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Zoom 101 for Seniors While Quarantined

As quarantine protocols and social distancing practices remain in place, people all over the world now rely on virtual communications to stay connected to loved ones.

By Vanessa Jerusalimiec

Right now Zoom is one of the most popular online video conferencing platforms for everything from business meetings to doctor visits and celebrating birthdays with the grandkids.

Those who maintain social interactions throughout their lifetime can experience health benefits as well. A UC Berkeley study found that cognitive abilities declined 70% more slowly in individuals with frequent social connections compared to those who had little or no social interactions.

Clover Health’s Zoom 101 guide helps seniors navigate the world of Zoom. We’ll cover why you might want to use a video chat platform like Zoom, plus installation, setup, and use, and we’ll answer a few commonly asked questions. At Clover Health we know there are a lot of communication platforms to choose from, Zoom being one of many that could help you stay connected. Make sure to check back soon on our blog for tips and tricks on other platforms. 

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Why Use Zoom During COVID-19?

If you’ve never used a video chat app before, now’s a great time to start. Apps like Zoom can be useful in many situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the best reasons to give it a try is to stay connected with family and friends, making quarantine a bit easier.

Zoom Installation and Setup

You can find information about the Zoom app including installation and setup instructions at We have provided a summary of tips and information here to help you navigate the process.

To start using Zoom, you’ll need to download the Zoom program on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. There are a few ways to do this:

  • On your smartphone or tablet, download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.
  • On your computer, manually download Zoom by clicking this link. Click the “Download” button below Zoom Client for Meetings.
  • Join your first Zoom meeting and the program will automatically start downloading for you.

If you will be using Zoom regularly and would like to create a free Zoom account (an account is not required to join a Zoom meeting, only to host), click the “Sign up, it’s free” button in the upper right corner of the webpage. While using Zoom, you can adjust your audio and video settings on a desktop computer by signing into Zoom and select your profile picture and then Settings. Now you’re ready for your first meeting.

How to Join a Zoom Meeting

There are a few ways to join a Zoom meeting. The first way to join is simple:

  • Select the provided Zoom link.
  • When prompted with the "Open" pop-up, select "Open" and you will automatically be entered into the meeting.
  • Select "Join With Computer Audio" to turn on the microphone on your computer or device so the other people in the meeting can hear you.

You can control your audio and video settings from the bottom left corner of the display. Selecting "Mute" turns your microphone on and off, which is helpful if you’re in a noisy environment. The “Start Video” button turns on your camera so the other people in the meeting can see you.

Here’s another way to join a meeting sent to you by the host:

  • Open up Zoom through the desktop app or by going to
  • Select “Join a Meeting” in the upper left corner of the screen if you’d like to join a meeting without signing into a Zoom account. (Or, if you have a Zoom account, click “Sign In” to join a meeting from your account.)
  • Enter the meeting ID number sent to you by the host.
  • If Zoom asks for a password, check your Zoom invite for a 6-digit password.
  • Select if you’d like to join with both audio and video.

Zoom Privacy and Security

If you’re concerned about your privacy and security while using Zoom, the host (the person who creates the meeting) has many options for adjusting the pre-meeting settings to make your experience more private and secure. These settings include:

  • Zoom waiting rooms, a feature that allows the host to select who can attend Zoom meetings
  • Password settings at the individual or meeting level to restrict access
  • Only allowing authenticated users to join a meeting by ensuring that their email address is on an approved list

It’s also possible to disable private chat, control screen sharing, control recording, and encrypt a video session’s content for added protection. If you have security concerns, reach out to the host of the meeting ahead of time to make sure they have taken security precautions.

If you have additional questions about using Zoom, you can get help on the support page of the Zoom website, attend a live training webinar, or contact technical support.

Best Practices for Using Video Apps Such As Zoom

  • Make sure your internet speed is adequate for quality video.
  • Sit in a quiet and well-lit place.
  • Be aware of what is going on behind you during a call.
  • Position your camera at eye level.
  • Reduce background noise by selecting “Mute” in the bottom left corner of your screen when you’re not talking.

Zoom FAQ

Still have questions about Zoom?

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that seniors have about using Zoom.

Does Zoom have a time limit?

With a free basic account, the time limit for group meetings is 40 minutes. If the host upgrades to a pro account for $14.99, the meeting time limit is 24 hours.

Does Zoom cost money?

It is free to use Zoom’s basic services. With this type of account you can host an unlimited number of meetings each with up to 100 people participating. A basic account is all that most seniors need to stay connected and attend meetings hosted by other people and providers. However, Zoom offers plans for groups and businesses, which cost from $14.99 to $19.99 per month per host.

What devices does Zoom work on?

Zoom works on desktop computers, iPads and other types of tablets, and smartphones with internet capabilities. However, you can only be signed into your Zoom account on one device at a time.

Can others see my screen while I’m in a Zoom meeting?

Not unless you use the “share screen” feature. Screen sharing means that a host and an attendee can see the same screen at the same time by clicking the “Share screen” icon. When you share your screen, you’ll see a meeting control menu that you can drag around the screen.

Can Zoom meetings be recorded?

Yes, cloud recording and local recording are possible through Zoom. The default setting allows only the host of a video call to record a Zoom meeting; however, hosts can also give recording permissions to participants. There are shortcut buttons at the bottom of the meeting window to allow recording to start. Zoom recordings are saved either locally on your own personal computer, if you are the one who recorded the meeting, or on the Zoom cloud if you are a licensed user.

Can Zoom be used internationally?

Yes, Zoom has a global reach and allows participants to join from international locations. However, certain restricted countries and regions are unable to use Zoom for regulatory reasons.

We understand how important it is for you to be able to connect with your doctors, friends, and family during this time. That’s why we’ve put together this Zoom guide. However, if you have any additional questions about our virtual appointments or other telehealth benefits, contact us anytime. We’re here to help.


The information provided in this article is based on public information about Zoom provided by Zoom Video Communications and is provided here for educational purposes only. Nothing in this memo should be taken to imply an endorsement of this or any other product. Clover Health is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Zoom Video Communications, Zoomor any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.


Published on 11/24/20