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Covid-19, Skype and Loneliness Amongst the Elderly



Recent events have proved how Skype, FaceTime and Zoom help people stay in touch at times when contact between people has been difficult.


The problem of social isolation is even more of an issue for older people for whom loneliness had already become the norm. A 2017 study revealed that 200,000 Britons aged 65+ had not had a conversation with friends or family for a month. A much larger 360,000 (3.1) did not spoken to friends or family for over a week.


The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem of feeling alone for many of the elderly. Before Covid-19 had arrived, an Age UK survey found 1.4 million older people described themselves as chronically lonely.


These people could benefit hugely from technology many of us now take for granted – online chat apps. It is the obvious option to bridge the physical gap between distant family and friends.


To those who have never used them, Skype, Zoom, Messenger, Whatsapp and Facetime can seem daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the time and effort of embracing them. After a while, a video call can become second nature, and although there is no substitute for actually being with loved-ones, this surely has to be the next-best thing. It also means far-flung relatives can be in contact as never before.


A T4C tutor says: “I remember having a lightbulb moment around 2006, when I helped a lady set up Skype. A week later, she was close to tears when she told me she had seen her relatives in Australia ‘face-to-face’ for the first time in twenty years. Another emotional client told me she had seen a grandchild’s first steps in New Zealand. It really brought home to me the potential of this technology”.


Of course, these apps are available on all sorts of devices in addition to PCs. The most obvious examples are tablets and mobiles. Any smartphone or iPad will be able to handle these types of calls. A little device you carry around in your pocket or handbag can open up a whole, new world of communication with friends and family anywhere.

This amazing technology is akin to something we only used to see in sci-fi shows like Star Trek. It is now available to all of us to beat the Covid isolation blues!



If you need help organising this for yourself, a friend or relative, then contact Tutors 4 Computers today.

 

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