Skype for Seniors Comes to American House

It can be hard when the kids and grandkids move away and you can’t see them as often as you’d like, right? Luckily, technology is making it easy to chat face-to-face with far-flung loved ones! If you haven’t heard about Skype, you’re not alone — but at American House, we’re out to change that, thanks to the help of Tony and David at 50 Plus Prime.

Skype is an easy online program for people to make video calls for FREE to anywhere in the world! It’s FREE to open a Skype account and FREE to make video and voice calls to anyone else on Skype (and FREE to use the Skype instant messaging and file sharing systems, too!). We think Skype is such a fantastic way to stay connected — especially for senior citizens — that we’re teaching some of our residents how to use Skype.


Devin Scillian, news anchor for WDIV Local 4 in metro Detroit, in January 2013 had a big part in helping some of our residents try their hand at making video calls on Skype. Devin, Tony, and David were able to show the residents just how easy to is to make video calls.

Residents at American House Troy Senior Living used the computers for a session on Skype for Seniors. They took turns setting up accounts on computers and Devin Scillian, who already has a Skype account, talked to the residents via Skype on their computers!

“It was great to hear some of the residents share their questions and connect with Devin Scillian,” explained Debbie Smith, Executive Director at American House Troy. “I’ve watched Devin anchor the news since he came to Detroit, so it was a treat for me as well!”


Before he worked with the American House residents, Devin Scillian talked excitedly about the project on Paul W. Smith’s program on WJR 760 AM. He said Skype seems to be tailor-made for senior citizens — and we have to agree.

“It’s a really cost-effective, easy way to connect with not just grandkids, great-grandkids and your children, but also other seniors and your old friends from all over the country — wherever they may be,” Devin Scillian said.

To listen to the podcast of the program, click here.

We’re thankful to Devin Scillian and 50 Plus Prime for Skyping with our residents and we are currently working on setting up more opportunities for all our residents to learn how to Skype.


If you’d like to learn how to use Skype, here are the basics:

  • All you need to be able to Skype is a computer — OR Smartphone, tablet or television — with a microphone and speakers, and a webcam for video chats (If you’re using a computer that doesn’t have a webcam already installed, you can purchase one separately and just plug it into the computer.).
  • Once you’re online, go to and register for a FREE account. You’ll need to give your name (and other information) so your friends and family can look you up. It’s a fairly quick and easy process and then you’ll be set to make Skype calls.
  • Once you’re logged into your account, use the search function under “Add a contact” to find friends and family with Skype accounts and add them to your contacts list.
  • If you don’t see the person you’re searching for, give them a call on the phone and help them set up their own FREE Skype account, too!
  • Once you’ve created a list of contacts that are on Skype, check to make sure the person you want to Skype is online — there will be a symbol next to their name to let you know if they’re available.
  • Click on their name, then click “video call” and start Skyping!

To find out more about what other fun activities we’re offering for our residents at American House, call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit