight against coronavirus, older people are embracing the use of technology to ensure that they stay connected to the outside world.

Here are just a few examples of some of the most useful 'virtual' activities:

Video Calling

If you already use a smartphone to keep in touch with your friends and family, then chances are you are already using some of the apps that will enable you to make video calls.  These often come integrated with your phone - if you're not already set up on any of them, then perhaps get a family member to talk through it with you on the phone. 

Similar apps to make video calls include Skype, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime (if you have an iPhone). 

Users of laptops or PCs with a webcam could also use Zoom – this is an ideal option if you want to connect with more than one person at a time.  It works really well if someone in the family is celebrating a birthday or you just want to replace your usual weekend get together with a virtual gathering instead.

Online Shopping

Whilst some older people are using the dedicated shopping hours as set by their local supermarket, others may not be able to get out due to limited mobility or because they are self-isolating.  Many supermarkets have set aside online shopping slots for the elderly and vulnerable to make sure they have access to everything that they need.

If you haven’t used online shopping before then you (or a family member) may need to call the Customer Services team to register as a vulnerable customer to make sure you get the help you need.

There are lots of other online retailers who are still delivering such as Amazon, as well as online pharmacies like Boots and Superdrug.  If you're used to using apps online, you can download the JustEat or Deliveroo app and have takeaway food delivered to your home too.  

Smart Speakers

If you have a smart speaker at home such as an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home, then this can help you do numerous helpful tasks.

If someone on your contacts list also has a smart speaker you can call them directly just by saying “Call Barbara” for example.   You can also use it to ask questions, find out the weather forecast or simply set important reminders – great if you need to remember to take medication at a set time or you don’t want to forget someone’s birthday.

Why not ask it to connect to your favourite radio station? Having music on in the background in an otherwise quiet home can help to cut down feelings of isolation and also gives you a feeling of a shared connection with all those other listeners.  And music is well-known for lifting spirits and giving us a much needed boost.

YouTube

If you are struggling to fill the long hours at home, then one way of passing the time is to take up a new hobby.  If there is something you’ve always wanted to try but are a little bit unsure of where to start, then why not search for a video tutorial on YouTube!  Whether it is arts and crafts, cookery or learning a new language, there are videos that cover anything and everything!  It can be a bit overwhelming so it may help to think of something specific, otherwise you could lose yourself for hours browsing for activity suggestions! 

YouTube is also great for helping you to stay active at home.   There are lots of exercise videos online, many of which are designed for older people and those with limited mobility such as chair yoga or tai chi.  

You can also check out the virtual Love to Move session which is designed especially for those living with dementia.

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Our CAREGivers provide a variety of services to help our older clients maintain their independence at home and can help to support the use of technology to help keep them connected and in touch with their local communities.

For more information about the work that our wonderful CAREGivers do, please get in touch with us today.

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