Fall River Jewish Home

Three Quick Ways to Stay Connected

So what can you do to stay connected when time is short? Most of us have probably read the statistics that show us one of the keys to successful aging is to stay connected to friends and family. But when caregiving is a big part of your life, those relationships often become difficult to maintain. Technology may provide you with some options.

Here are three easy and inexpensive ways to keep in touch:

1. Skype with family and friends. We often think of Skype as a tool to keep in touch with loved ones far away. But for caregivers, a video chat can be a welcome distraction in a stressful day. It is free and easy to get set up. You only need to have a webcam hooked up to your computer. With a Bluetooth and a newer iPad, you can also Skype from your living room while your loved one watches TV.

2. Online Caregiver Support Groups. As the sheer number of caregivers across the country continues to rise, people are turning to the internet for support and advice. That includes online caregiver communities. To help ease frustrations and “talk” with people who may be dealing with the same issues you are as a caregiver, consider joining one or two of these groups. National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) has a forum with several on-going discussions you may find helpful. Topics range from depression to overcoming isolation. You can find them at: https://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/ed/bb/index.cfm. Another option is to explore the Caring.com website. They have a variety of online support groups ranging from “Caring for a Parent” to “Caring for a Spouse” to an “End of Life” group. You can join one of their groups by clicking this link: http://www.caring.com/support-groups.

3. Use Your SmartPhone. With nearly 75% of the world population now having access to a cell phone, it is safe to say that number probably includes most caregivers. When you are feeling isolated or lonely, using a smart phone to send emails or text messages can be a quick way to say hello. iPhone users also have the ability to use a video app called, Face Time, to chat with friends and family who are Apple iPhone or iPad users. All of these options allow you to keep an eye on your loved one, while still connecting with the world outside your living room.

Do you care for a friend or family member at home?  Have you found ways to use technology to stay connected? We’d love to hear them!

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