Concerns about COVID-19 have made it difficult for grandparents to visit with their grandkids in person. For many families, the forced separation has been one of the most difficult parts of riding out this global pandemic. Fortunately, technology makes it easy to connect from across the country or just across town.
The phrase digital grandparent was coined to describe relationships that utilize technology to stay connected, and not just because of coronavirus concerns. Many families are separated by great distances because of career and lifestyle choices.
If you are looking for ways to help your parents and children bond and build memories virtually, we have a few suggestions. No matter the grandchildren’s age, there are opportunities for the generations to feel like they are an important part of one another’s lives. The key is to explore different forms of technology.
Virtual Visits and Tech That Connects
- Video chat: The first suggestion is one that can be used in a variety of ways. This is to connect using video chat platforms, such as FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. These tech products allow families to enjoy virtual face-to-face conversations. The chats can be several times a week to catch up on daily life, or they can be used a little more creatively. The younger and older generations might enjoy sharing a weekly story time across the miles, playing a virtual but spirited game of chess, or engaging in a virtual cooking class.
- Text messaging: As more seniors trade their old cell phones for smartphones, text messaging has become an easy way for the two generations to stay in touch. The grandkids can shoot a quick video and text it to a grandparent from wherever they are, such as the playground, college, or their job. Apps like Talkatone that are free and work off Wifi are friendly for tight budgets. For grandparents who might have arthritis or another health condition that makes navigating a smartphone keyboard tough, talk-to-text can be utilized.
- Creative apps: The sky is the limit when it comes to building bonds. The goal is to think creatively. Grandkids and grandparents alike might enjoy producing and editing their own cell-phone videos. There are a variety of creative apps that simplify the process. Photofunia, FxGuru, and Magisto are a few to try.
Strong Bonds Between Grandchildren, Grandparents Offer Mental Health Benefits is a good article to read if you are interested in learning more about the important role grandparents can play in the lives of the family’s youngest generations.
For older adults who call a Sunrise Senior Living community home, know that our team members are happy to make virtual connections a little easier. Each Sunrise community is equipped with latest communication technology and whether it’s mastering Skype, emailing photos, or texting a video to the grandkids, we’ll be glad to help!