Senior-friendly technology becoming popular means of communications for families

Senior-friendly technology becoming popular means of communications for families

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has been vital for some people to see loved ones, especially senior family members.

Staying connected to family members in quarantine or nursing homes has become increasingly difficult. The pandemic has relegated in-person family visits to an almost prison-like visit with conversations being had through a pane of glass.

Video chats though have become an extremely popular means of communication.

The best part about video chats, according to FOX19 NOW tech expert Dave Hatter, is the simplicity of it all.

“You just hit a button and this ‘Jetsons’ like kind of device rings and it’s bigger than a phone,” Hatter says. “It’s probably easier for them [senior citizens] to work than a phone because the user interface is simplified. It’s not trying to focus on all the things that a phone might do, or a computer might do.”

GrandPad or ViewClix are a few companies to create senior citizen-friendly technology to allow parents, grandparents, and other older family members to make and receive those calls easier.

GrandPad is what it sounds like. It’s a tablet made specifically for seniors.

ViewClix is a smart frame with built-in Wi-Fi that allows users to video chat and create endless slideshows to display family photos. It also doesn’t require an Amazon, Facebook, or Google account.

“They’ve really tried to distill this down into a device that’s kind of targeted at elderly people, and it’s easy to use and also provides some security, from the standpoint of not just anyone can connect with them,” Hatter explains. “You have to kind of do like a ‘friends’ thing where you have to accept someone to be connected.”

Like a lot of technology, there are some reasons to be cautious, according to Hatter.

He suggests buyers make sure to look for a well-established company that will continue to support the product even after the pandemic.

“How long can these things survive? Is this still going to be a viable company a year from now or is this thing going to be just another piece of dead electronics that I’ve got to throw away versus if I bought a PC, or Chromebook, or a tablet,” Hatter explains.

If a company stops updating the technology, it could become unusable.

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