Instagram: Tool for Connecting Seniors with Families

Senior caregivers often have the challenge of updating family members on the senior's activities or, they may be working with seniors who have very busy adult children and may need efficient ways to keep updated on care services.  Technology provides new ways to connect caregivers and seniors with family members.

Instagram brings an easy-to-use photo album to everyone's finger tips and can assist caregivers in communicating.

A picture is worth a thousand words and caregivers can share those pictures with just a few clicks on their smartphones using the application Instagram.  People use their smartphones to take pictures and want to share them in real time - without having to wait to connect their device to a computer and upload it.  Instagram allows this to happen and creates a feed of photos that have been uploaded for every user.  For caregivers, Instagram provides the opportunity to document their time with their senior clients.  

Four Uses of Instagram for Senior Caregivers:

  1. Document Shared Hobbies or Activities with a Senior Client. Taking on a project such as learning how to knit can create a bond with your senior client and you can use Instagram when you finish your projects to showcase your work.  Also, if you go for a walk, visit a museum or just enjoy making a flower arrangement together, you can take a photo and share this with the senior's family members.  After a few months, you'll have a collection of photos to look through and see your own progress.  When family members come to visit, they can also view the senior's activities.
  2. Share Photos with a Senior Client's Adult Children. Your senior client may not be plugged into the technological world but if their adult children have smartphones, you can use Instagram to post photos for them to see.  In return, you can also share photos the children post to their own profiles with your senior client so that the parent can feel connected to their adult childrens' daily lives. Caregivers can even help senior clients exchange comments back and forth on their children's photos.                                                                                                                                                                   
  3. Edit Photo's without Photo Editing Software.  Add an extra touch to photos without needing to learn photo editing software.  Instagram offers various “filters” for photos.  All you have to do is take the picture then pick from different 
    colorations and frame options. It adds an extra flair to preserve a moment exactly as you want it to look.
               
  4. Document a Day in the Senior's Life.  Many people use instagram almost like a photo journal of their day. Caregivers are often under-appreciated because their work is not visible to many people, but Instagram provides an opportunity to document your day. Try taking a picture at the start of every hour for one day if you want to share more about what you do with someone in your life.

Instagram is available for iPhones and iPod Touch. The application also was recently introduced to Android model phones as well, so most smartphone users can take advantage of the quick photo sharing provided for free.

Senior caregivers can now have an instant photo album in their phone, all for free.

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