Keeping tabs on loved ones through technology

Au chatting with her mother via video call, accompanied by her children Lim Jia Xuan, four, and one-year-old Lim Jia Hao.

THE movement control order (MCO) has got those staying away from older family members feeling anxious.

They are using technology to not only help the older generation cope with MCO, but also to keep tabs on them.

Some senior citizens have been going outdoors unnecessarily, spurring their children to find creative ways to keep them at home.

Consultant engineer Roger Yang, 33, had closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) placed inside and outside the family house to make sure his parents are safe as well as to keep tabs on deliveries.

“My parents are not tech-savvy, so I help order food for them.

“We also share the latest news on Covid-19 in our family chat group so that my parents are updated.

“I believe this helps to educate them on the importance of curbing the spread of Covid-19 by staying at home.

“As long as it helps to keep the family safe, I will continue sharing the latest information, ” he said.

Yang said his mother used to go to work on weekdays and go out with her sisters on weekends, but when MCO was enforced, her lifestyle was affected.

“Initially, my mother still wanted to go over to my brother’s place to take care of her grandchildren but I had to remind her that it is not allowed.

“I know that she wants to go out but we are worried about her safety, ” he added.

Some use technology to bridge the gap with their parents as they are not allowed to go back to their hometown.

Unit trust consultant Miki Au, 31, uses various digital platforms to keep in touch with her mother and nephew who live in Menglembu, Ipoh in Perak.

“With the MCO in place, my mother only goes out for groceries. To keep her company, I call her twice a day via Facebook messenger or WeChat video.

“This way she can also see her grandchildren who are staying with us. Sometimes, she would take pictures of her meals and share them too, ” said Au.

She said mobile devices helped bring parents and children who were staying away from each other closer.

“My mother also learned how to order delivery online using an app, ” she said.

Writer Nora James, 42, would also check on her mother every

day by calling up using the video function on the phone.

“My mother is very active, self-sufficient and lives alone in Penang. She feels claustrophobic staying at home during the MCO and misses her gym and yoga sessions.

“Fake news circulating on the Internet stresses her out and she will cross-check with me.

“I call her more often now and try to be there for her because that is what family is all about, ” she added.

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senior , parents , mco


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