The Best Family Messenger for Older Adults

Getting used to online messaging can be a challenge for elderly people. While most older adults are beginning to accept this as the mainstream style of communication, they still have needs and preferences that might differ from a younger audience. In this article, we’ll tell you about the best family messengers and how to choose a messenger for family meetups during the lockdown and beyond.

Why Use a Messenger

Any cell phone comes with a built-in app for exchanging text messages that’s independent of Internet connection. This may sound appealing to some elderly people as such software is usually super simple and time-tested. However, there are downsides to it.

First of all, using your mobile network for messaging is typically more expensive than relying on the web. The exact amount of money will depend on the provider.

The second disadvantage is related to the above fact. Conventional messages are limited in length, which is typically a stringent restriction.

This said web apps are a way more powerful self-expression tool. Most offer voice and/or video chats and even group calls along with traditional texting, too. This can be a plus for people with reduced hand/finger mobility and adds diversity.

What to Look For

The perfect app for elderly people who want to stay in touch with their dearest and nearest should have a highly intuitive user interface. It shouldn’t be too complicated with too many tweaks readily accessible. Rather, choose a tool with vibrant graphics and clear icons.

The application should run well on both PCs/tablets and phones to eliminate the need for multiple messengers. Easy synching is essential.

Choose a messenger that’s popular with your family as well as your parents’ friends. Finally, don’t forget about data security. Encrypted conversations are always a plus as people in any age group can share sensitive information depending on the situation.

The Best Older Adult Chat App: WhatsApp

With over 2,000 million active users per month, WhatsApp has the largest audience among messaging apps nowadays. Launched back in 2009, it’s also one of the pioneers in the area.

Originally meant for phones, WhatsApp works on pretty much any platform, including the not-so-common Blackberry and many more. It also has a desktop version for convenience.

Users sing up using their cell phone numbers. This is free, and so is the first year of use, after which a fairly moderate fee is charged for unlimited messaging. Apart from traditional testing, WhatsApp provides for audio and video calls and enables you to share media such as pictures and sound files. Your parents can use it to share their location, too. Group messaging is provided.
WhatsApp is a breeze to navigate and doesn’t include ads.

Bottomline

WhatsApp is an easy-to-use solution that’ll cover most older adults’ needs for free. It’s easy to download, setup, and synch, and offers a lot of communications modes. Being the most popular messaging, it makes a powerful yet simple tool for family chatting.