GrandPad, creator of the purpose-built tablet for seniors, is urging family caregivers to take steps to prevent loneliness and isolation for older loved ones in the coming weeks, as families adjust to virtual holidays and continued COVID-19 visiting restrictions.
Dr. Kerry Burnight, chief gerontologist at GrandPad recommends the following activities to help caregivers keep older loved ones engaged as they prepare for holiday gatherings and gift giving.
Connect daily. Take time each day to video chat or call a loved one. To make this easier, GrandPad includes an “auto-answer” feature that allows video calls to ring directly through to the user, without requiring them to open or pick up the device.
Include the whole family. Encourage family members to take turns calling loved ones who are living alone and have restricted visiting access and use multi-party video features like Zoom to schedule a call with the whole family. GrandPad is currently rolling out Zoom on a limited basis, with plans to expand access in 2021.
Share memories. Use the family photo and video stream feature in GrandPad to share pictures and videos and keep loved on up to date on family events. This is also an ideal way to share favorite family photos of past holidays.
Find joy. Activities like listening to music, playing games, and catching up on current events or topics of interest can bring joy to our everyday lives. GrandPad features a wide variety of engaging options that come built in at no extra cost and without having to install additional apps.
“People of all ages and abilities can use technology to stay connected and to engage with their community and activities that bring them joy. In fact, the average age of our GrandPad users is 84 and our oldest user is 116 years old,” said Burnight. “GrandPad has engineered out all the frustrations that seniors and people with cognitive impairments often experience with technology and created a device that is fun and easy to use.”
According to Burnight, the following features make GrandPad a favorite technology gift for older adults and people who have difficulty using traditional mobile devices:
Ready to use, right out of the box — no setup required.
Enables pre-loaded “trusted circle” family contacts, photos, and apps
Built-in LTE (no home WiFi needed)
7x24 always-on, live, personal tech support
Closed network for greater security (no one outside the “trusted circle” can contact a GrandPad user)
Secure internet browsing
Video and voice calling
Texting and emailing
Family photo and video sharing
Curated entertainment content, music, and brain games
Streaming radio stations
Ergonomic design and enhanced speakers and camera
Transportation by Lyft app
24-hour personal support
NOTE: Families considering a technology purchase, such as GrandPad, are advised to place orders by December 1 to ensure delivery by Christmas without incurring expedited shipping costs.