3 October, 2022 | 8 min read

Zoom Me! A How-to Guide to Video Calls for Seniors

For all its convenience, technology can provide a wonderful way to connect with others; but learning how to use it can be daunting and at times frustrating.  

While video calls can never replace the true magic of seeing your loved ones in person, they are the next best thing. You can witness the joy on your grandchild’s face when they show you their latest art project, or watch them practice their routine for their upcoming dance recital. 

The popularity of video calls for seniors 

Video Calls provide the much-needed connection that was stripped away during the pandemic. 

Today, video calls are still a great way to experience the special moments with your loved ones when you are unable to be there in person. Within our Eskaton communities, we are proud to offer smart technology that contributes to the ease with which you can virtually connect with family and friends. With virtual assistant Alexa within your home, a video call is just a few words away! 

Keep reading for some helpful pointers on how to utilize this technology and prevent you from ever missing a special moment again. 

Video call options 

There are many choices you can use to video call but the following are a few popular options: 

1. Amazon Echo Show

The smart 8” screen and home hub make video calling easy. With built-in virtual assistant Alexa, the call can be initiated through voice activation. 

2. GrandPad

Another 8” screen, this tablet provides one-touch access to connect with friends and family. It can also be used to send voice emails, view photos and play games. 

3. Oscar Senior

This is a specialized app downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Video calls can be initiated with a single touch and also include a group chat feature. 

Source: MedicalAlert 

Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted living 4. Zoom

You can use Zoom on your desktop computer or download the app version directly onto your smartphone. With a free account, you can spend up to 40 minutes catching up with your friends and family. If you would like more time, you can sign up for a paid account (which will cost anywhere from $15-$20 per month).  

You can have an instant meeting or schedule calls in advance by clicking New Meeting and sending the invitation to everyone you want to participate.  

To join a call, click the Join link in the invitation sent from the call’s host that you’ll receive through email or text. You’ll be prompted to launch Zoom and you can join with or without video. One of the wonderful aspects of Zoom is that you will be able to display photos or other content by sharing your screen  And if you haven’t had a chance to tidy up that day, don’t worry!  Zoom allows you to change your background to whatever you choose. So instead of a messy living room, your audience can see you on a tropical beach or historic library instead. 

For more information, visit the Zoom website. 

Source: aarp.org 

5. Skype

Video calls are made simple through Skype. Follow the directions below to get started! 

Go to the Skype homepage and click on Open or Download Skype to install on your computer. You can set up your account with either an email address or phone number. 

After logging in, you can import any existing contacts you have, making it even easier to connect with them. Select the Search Skype box to type in the contact’s name or email address.  

Source: digitaltrends 

6. FaceTime

If you have an Apple phone, you can use the FaceTime app for video calls. If you are on a voice call and get a hankering to see your loved one’s face, you can even easily switch to video mid-call. 

To initiate the FaceTime call, you’ll need the telephone number or registered email address of your loved one. After opening the FaceTime app, select New FaceTime and type in the phone number or email address. Then, tap the Audio or Video icon. 

FaceTime is very user-friendly and makes video calls simple. To create a link so others can join in, follow these directions: 

Open the FaceTime app and tap Create Link. 

Tap Add Name and type a name to identify the meeting, then choose OK. 

Select the person you want to send the link to or send from Messages or Mail. 

Anyone you invite can join a FaceTime call, even if they don’t have an Apple device. You can also share your screen with others so you can look at photos together or share a website search. If you use SharePlay, you can watch videos or listen to music together. Click on the below link for more detailed information. 

Source: support.apple.com 

Disclaimer: 

While technology awards us with wonderful opportunities to connect with loved ones, it’s important to keep safety in mind and only download these tools from trusted sources. If you have any concerns or are not sure whether an app is safe to download, check with a friend or family member! 

Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted living

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