Simple Video Calling Devices for Elderly Seniors



Video chatting is a great way to stay connected and keep tabs on an elder parent when you can’t be there. But, that’s not always easy if your elder loved one is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology, and doesn’t own a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Fortunately, there are several unique new products on the market designed specifically for tech-challenged seniors that make video calling a snap. Here are three to consider.

If you’re interested in a device that requires no technology input from your parent, check out the ViewClix Smart Frame. This is a 15-inch digital picture frame with video calling capabilities designed specifically for seniors.

Ready to use right out of the box, this device lets family and friends make video calls and send photos (displayed as a slideshow) directly to your parent’s ViewClix Smart Frame anytime from their smartphone, tablet or computer. To do this, you simply download the free ViewClix app to your devices.

All photos sent and video calls made to your parent’s ViewClix are received automatically, requiring no input. But, it is worth noting that this is a receiving device only. Your parent cannot initiate video calls from his ViewClix.

This device is available at ViewClix.com or 800-304-4281 for $299 (Wi-Fi is required), or you can purchase their 4G Broadband model that works with T-Mobile if Wi-Fi is not available for $299, plus a $20 monthly broadband fee.

Another nifty product that offers simple video calling, and much more is the grandPad. This is an 8-inch touchscreen Android tablet designed for seniors, ages 75 and older. It comes with a stylus, charging stand and Verizon 4G LTE built-in so it works anywhere within the Verizon network – home Wi-Fi is not necessary.

This unique tablet provides a simplified menu of big colorful icons and large text to only essential features, giving your parent clutter-free, one-touch access to make and receive video calls and phone calls, send voice emails, view photos and videos, listen to personalized music, check the weather, play games and more. But, to simplify usage and avoid confusion, it does not offer Web browsing.

GrandPad also has a “Help” button that offers 24/7 phone/tablet remote assistance to help your parent with any facet of their tablet, and it provides damage and theft insurance so if your parent breaks or loses their tablet it will be replaced at no additional cost. Available at grandPad.net or call 800-704-9412, a grandPad leases for $66 per month, or $49/month if you pay one year in advance.


Echo Show
If you don’t think your parent would mind talking to a machine, the voice activated Amazon Echo Show is another senior-friendly device for video chatting (Wi-Fi is required).

Available at Amazon.com for $230, the Echo Show has a 7-inch color touchscreen that would let your parent make and receive video calls to those who have their own device, or who have the free Amazon Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet.

Once you set up his contacts, to make a call your parent would simply say, “Alexa, call my daughter.” And when a call comes in, she would ask Alexa to answer or ignore the call. There’s also a feature called “drop-in,” which could allow you and other preselected relatives or friends to video in to your parent’s device at any time without their input.

The Echo Show also offers a bevy of other features your dad might enjoy like voice-activated access to news, weather, his favorite music and more.

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