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Wisdom from our elders

Scattered family wants to add Grandpa to their routine Zoom meetings

Dear Grandpad:

Dear GrandPad: My dad, 82, lives in a retirement apartment and enjoys his social life there. What he misses out on is other types of entertainment and connection. Our family is scattered, which includes his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Because of this, we have weekly family Zoom calls and would like to include Dad in them. How much of a learning curve is it for someone who has never used computers to use Zoom on this tablet? – GA

Dear PS:

Dear GA: It’s wonderful that you want to involve your dad in this regular family virtual get-together and yes, a GrandPad can make that happen!  The tablet will be a boon to him in so many other ways, but with Zoom being on your mind we’ll address that first.

The Zoom experience is customized on GrandPad to be seamless for people who aren’t used to computers or those who have health challenges that make using one difficult or unwise.

To join a Zoom meeting, your dad would simply tap the email app which like all apps on GrandPad, is large and uniquely colored. He’d then find the email with the Zoom meeting invitation and tap “Read Message.” From there, he’d tap “Join Meeting” then confirm entry and he’s in! All text on GrandPad is large, clear, and well lit. Once in, he can tap the right arrow to see more participants in the grid view or tap the left arrow to return to the active speaker in full screen.

When you show him how to do this, explain the chat feature, too. As you know, this feature allows participants to type messages during meetings. If your dad has any hearing impairment or even some memory issues, chat is extremely helpful because he could read the message as it's being typed and respond verbally as usual. That would help him read and confirm important details being communicated over the call.

As with so much on GrandPad, there are choices depending on preferences, so there is a second way to enter a Zoom meeting. For that option, after obtaining the meeting ID number, he’d just tap the Zoom Video Call app and enter the meeting number using the large, well-lit keypad. He’d then tap "Join Video Call."

There’s so much more that your dad would enjoy about his GrandPad including memory preserving games, as well as fun stuff like poker and slots. If the family admin adds his close friends to his call list, he can connect with them as well as family through video chats – again, just by touching a button below their picture.

He’s sure to love seeing photos of grandkids and great-grandkids, and even the newly snapped family photos that can be shared via the Facebook integration. There are radio stations, historic articles, and lots of music choices, too.

Your dad may have a satisfying social life in his retirement community but nearly everyone likes some time for personal enjoyment. We think that he’d love the tablet from the first Zoom call onward.

Live Grand is a weekly column brought to you by GrandPad — the simplest, safest tablet-based solution that helps reconnect families.

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