“If there’s one thing good that happened during the pandemic, it was my learning how to use a tablet to visit with my grandkids on FaceTime. I’m really getting the hang of it.” Joe, 83 years old, lived in an assisted living facility and had been isolated from his friends and family for months. As his care manager, I was tested for COVID weekly and wore a mask and personal protective gear to see him in the early months of the pandemic when his family members were not allowed to visit.

Joe’s family bought him a tablet and I taught him the basics so he could navigate the internet and FaceTime with his adult children and grandkids. He also learned how to text on his cell phone and use Facebook Messenger. As a new user who didn’t grow up with computers, it took some time for him to get comfortable with the technology. Once he did, he was a whiz!

“It’s better than a regular phone call,” he said. “I love seeing the grandkids and great-grandkids, even if I can’t be there in person right now. It makes my day, and I think they enjoy it too. They’re growing up so fast!”

In fact, children and their grandparents both benefit from having a close relationship. A study by Boston College found that both generations experience fewer symptoms of depression when grandparents are involved in their grandchildren’s lives. With their years of life experience, grandparents can be a positive role model and offer guidance to the younger generation with a nonjudgmental ear, helping their grandchildren feel loved and secure. Moreover, many grandparents take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis, and millions more take on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren when parents are unable to do so.

“Now that I’m vaccinated, I’ll finally be able to see my kids and grandkids for a picnic next month,” Joe said, and like many seniors, he was eagerly looking forward to reconnecting with his family. He also intended to stay current with technology so that he could always stay in touch.

“My grandkids teach me a lot, and they were pretty impressed when I friended them on Facebook,” Joe laughed. “We keep tabs on each other. And I’m talking with other relatives on Facebook that I haven’t seen in years.”

Creating methods of connection are very important when times require quarantining and other restrictions to interacting with others. If you would like us to create a plan for your parent or grandparent, please reach out and we’ll be happy to set something up now.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at info@gcmsolutions.net. We’ll be happy to assist!