Social isolation affects a large number of Older Adults – especially around the holidays. Though nothing will compare to spending time with loved ones in person – technology can help combat some of the loneliness. So, if you can’t physically be with your family this Thanksgiving, try these tech-supported solutions to stay connected and beat the holiday blues:
🔹Video Chat: Apps like FaceTime and Zoom, as well as devices like the Echo Show or Facebook Portal, can bring you closer this Thanksgiving. Though nothing beats sharing a meal in person, sitting down for a virtual dinner can be the next best thing!
🔹Meal Delivery Kits: Order your Thanksgiving dinner needs for you and for mom and dad through meal delivery apps like Blue Apron, or Freshly, and cook together through video chat. Now you can spend the day preparing meals with them just like you would if you were together in person!
🔹Good Old Fashioned Text Messages: Though social isolation impacts older adults more than other age groups, this time of year can be difficult for us adult kids too! Especially when we are struggling with nailing those family recipes. An easy solution: text messaging! Ask mom to send you pics of her recipe cards, an audio text with step-by-step instructions on how to make her famous pumpkin pie (for those moms who have it all memorized), or videos of her preparing ingredients. Don’t forget to ask dad to show you how to carve that turkey properly!
🔹Watch Parties: After dinner, you may want to sit down for a movie (that you will almost certainly fall asleep during). Now you can watch that movie together – even if you are miles apart. Teleparty is a Chrome extension that lets you watch Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu, simultaneously with your loved ones. Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney + also have their own native watch party solutions you can try.
🔹Virtual Games: Apps for classic games like Pictionary, Wheel of Fortune, Scattergories, Jeopardy, and more can be downloaded and played together paired with video chat platforms so you can keep those Thanksgiving #gamenight traditions alive!
🔹Shared Music Playlists: Share a special dinner playlist with the older loved ones in your life and listen together! Apps like Spotify and FaceTime have synched remote listening features so you can enjoy your favorite tunes at the same time.
There are many reasons why we can’t always be together in person over the holidays – but with the help of technology – we can do our best to stay connected, helping to stave off feelings of loneliness. Of course, these innovations only work if the older adults in your life use them! So don’t forget to explain the ins and outs of any apps or devices you plan to try out this Thanksgiving. And as always, if you need support helping your loved ones overcome any technology barriers – we are here to help: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!