How Can Video Conferencing Improve the Social Life of Older People?


As we explained before, this is one of the sectors of telemedicine in the future, as the percentage of older people increases year after year in Europe and technology has become a tool key to being able to assist the doctor without having to move or to increase their degree of autonomy and security. But many times, it is not just a matter of health. Many elderly people feel alone, have little mobility or have no one to talk to because of social isolation. Thus, several initiatives have emerged in which technology has become an essential socialization tool.

In this regard, a group of scientists from the European Union started the GiraffPlus project. The robot GiraffPlus consists of a mobile device on wheels (the size of a person) that connects to the Internet and can be controlled remotely. The video conference system that integrates it, is equipped with a webcam, microphone and loudspeakers that allows the elder, at any time, to communicate with the people you want, whether family, friends or medical specialists. At the same time, relatives can also use the device to see that their relative is in good condition. This project is an example of practical application of devices that are already available in the market, such as iRobot, Beam or Double, which we commented on our blog a few months ago.

Another example is the CNA language school in Brazil, which has initiated a pilot program called the CNA Speaking Exchange, which involves connecting children and young people from this country who wish to learn English, with American grandparents living in a Chicago residence. The proposal consists of conversation sessions that are carried out through videoconference and in which both parties win. On the one hand, young people learn English and on the other hand, the elderly can chat and keep in touch with students.

Another similar project has started in Galicia. The Active Aging Program of the Diputación de Lugo, began last January and consists of videoconferencing between elderly people from different residences in Galicia. This initiative seeks to familiarize them with the use of new technologies and enhance social welfare and active aging.

As we can see, new technologies such as video conferencing no longer only serve to improve medical care but have gone a step further and also help improve communication, leisure and social life of people. Thus, nursing homes, day care centers for the elderly or schools, are some of the sectors that benefit from the advantages of video conferencing.

Cloud video conferencing services such as ezTalks Cloud Meeting are very easy to use and offer free personalized training so that all users can get the most out of the tool. In addition, ezTalks Cloud Meeting is available to any social entity, residence or institution, as it has a very low monthly fee based on a “pay-per-use” model and does not require the purchase of equipment or any type of investment. The good news is that it now has a free plan that enables you to have a video call with up to 100 people geographically, without any cost.

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