Video calling became commonplace in 2020, courtesy of the pandemic.
More people turned to their mobile devices or home computers to communicate with work colleagues and relatives. In fact, UC Today suggests Americans hosted more than 11m meetings a day in 2020, with the same report indicating that 89% of people feel video conferencing helped them stay in touch with the people they care about. That includes people of all ages, from sons and daughters away at college to elderly relatives most at risk during the pandemic.
Chatting to grandparents over video conferencing can be a challenge. Even now, with the pandemic easing, the benefit of maintaining those relationships with the older generation is clear. Top psychologist Andre Radmall is quoted by Gala Bingo as saying, “The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is immensely important. Spending time with each other provides innumerable benefits for both.” Often, that time is spent on video calls, which brings people much closer together where geography makes it difficult. The one barrier between these strong relationships is the tech.
The older people get, the more they struggle with tech. How many times did you have to set the VHS video recorder for your parents to record their favorite shows? How many times now does your offspring whizz through the iPad menus at breakneck speed doing a complicated task for you? The younger generation always seems to find tech much easier than their older relatives, which puts grandparents at an extreme disadvantage regarding video calling.
Help is on hand; here are three great tips for helping your elderly relatives through the process and getting them going with video calls.
Choose the Right App
It is vitally important that you choose an app geared towards family calls, with fewer confusing options. We all read hilarious stories of people not understanding Zoom on business calls with consequences. There was the Texas lawyer who had to tell a court he wasn’t a cat after getting into difficulty, and whilst that made the news, there were doubtless other instances up and down the country.
Choose the Right Device
As technology gets more advanced, it can also be more complicated to use, and the senior generation may benefit from certain types of devices. For instance, a smartphone is a great method of communicating via video chat, but the small screens make menus difficult to see. It is perhaps best to look for tablets with big screens and utilize the Easy Tablet Help for Seniors app. You might even benefit from sending your old device to them with just the relevant app installed for complete ease of use.
Many people now use video conferencing at work; our own Consolto package is very efficient and easy to use. Consolto provides a remote customer experience with an in-person feeling. It is a simple-made solution from installation to use, which makes it completely viable and productive to the elderly to use for their businesses.
Don’t Expect Perfection
So, your call gets connected, and there’s Grandma, upside down with a filter on. The key is not to get frustrated or try to correct it there and then. If time is limited, just go with the interaction and sort the technical issues out later. Remember, our article ‘Video Chat Fatigue’ discussed how individuals could quickly tire during video meetings. The same applies to elderly relatives using devices, so make the most of your time. As long as you can hear them, and they can see you, then the purpose of the call is complete. Having some patience and not spending your whole time trying to optimize the experience is another good way to ensure they have a relaxed chat with you and get the best from the video call.