If you are a busy working adult, it is not always possible for you to live close to or visit your parents frequently. While physical distance might create concerns about the safety and welfare of aging parents, modern technology can help bridge that gap so that you might gain peace of mind knowing that your parents are well and happy. Some elderly parents might not be fond of using technology due to its many complexities, but there is still a wide array of virtual options to bring you and your parents closer. Let’s look at two ways you can use technology to connect with your parents.
Video calls and emails are the most apparent forms of connecting through physical distance. If your parents remain immunocompromised and you cannot see them frequently due to COVID-19, video call technology can provide families with the opportunity to connect visually. Though it may be beneficial for your aging parents to take a digital literacy class, it would be even better if you could spend time with them, going through the ins and outs of email and Facetime. This not only allows you to connect with them in the future but also spend some time bonding with them over technology. Technology can seem daunting and complicated initially, so remember to stick to the basics, i.e. how to connect to Wi-Fi, use the Internet and email, as well as Facetime or other video calling apps. It would be helpful to write down the steps and key information for their reference and only teach them what is necessary to avoid overcomplicating things.
Security Systems and Smart Home Gadgets
Smart home gadgets and security systems are great ways to connect with your aging parent. They can provide an extra layer of protection and comfort for the elderly who are living at home alone. Wi-Fi-enabled cameras like the Nest Cam can give you the means to monitor your parents remotely and provide them with any assistance if needed. However, it is important that they agree with the decision to have such systems in place and do not feel watched or coddled.
Other smart home gadgets like the Amazon Echo or Alexa devices can help you connect with your aging parents. Many elderly might have a hard time using technology or reading from smartphone screens, resulting in missed calls, fewer means of communication, or just general frustration between you and your parent. With voice-activated commands and verbal notifications, your parents can simply speak to accept your call, make a call, or even compose a text message to you through these devices. You will never have to worry about not being able to connect with them again.
Many Americans voice their concerns about not being able to check up on their parents as often as they would like because of family or work. It is thus more vital than ever that technology is used to strengthen those cherished relationships. However, if your parent requires extra assistance beyond the capacities of technology, it might be more suitable to check out retirement community options to ease any worries.