Stay connected with elderly loved ones during COVID-19

May 13, 2020Articles

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elderly video chatStaying connected with loved ones is more important and challenging than ever. With the introduction of COVID-19, we’ve been asked to keep our distance from each other and, especially, from the most vulnerable among us – the elderly and those with underlying conditions.  

However, for many, skipping that weekly visit with a grandparent or parent is unimaginable, especially now when social isolation is so difficult for our loved ones. Zoom meetings, FaceTime, or Skyping with friends or co-workers are great, but how can you do something similar with an older person who is uncertain about the technology? 

There are several pieces of technology that may fill the bill when it comes to a device that will help you keep in touch without causing them undue stress.  

Amazon Echo Show 

With the Amazon Echo Show you can make video calls to friends and family who have Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. You can also make voice calls, send messages, or instantly connect to other devices in your home to make a quick announcement or check in on the kids. With Skype calling you can stay in touch with friends and family in over 150 countries.  

One of the most desirable features of this device for seniors might be the ability to make a voice-activated call. The device does involve some set up that might require assistance for the tech-challenged senior, but once it’s up and running, the operation is fairly straightforward and simple for users. Learn more.  

The Amazon Echo Show is also available at Nuvera TechTrends in New Ulm.  


Through the GrandPad app and web portal, you can connect to your loved one’s private family network via iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or desktop computer. Family members can upload photos and adjust settings for the GrandPad user. There is minimal set up to get your elderly loved one started on this device. It includes web browsing, games, music streaming and more.  

There is a monthly charge for the GrandPad service. Learn more 

Facebook Portal 

The appeal of Facebook Portal may be that seniors can video call family and friends on their smartphones and tablets, even if they don’t have Portal. Video calls can be made through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which is available to anyone who has the Facebook app. There are several different Facebook Portal devices available, in varying sizes and with varying features. Alexa is built in to make voice commands easy.  

Learn more about Facebook Portal.  

These are just a few of the video calling choices available today and with all these options, some set-up is required. By considering the level of tech ability that your loved one may have and doing a little research, you can determine the best way to establish a video connection with your elderly family member in short order.  

If you need assistance setting up any device, whether purchased at Nuvera or not, our TechTrends team is ready to support you through our Device Support Plan. Call 507-233-2000 for more details and pricing.