How to stay in contact with friends and relatives

As the days run into weeks, self-isolation due to the Coronavirus will start to affect our mental health if we don’t stay connected with friends and relatives.

Consider setting something up sooner rather than later which will enable you to stay in touch. There are many ways of doing this.

All in one devices

If you do not already own a smartphone, laptop or tablet then an all-in-one device may be the cheapest way to set up a connection.

Companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google all have smart devices with screens for video calls:

  • Amazon’s Echo Show range are relatively simple to use and have a feature called ‘drop in’ which lets you start a call without the other person even having to answer. It also works with the Alexa app on smartphones and is compatible with Skype. The Amazon range is affordable with the 5 inch model retailing at around £50.
  • Facebook Portal – has a camera which pans around the room, following the person you’re speaking with. It also integrates its video calls with WhatsApp and Facebook messenger so enabling easy access from smartphone users. The Facebook Portal retails at an affordable £80 for the photo-frame model.
  • Google’s Nest Hub Max – is similar to Amazon’s ‘drop in’ but also functions as a security camera. Retails at £219

Consider a smartphone

Going down the smartphone route is another option and unlike an all-in-one device, a smartphone does not have to rely on a stable wi-fi connection. Apps such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can all do video calls and can all be easily set up on a smartphone. Apple Iphones also have Facetime for video calling.

A new smartphone, however, may be a costly option as even the mid-range ones are expensive. And if you decide to use a hand me down then be sure that it still receives security updates.

Whatever you choose…

Whichever option you go for whether it be an all-in-one device, a smartphone or even if you decide to stay with your good, old-fashioned landline please do try and speak to someone at least once a day – it can be a real morale booster, especially if you live by yourself.

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Melina - Assistant Editor

Hi I'm Melina, a mother of 3 teenage children and with a particular interest in all things health related. I run a busy household and smallholding alongside my work with Silversurfers, which currently includes dogs, fish, hens, ducks and pigs!

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