May 11, 2015 by Dean Bellefeuille

Social media for seniors

Thanks to the Internet and the recent boom of social media use, people of all ages and backgrounds are now easily and instantly connected at the touch of a button, and seniors are no exception! In fact, more than half of all online seniors over age 65 are using Facebook, accounting for over 30% of all seniors. As we discussed in our last blog, staying social is crucial for the health and wellbeing of seniors, and social media provides a great platform to stave off isolation. Just a few of social media’s many benefits include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Are your elderly loved ones reaping the benefits of participating in social media? If not, why not introduce them to a fun new way to socialize by helping them set up a Facebook or Skype account? Or, if you live at a distance from your senior loved one in the Syracuse area, call on At Home Independent Living. Our caregiving services are as diverse as the seniors we care for, and are tailored to each individual’s needs, including assistance with improving socialization. We can also help with meals, housework, and laundry, so the senior in your life can relax and chat away on Facebook or Skype. Call us to learn more!