Reducing social isolation during Covid.

July 5, 2020

For most people, caring for an elderly loved one has mostly meant either paying for an expensive aged care facility or pressuring mom or dad to wear those ineffective "I've fallen and I can't get up" pendants. But in light of the Coronavirus epidemic, the need for better solutions could not be more pressing, as highlighted by this recent New York Times article. As more and more devastating headlines reveal the unfortunate state of our nation's aged care facilities and social distancing guidelines continue to prevent most people from visiting their elderly relatives, companies have stepped up to offer new products to help fill in the gaps.

One of the most pressing concerns family members and doctors have is around the increased social isolation our elderly loved ones have encountered during the pandemic. Davis Park, a vice president with Front Porch, a nonprofit that manages senior living communities has seen this first hand. And in fact, social isolation has always been a particularly insidious problem among the elderly community.

“Social isolation is probably one of the biggest killers of older adults, so while it’s critical that they shelter in place to stay safe, we need to provide tools to help them stay connected”

As more people have adopted video chat in their work-from-home setups, many families have also employed it to stay connected with their loved ones. These products span from the latest and greatest tablets from big tech companies to specialized products for older adults. We've designed Kinoko Chat to be valuable for this purpose, and we hope some families will find it helpful. But what's important is finding a solution that works for your loved one and situation. And though video chat is far simpler than the other monitoring products out there collecting data like vital signs, it's often one of the most effective ways to ensure the well-being of our family members. Even a few minutes a day can help reduce social isolation and loneliness.