5 Tech Ways to Stay Connected with Grandparents
The pandemic has physically separated many grandparents from their families. A life in seemingly endless lockdown, away from loved ones, is not how they imagined spending their golden years. But that's a reality for so many of them.
My grandparents are in a similar boat. I live many miles away from them in Southern India, while they are up north. Even though travel restrictions have been lifted and I can go and meet them, I am afraid to do so, as older people are more vulnerable to Coronavirus.
Thankfully, technology has taken on a new cultural significance in these uncertain times — many easy-to-use tools are helping us stay connected with our loved ones. Here's how I am staying in touch with mine:
1. Send a Message Regularly: I don't miss an opportunity to do that, even if it means only sharing a meme or a viral joke with them. Both of my grandmothers are also fantastic cooks, so whenever I cook a delicacy, I ensure I click and share a picture with them. They respond almost immediately — showering their blessings on me. I miss them!
2. Have Frequent Video Calls: While I make it a point to speak to each of my grandparents on the phone, video calling is more effective in saving them from feeling isolated. We may not be sitting across from each other, but there's a face to look and smile at and talk to, which could mean a lot to them.
3. Celebrate Important Days as a Group: I also like to get the entire family online every once in a while. That could mean having an hour-long video chat with my parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and grandparents. We recently had a string of birthdays in the family, and we celebrated them all online with a cake-cutting ceremony.
4. Send Online Gifts, Whenever Possible: Flowers or small gifts, these tokens of love can go a long way in reminding your grandparents that you care for them and miss them deeply.
5. Play Housie Online: My maternal grandparents love playing this game, which is very similar to Bingo. It usually involves a person calling out numbers and players ticking off numbers on a ticket. It's pretty simple and a lot of fun to play, especially if you have a huge family!
I am lucky to have grandparents who are comfortable using communication tools to stay in touch. If yours aren't, don't worry. Just pick up the phone and give them a call — they would appreciate it.