Toys For Your Elder Parents: Skype

It wasn’t easy convincing my mother-in-law that Skype was for her.  More than just an opportunity to occasionally check in on her, the video-conferencing software would send our boisterous voices and the laughter of my children vibrating through her home. While at first a bit resistant, suggesting that we might be wasting our time as we installed the software onto her computer, by the end of the second video-call she had fetched her sister from the first floor to share in the wonders of Skype; her eyes were glowing, her smile wide, and I knew this would be only one of many calls to her New York home.

Skype is a fantastic and fun way to stay connected with your parents, not only to make sure they’re doing okay and getting the care they need, but also a way to share your love face-to-face even when you’re miles apart. Don’t worry if they insist they don’t want it – by the third or fourth call they’ll be hooked.  Download Skype here.

Do your parents use Skype?

photo credit: www.skype.com

©Circle of Life Partners™

7 thoughts on “Toys For Your Elder Parents: Skype

  1. Skype is a great way for aging parents to stay connected with their children and grandchildren, especially when they are living miles apart from one another. When my daughter spent the fall semester abroad, she and her grandmother were able to keep in touch by using Skype. Talking face-to-face provided more joy than a phone call or email.

    Of course, depending on how tech savvy the aging parent is, using Skype can present a challenge at first. But with some careful instruction and patience, Skype can be up and running in no time. Whether separated for days, weeks, or months, Skype is the perfect solution for a family member who is feeling isolated and lonely.

  2. Another benefit of Skype that I have experienced is that for older, more homebound people, it is a way “to get out” on a little excursion from the home. My niece from Europe has been living with us this year and her Dutch grandmother recently started using Skype to keep in touch with her. I hear that her Oma gets dressed up, fixes her hair and makeup to Skype my niece just as she would when she goes out. She wants to look her best for her granddaughter! Its a window to the world. I think Skype is a wonderful tool for everyone!

  3. What a wonderful boost for her Oma and, best of all, the Skype is free of charge so everyone can use it to keep in touch with their loved ones regardless of where they reside.

  4. I LOVE this idea! Truthfully I had never thought about it. Does anyone know if Skype has any sort of sub-titles for those elders that are hearing impaired? My mom is pretty computer savvy, but her hearing is not good. If she had the added bonus of hearing us along with sub-titles she would psyched to give this a try.

  5. Dave Smith, a Tucson realtor is hearing impaired and uses Skype along with a wireless headset to communicate with family and clients. See his blog post at http://www.tucsonazrealestateblog.com and google Skypegear to learn more. When you set this up for your mom check back with us and let us know how it works.

  6. There’s a good study done by a new company called g2gconnect called “Connecting the Generations through Video Calls”. The researcher surveyed over 400 seniors at senior living communities about their interest in Skype, video calls, picture sharing and technology and showed how they can reduce the social isolation of this aging population. I was surprised to see how many seniors are interested in learning about this, but just don’t mention the “c” (computer) word!

    Check it out at
    http://www.g2gconnect.com/uploads/Connecting_Generations_Through_Video_Calls_-_White_Paper_-_July_2010.pdf.
    Not sure how to put a link in the comments, so you will have to cut and past the URL.

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