Staying connected to people is important for everyone. Humans are social creatures and we thrive on personal interaction, and as we age those social connections can even have a positive impact on our health. Seniors who have strong interpersonal connections
— are healthier — when you have people who care about you and check in, you’re more likely to get help when needed
–have lower risk of dementia — seniors with more social interactions showed higher levels of cognitive functions for longer than peers who were more isolated.
Making the Most of Video Calls
Knowing the importance of staying connected is one thing. Making it happen during a pandemic, when senior citizens are in a high risk category and encouraged to stay at home, can be challenging. One way to continue to reach out and talk with friends and family is through video calls. It might seem easier to just pick up the phone and talk the old-fashioned way, but there are some benefits to video calls.
For one, you get to see the face of the person you’re talking with, which is great with any friend, but even better with cute grandchildren! Also, you can have a more satisfying conversation. More than 70% of our communication is non-verbal, which means a video call can make it easier to understand the person on the other line by seeing their lips move as they talk and seeing their body language enhancing their words.
It can be awkward at first to try to have a conversation with someone on a video call. Here are a few things to do to keep the call interesting, and help spark some good conversations with those younger members of your family.
1. Play a game, such as 20 questions, I spy or charades.
2. Share your favorite memory or have show-and-tell time.
3. Read a story.
4. Teach each other something. You could teach your granddaughter how to crochet, she can teach you the latest TikTok dance.
5. Play an instrument together, or share one of your favorite songs.
The biggest hurdle to video calls is choosing the app that’s easiest for you and getting on. Luckily there are plenty of options available.
· Facebook video call
· Facetime for iPhone users
· What’s App
For Piedmont Home Care clients, our caregivers are a great resource to help you learn how to use a video chat app. Walking through the sign on process and a first call with someone there by your side makes the whole process easier. Another resource might by those grandchildren you want to talk with. Let them know you need a step by step tutorial, and they’ll be glad to help