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Connecting Virtually to Your Long Distant Loved Ones

Video chat is a fantastic way to keep in touch – often the only way – when you live out of town. You need a smartphone or tablet to keep in touch with them. We’re here to help navigate what can sometimes be an intimidating world for seniors.

These easy-to-use apps will help keep you in contact with your loved one. We’ve also included tips for how to get the senior in your life to embrace technology.

Apps to Use


  • FaceTime Does your loved one have an iPhone or iPad? If so, FaceTime is your best bet. It comes standard, is relatively intuitive, and is great for one-on-one or family conversations. Use Apple’s FaceTime primer to help your loved one get started!
  • Zoom is all the rage these days. People are using this videoconference service for everything from fitness classes and schoolwork to virtual happy hours and birthday parties. Well, it’s great for virtual family get-togethers, too! You might have to talk your loved one through some of the setup and logistics, but Zoom is fairly easy to use on a computer, smartphone, or tablet and has apps for both Apple and Android devices.
  • Skype has been a videochat staple for a while now, and while it’s been overshadowed by Zoom’s recent rise, it is a solid option. Setup is straightforward. Just download the app. As is the case with Zoom, Skype generates unique meeting links that you share with participants. It’s more or less that simple. Find more information on getting started with Skype here!
  • Google Hangouts With video and voice chat capabilities and sleek messaging features, Google Hangouts is a great all-in-one communication tool – especially if your senior loved one is tech savvy. It integrates easily with Gmail accounts, a big plus if both you and your loved one have accounts. With so many ways to stay connected via Hangouts, it’s a great choice for keeping in touch during the coronavirus outbreak! Here’s what you need to know to get started.
  • Phone Calls Don’t forget about the old standby, no-frills way to stay in touch – phone calls!

A Few Tips


  • Be Patient Seniors can get frustrated with technology, so be patient as you’re teaching them.
  • Get Them a Smartphone or Tablet If your loved one enjoys technology or is eager to learn, get them a smartphone or tablet. Not only will it allow them to see your face, but they can download games to pass the time and keep up on the news. If they have a smartphone already, consider a tablet so they can have a bigger screen to work with.

Tout the Benefits of Technology to Parents

Having trouble nudging parents toward technology? Be sure to remind them of the payoff – getting to see their family’s faces. It’s the type of personal experience you just don’t get from a traditional phone call.

Artis Senior Living leads the way in Memory Care and Assisted Living communities for older adults. Our philosophy of care is called The Artis Way. We offer an individualized approach to care, and start by building positive relationships with loved ones, their adult children, and other family members to be empowered in care. We also offer insight, education, and support for family caregivers, and invite you to attend a caregiver and community event at an Artis community near you.

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