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Contributor

Need advice about easy video messaging for my Mom.

Hello everyone, 

I’m looking for advice on how to help my 86 year old Mom stay connected. She Is used to seeing and feeding her extended family multiple times during the week. But for the last 2 weeks plus no one has or will go to her house. Her food is delivered and she talks to everyone on the phone everyday. She seems to be in okay spirits right now. But especially with holidays coming up I’m concerned that she is going to get depressed and feel very isolated. She has Comcast for her tv but does not have internet. She also does not have a cell phone or computer so she can’t video chat. And that is the problem. I am hoping that someone knows of a VERY EASY device we could get for her. Something she could set up herself. So that she could video Chat with her family. She also has hearing issues. 

 

Thank you so very much for any help or advice you could give me. 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

If you don't mind spending the money, the ipad with a cellular connection can do all of that.   You could have it shipped to her house.  They aren't hard to set up.  Or you could have it shipped to your house first, set it up for her, and then drop it off (no contact) if you are close, or ship it to her yourself.

 

She can load different communiation apps like Skype or Facetime.  I don't know anything about What's App, but it sounds the same.  

 

https://www.apple.com/ipad/cellular/

Gold Conversationalist

on the expensive side (for monthly cell fees) but this is definitely do-able. Possibly the only do-able.

 

And on the other hand, maybe it's not going to be so expensive. My wife and I have always used inexpensive cell plans (often prepaid) due to not using them much. I do have data on my own cell as I will use this when I am out shopping. But I am paying only $14 a month for a "2 GB" plan, of which I'm not certain how much or little that is for web usage. Higher usage plans are available.

 

We use Tello (www.tello.com) which uses the Sprint network.

 

If I recall correctly, you'll need the SIM card for the iPad, but Apple itself may provide a "universal" SIM (I think it's software, not a SIM card). Anyway, this approach is certainly do-able.

 

(see here for SIM info for iPads https://www.apple.com/ipad/cellular/  scroll down to "How cellular data works with your iPad.")

 

 


@ManicProgressive wrote:

If you don't mind spending the money, the ipad with a cellular connection can do all of that.   You could have it shipped to her house.  They aren't hard to set up.  Or you could have it shipped to your house first, set it up for her, and then drop it off (no contact) if you are close, or ship it to her yourself.

 

She can load different communiation apps like Skype or Facetime.  I don't know anything about What's App, but it sounds the same.  

 

https://www.apple.com/ipad/cellular/


 

Conversationalist

Just a few comments.

1) Apple equipment in general is more pricey.

2) Facetime is only available for Apple product only. It is not cross platform like Skype or Whatsapp.

3) If you are think ing about Sprint network, just make sure whatever you purchase will work after the Sprint/Tmobile merger.

4) Cellular signal inside building sometimes can be tricky. Make sure the network you choose will work at the location.

Conversationalist

I don't think you can find anything to do video chat without some sort of wifi or mobile data. The best bet I think is to get prepaid cell phone and use whatsapp. Just setup Whatsapp right on the phone desktop. When the phone is power on, the Whatsapp icon is right there. Pickup the incoming video chat  and initial a video chat is easy. Keep the phone power 24/7. Figure data use is about 3 mb per minute of video chat to come up with  how much data is required per month. Whatsapp can handle group video chat up to 4 people.

Contributor

Thank you I will run this by my sons. I was hoping for something about the size of an iPad. Since she has Comcast we could pay for her internet. But I believe that requires someone going into the house to hook up a modem.  😞

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