PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As we get older, family members move away, people pass away and it can get lonely for people who no longer have family around them on a daily basis.

This is especially the case for grandparents and older adults.

[WATCH: Staying connected with video chat]

Isolation can lead to depression especially in seniors. It's very important to check in on them and stay connected to them through phone calls.

Skype is even better, according to experts. Older adults who used email and social media platforms like FaceTime have the same rate of depression as those who don't, according to researchers at Oregon State.

But those who Skype and FaceTime have a lower probability of feeling depressed or lonely.

Lisa Sisco FaceTimes her mother regularly. Her mother lived in Prescott, away from most of the family and felt disconnected. Sisco also happens to be the executive director at Lifestream Senior Living Community and has seen first-hand how this type of interaction changes a seniors mood.

"Sometimes there is a little hesitation," she said. "This population that we serve right now sometimes are hesitant. Sometimes when they realize the simplicity, once they see their grandchild's face pop up on their computer, all of a sudden, they want to figure it out."

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Researchers say the more frequently seniors get together with loved ones, the lower the rates of depression even years later.

Just a phone call or email was not as effective, the study found.

Start your mornings with anchor Yetta Gibson weekdays from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on CBS 5 This Morning. Her passion is telling great stories, getting out and about to meet and talk to people in the community, and making what she calls "that comfortable connection" with her viewers.


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