ENCOURAGING the older generation to use Skype, FaceTime and Netflix can make them more involved at Christmas and beyond, an expert said.
From Skyping on Christmas morning to karaoke singalongs, the increase in technology in our households provides lots of opportunities for families to help older members keep in touch, access the things they love and give their memories a workout, Jason Axford, one of Care UK’s lead experts on older people’s wellbeing, believes.
Mr Axford said apps like Shazam and streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix can connect the older generation to music, TV shows and films from their youth.
He suggested that spending time over Christmas getting elderly relatives acquainted with what technology such as smart TVs has to offer can be a great bonding exercise with more tech-savvy youngsters.
Mr Axford told the Press Association: “Music, songs and films are wonderful ways for families to connect and for memories to be reawakened. The festive season gives us some great ways to have fun that can establish patterns of reconnecting for the coming year.
“I recently taught my father to use FaceTime and I was amazed when he FaceTimed me the next week.
“It was wonderful, mum chipping in in the background, popping into view like a jack-in-a-box. I could see they were well and we felt more connected than if we had made a phone call.”
He also hailed a “wonderful website” called Playlist for Life.
Founded by broadcaster Sally Magnusson in memory of her mother who lived with dementia, it aims to help memory loss with the aid of music.
“A personal playlist can help to enhance memories, restore a sense of self and create new memories with friends and family,” he added. “The website has guidance for people to make their own playlists and to help people who may be creating a playlist for a loved one.”
Care UK is the country’s largest independent provider of health and social care, with residential homes as well as treatment centres, walk-in centres, out-of-hours GP support and diagnostics facilities.
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