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Stay connected: Best ways to check in with elderly or disabled loved ones

With the pandemic keeping us all apart from one another, it’s important to keep in touch with loved ones however we can. That also means we should regularly check in with our older or immunocompromised friends and family members.

Since the elderly and immunocompromised are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, it can be dangerous to physically check up on them. Tap or click here for the one video on the coronavirus everyone needs to watch.

Thankfully, technology can help you keep in contact with your loved ones without having to physically go anywhere. Plus, they’re easy to download and use so your friends and family can join in the fun.

See and hear each other without being in the same room

Phones have already made communicating over long distances possible. Email and text messages added instantaneous written messages, but are these features really enough?

Try walking loved ones through installing video chat apps so you can have more immersive conversations. Seeing a person’s face while talking to them can make you feel like you’re together, even when you’re not.

We like the free video calling apps FaceTime, Google Duo and Marco Polo. Tap or click here to learn more about these apps and how to download and start using them on your phone or tablet.

If the person you want to speak to is hard of hearing or deaf, there are apps that can help you communicate with them over the phone or on a tablet. Try Live Transcribe. It creates real-time captions while you talk with the hearing impaired. Tap or click here for more apps for the hard of hearing.

Don’t forget conference calls or group video chats, either. Gathering a bunch of friends and family can brighten anyone’s day. Tap or click here to set up a group FaceTime call. And plan for one as soon as possible to keep up with several loved ones at once.

Engage and play together

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Keep everyone’s minds off of the pandemic for a minute by playing games with each other. Words With Friends is a free alternative to Scrabble and Ruzzle is a fun and free version of Boggle. Both games let you play against other players and you can type messages to each other, too.

Draw Something is great for long-distance Pictionary and Crosswords With Friends lets you challenge fellow crossword puzzle lovers to see who can finish their puzzles first.

You can also engage by sending links to cute animal videos, fun quizzes and interesting articles. We all need a break from the news every so often, so help each other focus on the positives in the world every day.

Make time and set reminders

In the haze of always being home, days can blend together. Use calendar apps to schedule time for talking to or playing with your older or disabled loved ones. Neet a little help? Tap or click here to set reminders for your iOS device. Android user? Tap or click here to set reminders for your Android device.

With time set aside, you can plan ahead and have certain tasks done early so you can focus on the call or game. It can be a way to give yourself a break or end to your day if you’re working from home, too.

All this tech makes the pandemic feel a little less scary. We can safely keep in touch with those we care about and we can have fun while we’re doing it. Some people are even hosting virtual get-togethers to take the place of parties. Tap or click here to see how.

Social distancing isn’t forever, so regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and if you need to cough, do so into the crook of your arm. And don’t forget to call the ones you love, they’ll appreciate hearing from you.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.

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