There are so many great things about having grandkids! It seems as if we can’t get enough of their laughter, energy and enthusiasm – not to mention those bear hugs. But did you know they’re also healthy for us, too?
Studies show that time spent with grandchildren can help ward off depression and dementia, boost your immune system and even add years to your life. Even if you don’t see your grandkids often, you can still keep up with them across the miles.
Here are four fun ways to use technology to stay connected to your grandchildren.
1. Video Calls
If you don’t live close enough to visit regularly in person, but still want to see those smiling faces more often, video calls are a simple solution. There are a number of programs, such as Skype, FaceTime and Google Video, that you can download to your phone, tablet or computer and start using today.
This is especially a particularly great option for connecting with babies or younger children. Through video calls, you can wave, smile and interact with little ones who currently may be unable to speak on the phone.
2. CapTel Captioned Telephones
Though modern technology offers a number of ways to connect with your grandkids, sometimes you just want to hear their voices. Consider setting up a consistent time for talking on the phone each week, even if it’s just for a brief conversation.
If you are living with hearing loss, you may worry that you’ll miss words when speaking on the phone with your grandchildren. To make sure you catch every piece of important information when talking with your loved ones, consider using a CapTel captioned telephone. With closed captioning that shows you word-for-word what is being said, you’ll be able to focus on enjoying the experience stress-free.
3. Email or Text
Though you may have grown up writing letters to distant loved ones, your grandkids are probably already familiar with a much quicker option: email or text message. This method is an especially appealing choice if you live in a different time zone or are dealing with busy schedules. You can send the message whenever you have time and then they will respond when they go online – no coordination necessary.
As an added bonus, connecting with your grandchildren via email or text will also help the younger children develop their reading and writing skills.
4. Social Media
Depending on the age of your grandchildren, chances are they are on some form of social media like Facebook and Twitter. If you want to keep abreast of all their latest updates, one of these websites may be the way to go. And as an added bonus, you might even be able to reconnect with some of your other family and friends.
Social media is becoming increasingly popular among retirees. According to a study by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 64 percent of adults from the ages of 50 to 64 years of age were on social media as of 2016.
“Staying in touch with family members is one of the main motivations for using social media,” Mary Madden, a Pew senior researcher, told The Washington Post. “And that’s especially true for adults aged 50 to 64.”
Facebook is probably the simplest place to start, due to its friendly usability and diverse posting options. However, keep in mind that sometimes kids are hesitant to connect with family members on their social media profiles. Consider asking them if they would like to interact with you in this way before creating an account.