How to Video Chat: A Guide for Seniors

Two seniors smiling and waving at their laptop, video chatting
Why would a senior want to video chat? There are a variety of reasons, and the list seems to keep growing. As a result, learning how to video chat is something that you’ll want to check off your to-do list soon if you haven’t already done so. Fortunately, this is one skill that’s fairly easy to master, especially if you already use a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

How to Video Chat: A Guide for Seniors

Video chatting is incredibly useful. Once you begin using video chatting technology, you’ll find plenty of reasons to practice, so it’s certainly worth the effort that you’ll invest in learning how to video chat. Is it the prospect of dealing with another new technology that you find daunting? Video chatting generally builds on skills and tools that you probably already use. That makes it pleasantly accessible.

Discovering Uses for Video Chatting

In the past, if you wanted to connect with family or friends over long distances, you might have relied on letters or phone calls. Now, you can opt for video chats, which add an extra dimension to your conversations. With a good connection, you can see and hear the person or persons on the other end of the conversation. It’s not quite like being in the same room, but when you can’t manage actual facetime, it may be the next best thing.

Video chatting is a great way to expand your social life. It lets you connect with friends and family who are far away or simply not able to join you in person at the moment. You can even connect with friends online to watch a movie together from the comfort of your separate couches. Some organizations are also holding public meetings, lectures, or concerts over video chatting apps. Video chatting also has plenty of practical applications. It’s handy for making virtual appointments with doctors or other professionals who might not have in-person appointments available. As an added bonus, choosing to get comfortable with video chatting apps ensures that you’re ready to use these tools if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re required to do so.

Exploring Hardware for Video Chatting

Do you have a smartphone or tablet? If so, you already have the hardware needed for video chatting. A laptop is also an option. All three of these devices will work because they can connect to the internet and have a camera that can be aimed at the user while still allowing the user to watch the screen. What if you have a desktop computer? As MySeniorHealthPlan advises, the addition of a webcam will generally let you use a computer that doesn’t have a built-in camera to video chat. There’s no need for a fancy or expensive setup. Simply go with what’s comfortable for you.

Using Apps to Connect When Video Chatting

Once you’ve decided what device you’ll use to video chat, it’s time to choose the app that you want to use. You might also hear this called the application, software, or program. Whatever you call it, there are a number of possibilities. Here are two of the most popular:

  • FaceTime is only an option for Apple users. If anyone in your conversation is using Android or PC, it won’t work. However, if everyone is using an Apple product, it’s incredibly convenient. To use it, you’ll simply need to locate the FaceTime icon in your device’s app library. Then, tap it. When the app opens, select the contact who you want to video chat with to make the connection.
  • Zoom works with any type of tech. However, it requires a little more effort to set up. You’ll need to go to the Apple app store, the Google Play app store, or Zoom’s website to download the app if you plan to host any Zoom meetings. Once you’ve done so, you can follow the prompts to set up an account. It will walk you through the process. Then, you’ll be able to open the app and set up meetings. Choose participants from among your contacts and send out invitations to video chats at the time you select.

A video chat visit with a grandchild or a good friend may not be quite the same as the real thing, but time with a loved one is always precious. And at Kinship Pointe, we delight in seeing strong connections thrive.

Hoping to retire in Nebraska? Look no further than Kinship Pointe. We offer independent living and assisted living communities in four locations: Kearney NorthridgeMcCookSeward, and Wayne. At Kinship Pointe, our delightful staff works every day to help residents pursue their passions and live life to the fullest. To learn for yourself what makes Kinship Pointe so special, schedule a tour or contact us online.

Files under: Tech for Seniors