I am 75 years old. Six months ago, I thought that “zoom” was a word that little boys and girls used when they were playing with toy cars. However, since the COVID-19 lockdown began, the word has taken on quite a different meaning when, like thousands of others, I turned to Zoom, an online video communications tool to stay in touch with others. There are many other such tools, but Zoom is the one I am most familiar with and it is used by many organizations and individuals.
I have participated in Zoom meetings for work, with book club members, with friends, and to continue my involvement with various organizations to which I belong. I don’t know how to set up a Zoom meeting, but I have gotten pretty good at being a participant.
At first, I was anxious. I didn’t know if the link would work, if I had to download the app, which devices would work (I have a smartphone and a laptop). I didn’t know how to mute or unmute to take part in the discussion; how to turn off the video if I was having an awful hair day (that happened a lot). I didn’t know how the “raise hand” function worked. I got frustrated and confused when everyone talked at once. I didn’t know what “chat” was for, and when I did figure that out got very irritated with participants who kept chatting and distracting me from the presenter. I read disturbing stories about hackers, privacy concerns and unwanted guests interrupting meetings. But now that I’ve become more familiar with Zoom, I realize my worries were unfounded; Zoom is an effective way to stay personally and professionally connected.
During these challenging times, Osteoporosis Canada has increasingly turned to virtual tools like teleconferencing, videoconferencing and other Internet-based applications. For instance, support groups, educational sessions and other events are now being offered virtually, often via Zoom. Are you interested in participating but nervous about how to get started? Read on for some helpful hints, based on my experience, that may help you feel less anxious about accepting the next invitation to an Osteoporosis Canada Zoom event.
There are many reasons to learn to feel comfortable with Zoom: connection with family and friends, education, entertainment. One of the most important is to take care of your health. There is no need to wait until the pandemic is over; exercise programs, private physiotherapy sessions, counselling sessions for mental health and appointments with your healthcare provider(s) can all be offered through such platforms as Zoom.
For tips on how to have a successful virtual healthcare appointment, click here.
This is a very basic introduction to using Zoom. The Internet has many well-illustrated websites to help you. Google Zoom for Seniors, Help with Zoom, or just Zoom as their website has tutorials. Good luck and have fun. You know the saying – it’s never too late to teach an old dog (like me) new tricks.
Senior Manager, National Education