Monday, 25 January 2016

Mum and me talking on the iPad with my brother

This is a fantastic picture. Just look at it. It's so good because it appears that mum is completely bored with what my brother and I are talking about, causing her to fall asleep. What needs to be added though is that before we sat down to hold this FaceTime conversation mum and I went out to the park for a walk and to sit and watch the dogs. And it was just before lunchtime. Mum was tuckered out. And she tends to drop off to sleep all the time anyway, it's just the way her metabolism works these days.

But at least you can see roughly how these conversations work. Mum will sit in her big recliner chair and I will sit in the chair closest to the windows, right next to her. I'll then pick up the iPad and dial up my brother overseas and when he takes the call we'll sit for 30 minutes or so having a three-way conversation while I hold the device pointing at mum so he can see her.

I think iPads are great for older people like this. My brother asked me to buy the iPad a few years ago when mum and I were still living up in Queensland. I took mum down to Brisbane one day to the Chermside Apple Store and we got the device.

Mostly it will be me initiating these conversations. Before, in Queensland, sometimes I would arrive at mum's apartment during the day and she would be talking with her other son on the device. However since then mum has become unable to identify the true source of the ringtone of the iPad, and so she just lets it call out. The other problematic thing that happened - from mum's point of view - is that Apple asked me to implement a security code so that I can unlock the device before using it each time, and of course mum would not be able to remember such information.

So I'll call my brother and mum and I will sit down to have a chat. My brother has several dogs and cats, which is good for mum as she likes animals, and readily identifies with them. A cat will jump up on my brother's lap and mum will say, "Ooh, there's a cat!". Or a dog will wander into the camera's view and she'll go, "Oh look, there's a dog!" It's similar in the park. Mum loves watching the dogs run around. It's a leash-off park so owners of the animals can let the dogs run around and sniff everything, which dogs love to do. Mum will keep me there on the bench for as long as possible if the weather is not too hot or too cold. Yesterday we spent 50 minutes in the park.

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