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WhatsApp, Zoom … “We do not have the impression of being cut off from the world”, testify these confined but connected grannies

Make yourself useful to grandchildren deprived of school or reconnect despite the distance by taking advantage of digital tools: the elderly sometimes masters much better than we think.

“Hello? – Hello Manou? – Ah my little treasure!” Since the beginning of confinement, it has become a habit for Albert and Gaston, 8 and 10 years old: when the phone rings at around 8 p.m., it is grandmother who calls to tell a story. “In ancient times lived a king whose all the girls were beautiful …”murmurs the grandmother.

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Earlier in the afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., it's time to call via Nicole's WhatsApp, the other granny who comes to share her general knowledge. “What does the Maghreb mean?”, she asks the children. “The Maghreb is North Africa!” The exchange does not last more than ten minutes, but ten minutes that count a lot in Nicole's day. “It is true that in the morning, it gives me a goal because I know that at 2:30 p.m., I still mustn't seem ignorant about this or that subject”, she explains. “So, I work a little bit for half an hour, I'm going to look for things on the Internet … Then, I know that they will be there at 2:30 pm, so it makes me a daily meeting with them.”

It's cool, it's fast, it's young, it brings a little bit of life, it's true, in the confinement which is not always easy.Nicoleat franceinfo

At 79, Nicole lives alone in the south of France, alone and confined, but not isolated. “I'm very connected”, says the septuagenarian. “I use WhatsApp. I use Zoom, we do Zoom aperitifs with friends! You have to keep in touch anyway, I think.”

The digital dexterity of the elderly could surprise many people … but not Claire, who does training in social centers at a distance. Since confinement, 60% of his pupils are over 60 years old. “Digital tools are a gain in self-confidence found, she says, because we realize that we are able to do like everyone else, to say to ourselves 'well here, even at my age, I am able to learn more and to be as up-to-date as young people' . “

Among her pupils, Annette, 88, who lives alone in her Breton village, alone, but never very far from her tablet. “I have a lot of applications, and then I know how to manage … It's very direct actually”, she explains. My great-granddaughter, she does something, she takes photos, two minutes later, I have them. I'm on the phone right away. You don't seem to be cut off from the world. “

In full confinement, the elderly also know how to stay connected – Report by Alain Gastal

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