January 8, 2019
It’s a common misconception that seniors and technology don’t mix. The truth is that older adults are embracing technology at a rapid rate. According to a Pew Research study, adults over the age of 65 are one of the fastest-growing age groups to adopt digital technology. Best of all, modern tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers are designed to be more intuitive than ever before, making it easier for older adults to use them in their daily lives.
One of the most popular tools for online communication is video chatting. Unlike a phone call, video chatting allows users to hear and see each other at the same time. For older adults, video chat can be a particularly helpful way to keep in contact with friends, family, and loved ones. Here are a few reasons to embrace the benefits of video chatting.
Stay in touch with distant loved ones
For older adults who are separated from friends and family by distance, video chatting provides a convenient way to stay connected any time, any place. Video calling has several benefits over traditional phone calls. Seniors can see the faces of grandkids and other family members instead of just hearing their voices, making communication more personal and interactive. Video chatting also allows family members to check in on their senior loved ones and see how they are doing, which is especially important if they cannot visit often.
Make communication easier for seniors with hearing loss
Video chatting is also beneficial for adults experiencing age-related hearing loss. Unlike phone calls, video chatting allows users to see and interpret visual cues, including the body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions of the people they’re speaking with. Overall, video chatting technology can make it far easier for people with hearing loss to keep up with conversations.
Prevent the risk of depression
Not only is video chatting a convenient way to contact loved ones, but new research suggests that it is also a promising way to prevent depression and isolation among the senior population. A study found that older adults who used video chat had a significantly lower risk of depression after two years compared to older adults who used other types of online communication, such as email or social media. Unfortunately, depression is a growing senior health concern; it’s estimated that around 6 million Americans over the age of 65 are affected by depression. Researchers believe that the more personal aspect of video chatting helps older adults feel connected to loved ones and stave off feelings of loneliness.
It’s not always easy for older adults to schedule visits with loved ones, especially if they live far away. Being able to chat with friends and family using a video chat service allows older adults to socialize when meeting in person isn’t possible. While technology can’t entirely replace the value of face-to-face interaction, video chat provides a meaningful way to supplement interaction with friends, family, and loved ones, while at the same time helping seniors fight the risk of loneliness and depression.