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Many aging adults didn’t grow up with technology such as smartphones with video capability, so they may not intuitively understand how to use them to communicate.

At Arbor Terrace Senior Living, the Engagement staff is helping residents learn everything from texting to video chats – lessons that are especially important during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic makes face-to-face communication a rarity.

Grandparents want to chat with their grandkids, but “the grandchildren don’t talk on the phone. They’re more into social media,” said Engagement Director Denise Kirksey. Many residents own tablet computers, but they’ve never learned how to use them for video phone calls.

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With the pandemic preventing families from having their usual in-person get-togethers, the classes are coming in handy.

For instance, we recently hosted a virtual birthday celebration for one of our residents. She enjoyed interacting with her family members, both local and in other states, over video chat. After the party, the Engagement team recorded videos of the balloons and bouquets of flowers, and sent them to the resident’s loved ones.

tech 1“We have seen many benefits of seniors using technology, including an increase in their socialization and communication skills, the ability to recall meaningful memories and an increase in mood,” Denise said.

For the holidays, team members are going to help residents make video greetings they can send to family members as gifts.

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Donna Isbell Walker

About the Author: Donna Isbell Walker

Donna is a former newspaper feature writer and editor whose passion is writing about WWII and Korean War veterans.

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