Social Media and the Internet for the Elderly

The use of social media can be very beneficial to senior citizens who understand how to use it. In today’s busy world, it’s the best and easiest way to stay connected to loved ones and long lost friends. Although learning something new can often be challenging, some benefits of social media use in seniors include improved cognitive abilities, decreased feelings of loneliness, education, and the obvious, a source of entertainment. Here are just a few social media benefits for the elderly we have discovered:

  • Improved Cognitive Abilities

  • Learning a new skill can be challenging intellectually, so it’s no surprise that social media and the internet is actually improving the health of seniors. Research shows the Internet has become an important way to exercise the minds of seniors.

  • Keeping in Touch

  • Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch, especially for seniors who keep in touch with kids, grandkids, and extended family. What better way to connect with younger generations than to communicate with them online as they are used to doing these days?

  • Seniors are also using it to find college roommates, old neighborhood friends, and elementary school crushes.

  • It allows them to view videos, read blog posts, share pictures, and have conversations with people they thought they’d never see again.

  • Decreased Loneliness

  • Although it’s not your traditional use of communication, such as stopping by someone’s house to say hi or giving them a phone call, the use of social media is actually working to decrease the feeling of loneliness that often plagues people in their older age.

  • They’re able to share their thoughts and experiences online, as well as read about what other people are thinking and experiencing as well. This helps them to feel more connected to the outside world, even when they may often be stuck inside alone. It is very important for the elderly to have social interaction, and social media is an easy way for them to interact with others without having to go anywhere.

  • Research

  • Seniors use social media tools to learn more about topics that interest them. In some cases, it can lead them to cultivate hobbies and business ideas, and in other cases, such as with all the inaccurate health information available, it can be a confusing mix of resources.

  • Seniors are also utilizing the internet to learn about new products, work on their genealogy, and learn something new.

  • Entertainment

  • As most of us would agree, social media use is entertaining. Seniors have discovered that Skyping is a great way to bring relatives from faraway destinations right into their living rooms. Twitter has become popular for keying into specific news sections they want to follow. They can play games, shop, and catch up on reading all of the latest news articles while they browse online.

  • They can be entertained by the endless selfies their grandchildren are likely posting, and social media is a good way for elderly to keep an eye on what their family members are up to.

  • Education

  • Social media, and the internet in general, is an endless source of education for seniors. They are using it to look information up online, such as where to find senior housing or how to cope with aging and the changes it causes both directly and indirectly. They are keeping up with news and politics, visiting government sites, and researching healthcare topics.

  • They’re also finding jobs and volunteer opportunities online, as well as articles that are written just for them – like this one! Some elderly people are even starting their own businesses online. With social media and the elderly – the possibilities are endless!

  • Health Information and networking

  • Seniors are using the internet and social media for health information and to connect with others experiencing the same challenges. They have recognized that others in their stations in life are also online and have used it to start discussion groups for life and health issues pertinent to them. From dementia to depression to diabetes — all can give and receive support in the comfort and convenience of their home.

  • Doctors and other professionals have keyed into this demographic and set up social media pages to take advantage of this customer and patient outlet. Groups for the elderly experiencing specific ailments as well as groups directed at their caregivers are all set up for those elderly who are increasingly availing themselves of this supportive network.

Source: https://www.seniorcaring.com/resources/social-media-and-the-elderly

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/anita-kamiel-rn-mps/older-people-social-media_b_9191178.html

http://seniornet.org/blog/11-reasons-why-seniors-should-care-about-social-media/

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