It is common today for family members to live far apart - you might have a daughter who lives on the other side of Australia, or a grandson who lives in Europe. While distance can make regular communication more difficult, there are a number of affordable technology solutions available. These include email (electronic mail) , video conferencing (eg Skype), iPhones, or social media such as Facebook.
If you’re not familiar with technology, the jargon and range of options may seem overwhelming. Do not despair - there are new products available that are designed for novices. Read on for some ideas on where to start.
If you are already using these media, we’d love to hear your tips and experiences.
Email allows you to send a letter anywhere in the world…instantly. If you aren’t an email user but can access a computer, there are now email programs available that are specifically designed to be easy to use. Look for simple buttons and menus, and large text and pictures if you have vision problems.
Ask a friend or relative to help you set up an email account, or enroll in a computer course for beginners. Some libraries and community groups offer classes for people who wish to learn.
If you are receiving social support, personal care or respite care, our staff may be able to assist you with simple emails as part of their service. Please talk to your Care Coordinator or Program Manager if you are interested.
Talking on the phone can be less satisfying than a face-to-face conversation. If your friends or family live far away, you might like to try using a video chat program such as Skype (www.skype.com) which will enable you to see each other as you speak.
What will you need? Both of you will need to have a computer , an internet connection and a small Internet video camera. The Skype software is free to download from the internet to your computer.
If you are not sure how to get started, why not ask a family member who loves technology to help make it easy. Most stores that sell computers have assistants who can also provide advice to help get you set up.