Connecting with loved ones in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic

Keeping in touch with isolated loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic

Here at Helpd we never imagined we would find ourselves writing a blog to help us all stay in touch with each other during a worldwide pandemic. We understand what a worrying time it is, and that many of you have vulnerable loved ones in isolation in their own homes. Technology can do so much to connect us, and it is more important than ever that we use it to stay in contact with the people that matter most. That is why we have put together some suggestions to help you stay in touch with loved ones through the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Houseparty is perhaps the most fun app for large groups and families. It is a social networking service that can enable group video chatting from smart phones or desktops. If it is possible to set this up for your loved ones you can facilitate a family get together at a time that suits everyone. Why not set up a house party chat over coffee at 11am? Or all sit down to a ‘virtual’ dinner a couple of times a week? You can download house party for free here https://houseparty.com/

If you and a loved one are lucky enough to both have an Alexa Echo Show, then communicating with each other via video is very straightforward. You can ask Alexa to voice call your loved one provided they are set up as a contact, and you can even ask her to ‘just drop in’ – this setting does need to be agreed by both parties. https://www.argos.co.uk/brands/amazon-alexa

FaceTime is a great video chat service, though you both need to have an Apple device. Simple and straightforward, you should be able to facetime your loved one and they simply need to accept your call on their iPhone or iPad. https://www.imore.com/how-place-facetime-call-your-iphone

Zoom. Zoom works brilliantly and allows lots of people to hold a conversation at once with or without a video feed.
https://zoom.us/signin

Skype is perhaps the most familiar video calling tool, and the one that your relatives may have used before. Once you have installed the software and set up a profile it is easy to call for a chat your mobile or desktop. https://www.skype.com/en/

It is important to recognise that not all older people will have access to the tech needed for video calls, but that there are plenty of ways that we can still reach out to them. If your loved ones happen to be nearby have you considered dropping by and having a chat through the window? We would only recommend doing this if you are sure that it won’t cause them any distress. You could write a letter, or make a photo album that you know they will love and drop it off on the doorstep. We like the idea of delivering a jigsaw on the and then calling each day to ask about its progress.

Whilst we understand that a telephone call might not be quite the same as a video one, it is important to stay in touch. In our experience, frequent phone calls just to check up on a loved one will help them know that you are thinking of them, and reduce feelings of isolation. Helpd recommend keeping staying in touch as simple as possible with your loved ones, it should be a time to look forward to rather than a stressful one.

Many of team Helpd have our own loved ones in self-isolation during this pandemic, and we will be keeping in touch to let you know of any other ways we have found to include them in our day to day lives.

We also want to let you know that we are available for help & support. We can listen to your concerns & try our best to assist your loved ones, especially if they are vulnerable. Helpd provide live in carers for support & companionship who can assist your loved ones in isolation. Call us now on 0118 449 2373