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Save Money While Staying Connected with Seniors

The Extra Daughter, LLC does not endorse any of the products and services listed in this article, nor do we receive any monetary compensation for their inclusion here.


Staying connected is essential to our physical and emotional health. According to a study, loneliness increases the chances of an earlier death. When loved ones live in other locations, it can be challenging to maintain consistent communication, especially with less tech-savvy members of the family. Fortunately, there are many affordable and easy-to-navigate options so loved ones can stay in touch with older relatives.


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Internet Plans


The internet is a vital resource for staying connected with everyone in your family. Older members require an internet connection to keep in touch with friends and family who do not live nearby. There are several discounts and less expensive plans available for seniors to stay connected without high costs.


● Provider discounts for seniors: Many internet providers offer low-cost plans specifically designed for more senior members of the family. Some of these programs include a free computer and lessons on how to use the technology.

● Spectrum: In certain areas, Spectrum Internet Assist provides low-cost internet for people who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits.

EveryoneOn: This organization works with providers to offer low-cost monthly plans without contracts.

● Government internet programs: There are federal programs that lower the price of internet or phone services.


Smartphone


A smartphone is an excellent way to stay connected with your loved ones. The Jitterbug phone features a speaker with high volume, oversized buttons, and a bright screen with large text.


There are many ways to secure cell phone service without spending a ton of cash. Individuals on food stamps, Medicaid, or other government programs may qualify for subsidized phone plans through the Lifeline program. Other money-saving options include:


● Plans for the mobile-savvy: Boost and T-Mobile provide unlimited talk and text options at a low monthly cost.

● Flexible plans: US Mobile and Ting offer build-your-own plans with a set monthly fee based on tier levels. You pay only for the service level, minutes, and data you use.

● Pay-as-you-go: T-Mobile and AT&T have programs that provide basic plans that allow people to use and pay for phones as they choose, giving you peace of mind knowing they can call for assistance when necessary.

● Emergency cellphone plans: GreatCall has a phone plan designed explicitly with older users in mind. You can add health services to these prepaid plans, such as the ability to speak with a nurse, an emergency button or a personal operator to make calls or appointments.


Video Chat


You can purchase senior-friendly technology so you can video chat often. To save money, look for a cashback offer, online discount, or coupon code. Wait to buy during times of the year when retailers hold big sales. These devices can help keep you consistently communicating:


● Tablet: You can pick up a tablet for cheap, giving your loved ones the ability to email, read e-books, play games, and video chat with the grandkids.

● Laptop: This provides more features than a tablet, including a larger screen.

● Webcam: If your family member has a desktop computer, you can purchase an inexpensive webcam for a practical, low-cost option.


Free Options


Consider these no-cost options for communicating with friends and family.


● FaceTime: These video calls are simple ways to see and hear your family members on their iPads or iPhones.

● Skype: You can connect through video or messaging with this free service.

● Facebook: Help your older friends and family set up an account. Once they know the basics, they can view and share photos and messages with you daily.

● Email: You can open a free account with Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. Then you can easily communicate back and forth with your family members at no cost.


Today's tech provides many senior-friendly ways to stay connected without breaking the bank. With so many choices, you can find the best method to keep in touch with your loved ones.


Bob Shannon, Guest Blogger

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