Coronavirus | Virtual Mediums and Older People

Coronavirus affects older than younger people. Virtual mediums can keep both groups in touch

Coronavirus | Virtual Mediums and Older People
Coronavirus | Virtual Mediums and Older People

Coronavirus | Virtual Mediums and Older People


Coronavirus fighting strategy includes a new term, "social distancing" to keep the older people safe. As a part of the measure, older people are staying and will continue for several weeks.

Young people should stay away from them as they might affect the older ones with the virus unknowingly. So, as a medium to keep in contact with older people, we can use virtual mediums. 

Kate Bevan working as the editor of computing in the magazine," Which?" says, "You might want to consider getting a specialized device to make video calls to your loved ones. Once they're set up, they're effortless to use, but you do have to dig through settings in their apps to connect them, and that's not always as straightforward as it might be. Give yourself plenty of time to familiarize yourself with doing that so that you can help your relative through the process."

According to an older people charity, Age UK also emphasizes on choosing the technology and make them as "user-friendly as possible" so that even unaccustomed people can control video-chat software.

The director of this charity, Caroline Abrahams says, "Something integrated like a video call app on a smartphone, tablet or a laptop with a built-in camera, for example, will often be more straightforward."

As a user, older people prefer a mouse to use a touchscreen. It is also essential to secure their new devices from being hacked. Further, older people can get support from a knowledgeable individual on how to use and solve problems while using new devices. 


Solutions with all-in-one hardware

If we consider the user-friendliness and price, then integrated kits are much worthy than mid-range smartphones, tablet, and laptop. Users can use them. 

Many tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google have their own smart devices for video calls, and they have screens on them.

The Echo Show by Amazon is a very user-friendly device. This device has a feature naming call "drop-in." If you make a video call and the receiver is not there, he will have your recorded call later. Besides, it can start the call automatically if you set it with proper settings. The smartphones with Alexa app work with the video call service by the Echo Show. So, only one user needs that unique device.


The devices by Amazon are also very cheap. One of the most affordable of them only costs £50, and it has a compact 5in model. The device has a screen with the size the same as a smartphone does. Others have screens in larger sizes too. It is compatible with Skype.  

The Facebook Portal may suit many older people. Some features like the camera pans and zoom capabilities provide an excellent experience in talking to people with a video call. The price of this product is about £80.

Facebook also integrates Whatsapp and Messenger and people who use smartphones and already have these apps installed in their devices can easily use them for making video calls. 

Google's Nest Hub series is a functional security camera system. Amazon's "drop-in" strategy can be used in Google's system too. If the user also sets the right permissions for activating security features, he can watch the camera feed at any time. However, privacy-conscious people are not on behalf of it. The smaller model costs £119.    


Smartphone solutions

Besides the prices of the devices, all-time connectivity with the Wi-Fi may discourage many of you to approach to these devices. So, a smartphone is an alternative to those devices.

Bevan says, "If your family member has a tablet or smartphone, you can also help them get set up with apps such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, all of which do video calls. Apple users can also use FaceTime."

Many apps are bound for smartphones only, and some versions of software only work in smartphones. For example, Google Duo is an app by Google's Nest and Facebook's Messenger and Whatsapp are easily usable in every device that can use Facebook. 

Smartphones are also costly; even you buy a mid-range one. Besides hand-me-downs past issues, Bevan also warns about lower camera quality and security concerns.

She says, "If you're considering passing old Android smartphones and tablets on to a relative, do be careful that it's still getting security updates. We recently found that there are more than a billion Android devices still in use that is at risk from malware and other threats."