Elderly people in the Corona period

Sinstead of meeting children and grandchildren, neighbors and friends, loneliness and isolation now determine everyday life. The woman is 90 years old, widowed and lives alone in her big house. It can operate the TV and the washing machine, but the important technical product of everyday life is the cordless telephone. Children and grandchildren are called one after the other every day, the messages that may be left on the answering machine are precise and never exceed the 60-second recording time. The phone is taken on the way to the laundry room as well as to the bedroom. The lady has never used a computer or a cell phone in her life, she has no email address and certainly no WhatsApp. She prefers to write letters in handwriting that is crisp and even. Nothing has changed in the precision and clarity of your typeface.

In times of corona and distance, not only this woman misses personal contact. Older people are particularly at risk from the virus. Children and grandchildren should limit their visits, and elderly volunteers, such as the Maltese visiting service, stop making personal visits and call regularly instead. The Queen is now also using the corded telephone more often, the photo on the right was published on her official Instagram account “The Royal Family”.

If you don’t just want to hear your loved ones, but also want to see them, you can’t avoid a little more technology. If you are lucky, there is a middle-aged television set in the household. Not too old, not too young, in any case acquired before 2016. In that year Microsoft stopped supporting its video conferencing software Skype. Until then, there were several television sets with built-in cameras that allowed video chatting in the living room. Many people bought their TV set precisely for this reason in order to offer parents simple and reliable video communication. The protests against Microsoft were numerous, but were unsuccessful.

In the Apple world, you take Facetime

If you are looking for something similar today, take a look at the TV Cam HD for Skype from Logitec, which costs 230 euros, is plugged onto the top of the television, but is already old and brings a rather modest picture with a video resolution of 720p. A similar product from Philips with the simple designation PTA 317 is available as a residual item for less than 100 euros and only works with selected Philips TV receivers.

Another particularly easy way of video chatting is a tablet. Handling and operation are not particularly demanding, and if everyone in the family is traveling in an ecosystem, there is not even an additional one Software required: In the Apple world, take Facetime, which is ideal for both voice and video telephony. Facetime uses secure end-to-end encryption, so even Apple as a service provider can’t listen or watch. No data is transferred to third parties, and up to 32 people can have a video conference at the same time. The popular app Zoom has shown in recent weeks that data protection can become a problem with other popular video services. Until the scandal was uncovered by media reports at the end of March, the software passed detailed information on to users on Facebook, even if the video chatterers had no account there.


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