With more people than ever able to access the Internet, whether via computer or increasingly affordable tablets, it’s easy to stay social online and to connect with people around the world. This is great news for seniors who may have difficulty engaging in social activities outside the home. For many older adults, using social media is becoming a popular way to connect, stay social and engage.
- Helps Keep Families Closer: Many older adults wish they heard more often from their loved ones. Facebook is a great way to keep up with family and friends on a more frequent basis. It also helps to deepen relationships by stimulating more frequent conversations between the generations. Skype is a great tool for older adults, allowing online video conversations with loved ones near or far.
- Improved Feelings of Wellbeing: Older adults who live mostly isolated lives and far away from loved ones often experience depression. A study by Dr. Shelia Cotten, a sociologist and associate professor from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, revealed that Internet use was associated with a 30 percent decrease in depressive symptoms among older adults who used it regularly, while other studies have shown similarly impressive results.
- Social Photo and Video Sharing: Sharing memories is now easier than ever through social media. Pictures can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media sites. Grandparents can see photos of the grandchildren moments after they are taken, helping them to feel more a part of events they may not be able to attend.
- Community Belonging: Socializing as part of a community can be critical for homebound older adults. Social media provides the opportunity to have and be a friend, to congregate without leaving the house, and to never have to feel alone.
While it may take some training and getting used to, social media is a great way to help seniors stay socially engaged, especially with family and friends who live at a distance. Live Free Home Health Care’s caregivers can help introduce your loved one to social media as a means to stay active, as well as plan social outings, trips, and more. To learn more about our in-home care services and how we can help keep your loved one socially active, contact Live Free Home Health Care today.