If you live states or even a world away, it’s impossible to be there when your mom or dad needs you. Isolation and loneliness are problems seniors face. In a 2015 study by Brigham Young University, researchers found feeling lonely increases your risk of death by 29 to 32 percent. This may seem concerning, but there are technologies available that can help bridge the gap that distance causes and ease your parent’s loneliness.
Online programs like Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Skype make it possible to chat or video chat with your parent, even if you’re miles away. These services are free and run on computers, tablets, and smartphones. If you don’t have a video camera, you can still use these services for phone calls or instant messaging chats. If your parent is not technologically savvy, you may need the help of home care service to get them set up.
While you may find it hard to schedule a time to talk to your parent each day, you can help prevent loneliness by sending videos of your child’s school presentations, your family spending time together, or other memorable moments. Send them to your mom or dad’s email so that they can see videos of you saying hi. This also allows your parent to watch your children as they grow up.
If they struggle with loading videos from emails, an aide from home care services can help. With the right device (Chromecast, Kindle Fire Stick, or Roku for example) or a smart TV, caregivers can also send the video from a computer to your mom or dad’s television for a larger screen size.
Most everyone has a phone or cellphone on hand. A phone call is often enough to bring you and your parent together. Schedule a time each day or week to talk on the phone for as long as your mom or dad wants. Time zones may make this a little harder to schedule, but it’s important to help ease your parent’s feelings of loneliness.
Even the best of today’s technology isn’t a replacement for having a person come and spend time with your parent. Talk to home care services about having caregivers stop by to offer your parent companionship as part of a routine care schedule. Home Care services providers can also help prepare nutritious meals, provide you with regular updates, and provide transportation to your mom or dad.