Technology helps family stay connected to 93-year-old grandfather

Saratoga County

SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As more people get vaccinated, some are waiting until they are fully protected from the coronavirus before having face-to-face connections with loved ones. A local man’s family is praising the power of technology for helping them get through the isolation of the past 12 months.

John Grimes, who always seems to have a smile on his face, lives at home in Schuylerville. His children are in South Carolina while his granddaughter, Amy Cox, is in Pennsylvania.

In a year where no one could see each other, John’s dementia progressed, too. “Talking on the phone with him, he would seem sad, very forgetful,” Amy said.

So last year, Amy got her 93-year-old grandfather an iPad. “It’s the greatest thing I think we’ve done for him during this pandemic,” Amy said.

But it was a learning process. “He cannot figure out a computer to save his life. We got him a cellphone once. He hated it,” she said.

Luckily, for John, he has a caretaker from Home Instead who visits every day.

“Every family has been impacted by this,” said Maureen Hopkins with Home Instead. “Technology has been very helpful, especially if you have a caregiver a little younger who can help navigate brand new technology.”

Companionship through the screen providing for those human connections. “One time, we were FaceTiming and showing him the house, and he was just so excited and didn’t want to hang up the phone,” Amy recalled.

Home Instead, which provides a variety of services for seniors at home, is now helping set up vaccine appointments as well as driving clients to the appointments. It’s only a matter of time until John, who can now use filters on his apps, sees everyone face-to-face.

“I like to do screenshots because I just like to see his smile,” Amy said. Amy said they plan to see John on Easter.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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