It has never been more important to remain engaged and in touch with our loved ones. A sense of connection is closely tied to both mental and physical health. In a world where families are moving further and further apart, we have to make a conscious effort to call, write, and video chat with loved ones that don’t live close enough to visit consistently.
But this is often much easier said than done. Life is busy, and from the perspective of a daughter, grandchild, nephew, or anyone with an older person they care about - finding the time to reach out can be a challenge. To make matters even more difficult, there are quite a few reasons that the seniors in our lives may be tough to get ahold of.
Some of the most common communication challenges include:
- Hearing impairment
According to the NIH, about one third of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Having a conversation over the phone may end up being frustrating, confusing, or embarrassing. Sometimes older adults avoid answering the phone altogether due to the unpleasant experience.
- Fear of fraud
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that there were nearly 100,000 reported elder fraud cases in 2021, resulting in $1.7 billion in losses. This was a 74% increase in losses compared to 2020. Elder fraud is alarming, so naturally older adults are often skeptical about answering phone calls or opening the door when unexpected visitors reach out.
- Mobility restrictions
An older adult with assistive devices like walkers, canes, or wheelchairs may need extra time to safely get up and reach the phone. Rushing could increase the risk of a fall, but the ringing phone can often feel urgent. For this reason, sometimes loved ones are worried about calling the older adults in their lives.
- Time zones for long distance loved ones
Families are more spread out geographically than ever. Although technology offers us the ability to stay in touch with the tap of a button, time zones can be complicated, confusing, and inconvenient.
- Complicated apps
Video calls typically require software to be downloaded and a program to be navigated. For individuals that didn’t grow up with technology, this can be cumbersome and frustrating to try to manage. Even messaging and email may not be intuitive for a senior to navigate on their own.
- And more…
These are just a few of the many communication challenges caregivers and friends face when trying to stay in touch with an older person.
Clearly, staying connected to our friends and loved ones as they age independently can be an uphill battle. That’s why our team has worked so hard to create a game-changing resource for those aging in place. ElliQ offers a variety of helpful features, and among them are simple, frictionless communication tools. Now, older adults can easily communicate with their family, friends and caregivers - whether the message is social, health-related, or a request for help.
Our brand new ElliQ Connect app, designed for caregivers, allows you to video call, text, share photos, and easily check-in on your loved one. If the ElliQ user requests, family members can receive updates via the ElliQ Connect app about abnormal activity, like if they’re not feeling well or if they slept poorly. CLICK HERE to learn more about the ElliQ Connect app.
Take a look at the video below to see an example of ElliQ’s messaging capabilities: