10 Ways Seniors Can Use Skype

August 27, 2009
Whether you're bedridden or you have a disability that makes it difficult to get around, staying in your home for health purposes doesn't necessarily mean that you're confined within the walls of your house. Skype, a software that "enables the world's conversations," provides a platform for millions of individuals and businesses to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. The ways people are using Skype to keep in touch with the people who matter most are seemingly endless and we've come up with just a few of the many ways you can use Skype too!
  1. Log in for a daily conversation about current events with a friend - Skype allows you have have face-to-face interaction through your computer screens. Simply sit down with your favorite newspaper or magazine and get ready to chat!
  2. Tell your grandchild a bedtime story - Seniors can instruct their grandchildren to have an adult set up a laptop on their bed at night right before their bedtime so they can have a meaningful exchange with a long-distance grandparent.
  3. Play cards with family or friends who live far away - Grab a deck of cards, set up your computer and select your favorite game to play!
  4. Play "show and tell" with a grandchild in another state - Maybe they painted a masterpiece in art class or they purchased the toy of their dreams with their weekly allowance; whatever the case may be, Skype can allow grandparents to share in these special "show and tell" moments.
  5. Participate in important meetings or events by having a friend take a laptop - Can't make it to the town hall meeting? With the permission of the meeting leaders, have a friend set up a laptop so you can watch and participate as though you were present.
  6. Eat dinner or enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend - Prepare your favorite dish or pour yourself a cup of joe and nestle up by the computer to catch up with a friend on the other end.
  7. Have a fun sing-along with a friend or grandchild - Skype can make joining to sing an old favorite or teach a new tune easy and fun.
  8. Talk to a family member while viewing new family photos online together - Log on to Facebook, Flickr or another photo hosting Web site with a family member or friend to look thorugh virtual photo albums together.
  9. Lead a friend in a relaxing set of stretches and yoga poses at the end of a long day - The buddy system is a great way to stick to an exercise routine. Skype can allow you to lead a friend in a series of relaxing stretches and poses to keep you on track!
  10. Enjoy a messy finger painting session with a friend and share your artwork with each other afterward - Grab some paints and paper and log onto the computer, then Skype can allow you to collaborate as you create and share your works of art.
This is just the tip of the ice berg-there are so many fun and interesting ways to use this neat software. Now, all you need is a Skype account, an Internet connection and a Web cam, and you're all set! Can you think of other ways to use Skype?  Have you tried Skype? Share your stories with us!