With “Stay at Home” orders in place in locations around the world, many individuals are experiencing the effects of social distancing. Some might find it easier than others to practice extreme limitations on socialization and activity. Factors like one’s home environment, level of isolation, and any predispositions to extroversion or introversion can make it more or less difficult to adjust. 

Luckily, our new world of online media can soften the sense of isolation brought on by coronavirus. In fact, some internet users have vocalized the need to rethink the term “social distancing”. Instead, they suggest we recognize that our abilities to communicate with one another online fosters social interaction. What we are really experiencing is physical distancing. 

Obviously, it is not easy maintaining physical distance from our communities and loved ones. Using technology will never fully negate that. Right now, it is easy to long for a return to normal. But as we hunker down in the meantime, we want to spread awareness for some resources that might help us feel connected during these trying times. 

Helping Elderly Adults Use Communication Technology

The most obvious way to stay in touch remotely is to utilize phone and video calling. Video calling has become increasingly popular, since the ability to see your friends or family in real time allows for a greater sense of connection. Using video calls other communication applications, however, may be challenging or confusing for some people. Oftentimes, elderly adults have more difficulty utilizing these technologies on their own. With people physically distancing themselves, some seniors may not have anyone to walk them through utilizing new technologies right now. 

A How-To on Video Calling

For older adults who want to learn how to utilize application that help us feel connected, it is still possible to do so remotely. If you know a senior you think might enjoy video calling, try walking them through the process over the phone. If they already have an iPhone with FaceTime and your devices are compatible, it is relatively easy to video call them first and simply have them pick up. 

Currently, some of the most popular video calling applications include FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Skype. There are many other applications out there with variations on video calling. People will find the application best fit for them depending on the type of device they have, their wifi and cellular network capacities, user friendliness, and other personal preferences. For in-depth guidelines on how to use specific applications, many online resources provide step-by-step instructions on how to download and utilize calling apps. 

Phone Call buddy Systems

Sometimes, an individual might experience loneliness and feel they do not have anyone to talk to. This can be an especially intense feeling for many elderly adults right now who might live alone or usually spend little time on the phone or computer. In response to this issue, there are multiple organizations that provide hotlines for anyone feeling lonely or isolated. Programs such as “The Friendship Line” provide 24/7 toll-free numbers aimed at giving people with a sense of loneliness someone to talk to and connect with. 

Some of the most widely used “loneliness” hotlines include:

The Friendship Line: (800) 971-0016

To arrange Friendship Line Call-Out services : (415) 750-4111 

(With call-out service, trained volunteers regularly call elderly adults for emotional support and medication reminders.)

The Silver Line: (800) 470-8090

The Samaritans: (877) 870-4673 (HOPE)

New Wave Home Care is Here for you

We understand that many people are experiencing anxiety, stress, loneliness, and other emotional impacts during these unprecedented times. New Wave Home Care is here for support throughout current “stay at home measures” due to COVID-19. We are committed to continuing our caregiving services for all of our clients. Additionally, we understand that these circumstances may call for additional support and assistance. If you or a loved one are in need of anything, please feel free contact us. Call anytime at (626) 466-9470, or at our toll free number (888) 385-9898.