Seniors FaceTime for the First Time

Wire the Wise bonds young and old through technology

Katelyn Gillum
May 8, 2016 · 3 min read
Wire the Wise event at the Chelsea Recreation Center

On Sunday afternoons at the 14 Street Y, you will likely find 20- somethings teaching 80-somethings how to take the perfect selfie over bagels and coffee. Wire the Wise is an intergenerational meetup that pairs senior adults with young professionals for one-on-one technology assistance. The goal of these meetups is to not only teach technology, but also for both generations to walk away a little more wiser in the process.

Less than 35 percent of Americans over the age of 75 are using the internet and e-mail, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. By contrast, nearly 90 percent of younger adults are digitally connected. Getting more seniors comfortable with technology not only protects their health and well-being, but also improves their quality of life.

For many seniors who own iPhones, they are unaware that there is a built-in application that allows them to connect with loved ones with the click of a button.

To teach a senior in your life how to FaceTime, follow these steps:

Illustration by Tesla Springs
  1. Show your senior how to locate the green phone icon, which will likely be in different places on each phone. In the picture below, the phone icon is located at the bottom left of the home screen:
Illustration by Tesla Springs

2. Once your senior is able to easily locate the phone icon, have them locate the individual they would like to FaceTime:

Illustration by Tesla Springs

3. After the person your senior would like to FaceTime has been located, ask them to click on the individual’s name. The following screen will appear — show the senior all of the different icons and ways that they can connect to that person, such as texting, calling, etc. Be patient — make sure they are comfortable repeating the previous steps and that they know the video icon is what they should click for using FaceTime:

Illustration by Tesla Springs

4. Once they are confident and understand the steps mentioned above, they can now FaceTime the contact they have chosen. The screen should look like this:

Illustration by Tesla Springs

Make sure your senior understands the sound that the device makes when attempting to FaceTime another person. Additionally, it is also important for your senior to know that, unless scheduled with the person they are trying to contact, it is possible that the other person might not answer. Once your senior has connected to the person they wish to contact, sit back and watch the magic unfold!

Illustration by Tesla Springs

*This project was developed by using Hearken, an audience-driven platform enabling journalists to partner with the public to create relevant and high performing stories.

Wise Words

Katelyn Gillum

Written by

Social Journalism. Impact. And pizza. www.wirethewise.org

Wise Words

What I’ve learned from building an intergenerational community (so far)

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