Grandparents Turn to Technology During COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders

The Sun-Times reports that some older adults are turning to technology, picking up smartphones and tablets to entertain young grandchildren with silly faces and piano lullabies over FaceTime. Other grandparents are asking their grandchildren to keep a journal, so that later they can catch up on all the lost moments. Some are trying out virtual socializing by joining church congregations with video-messaging programs.

Research has found that turning to socialization via technology like this can be effective at reducing loneliness; other studies show that online social participation can buffer the detrimental effect of depression. Any isolated older adult who has a smartphone or internet access can tap into personal connections to help them get through a difficult period.


Whitehust L. Grandparenting goes digital as coronavirus keeps older adults home. Chicago Sun-Times. March 31 2020.

Chopik W. The benefits of social technology use among older adults are mediated by Reduced LonelinessCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (2016). DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2016.0151

Ang S. Going online to stay connected: online social participation buffers the relationship between pain and depression. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (2019); Vol. 74(6): 1020–1031.

Article Source: Mather Institute