3 Budget-Friendly Tips for Staying in Touch with Loved Ones
Some seniors enjoy using a smartphone or tablet to keep in touch with loved ones, but they have a difficult time incorporating an upgraded device into their monthly budget. Others assume they won’t like using modern technology and prefer to communicate over the phone or in person. Regardless of your situation, trying out video calls, texting, and other ways of communicating can connect you to friends and family.
Gracefully Greying presents tips for seniors looking to expand into the world of technology.
Invest in a Senior-Friendly Tablet Stand or Case
You may already know that there are reading glasses, large-print books, and other advances that may make your golden years a little bit easier. Even if you’re a relatively young senior citizen, your eyes and ears are likely not as sharp as they used to be due to the natural aging process; thankfully, there are many devices that can help you stay connected with your close friends and family members even if this describes your situation.
For example, holding a cold, metal tablet may be hard on your hands if you suffer from arthritis or tendonitis, but you don’t need to spend a ton of money purchasing a different kind of device! Check out a tablet stand or a silicone case with a kickstand to give your hands a break. As a bonus, silicone cases protect your devices if you drop them. If you’re a senior who dislikes technology, don’t give up before you try something like the GrandPad: This is a tablet designed specifically for seniors who want simplicity without all the bells and whistles.
Brush Up on Your Tech Skills
This often applies to older seniors who were already in their golden years when FaceTime made its way into daily life, as many seniors feel like they don’t have the skills or know-how to successfully use a touchscreen device because they are “too old” or that they will not be able to keep up with the new technology. This is simply untrue!
The reason that kids — even toddlers — are so good at using modern technology is that they learned a native digital “language” in their formative years. Learning a new language as an adult takes time, but it can be done. If you’re unsure about tablets and smartphones, consider enlisting a tech-savvy friend or family member to teach you the basics. Write down the steps you need to take to log on, call a friend, and set up an email account to get started.
Look for Budget-Friendly Upgrades
There’s no need to break the bank to stay in touch with your family and friends. If you frequently utilize video chat platforms and you’ve noticed lately that your decade-old laptop is on the brink of shorting out for good, look for online discounts that can help you save money. Staples coupons, for example, can take the sting off the price tag, and the retailer frequently has sales on electronics. Also, look for discounts from most major retailers during holidays like Presidents’ Day, Black Friday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
As an alternative, you can upgrade your old computer, tablet, or device to a newer — but used — model. Some of these “used” or refurbished devices are labeled so because a customer opened the box, realized it was the wrong device, and returned it to the store. Buying a used electronic device from a major retailer is an affordable way to upgrade your current device.
Getting older has a lot of perks, including the ability to spend time with generations of younger family members and keep in touch with the friends you’ve made over your lifetime. Don’t let your relationships fade with time and distance, and don’t let a monthly budget derail you from investigating opportunities to keep in touch with your loved ones with senior-friendly technology at a cost you can afford. There are many options out there!
Contributing writer: Mary Shannon
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels