In this day and age, there is literally an app for everything. If you look for it, you will even find an app for how to tie your shoes. Seriously! Now while apps are a great concept, obviously some things can’t take the place of real life application. But that is where technology steps in! Working with members of the senior adult population, I find that many of them truly appreciate the marvel and wonder of the Internet, email, and social media. No, not too many have their own accounts…but some do! I cannot tell you the number of times I have had children and grandchildren ask to email or text me pictures to share with their family member that lives in our community. And it is a wonderful feeling to download or even print these images to share with them! Oh, how they light up to see the face of new great grandbaby or pictures from a graduation.
As we continue our theme of CONNECTING…I encourage families and assisted living professionals alike to embrace the idea of helping your elderly continue to connect! Now, of course, sending anything or receiving anything must be HIPPA compliant and agreeable by all appropriate parties. As with all types of communication, you want to respect your resident’s rights and encourage them to navigate safely. I find that many just want help getting to a certain comfort zone. We have residents that like to do crossword puzzles or other brain games on their iPads and some just want to be able to see the pictures that a family member emailed or posted on social media. Another thing that can be valuable for them is reading on electronic devices allows for the font to be much larger that some print books. Who am I kidding…it helps me too!!
So even if you find that Mom is Facebook savvy or maybe, on the contrary, your Dad wouldn’t touch a computer if you bought him the latest and greatest…do them a favor and strive to KEEP CONNECTED! And senior living professionals…so long as you have the proper permission paperwork in place, take time to take pictures and send them to your resident’s families. Pictures don’t have to be just for marketing. We all have those residents that have family that is far away. Help close the distance by sending a smiling pic of their loved one. It will brighten their day and yours!
For information on Internet Safety for seniors check out this link from the Department of Homeland Security https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Cybersecurity%20for%20Older%20Americans_0.pdf