A recent survey from the Pew Research Center showed that seniors over the age of 65 are rapidly increasing in their use of social media. This is contrary to the stereotype that elderly people want nothing to do with technology. Social media is fun for all ages, and people are never too old to learn. In fact, just over one-third of elderly adults use social media, and the reasons are very similar to other age groups.
Here are a few reasons why elderly adults should use social media:
Connect with Family.
Whether it’s through a computer, tablet, or smartphone, social media is an excellent way for elderly people to stay connected to friends and family. Many seniors are quite lonely, even if they have friends and senior care providers nearby. With social media, elderly adults can stay up to date on each family member and communicate with them directly. From watching a grandchild’s orchestra performance via video to offering up congratulations to a niece’s new promotion, aging men and women can be part of it all.
Boost Health and Wellness.
Getting out of the house can be difficult for many elderly adults, even with a senior care provider. Health challenges leave them less mobile and often unable to drive. They may rely on senior care providers to complete daily tasks like cooking and housekeeping. Depression and loneliness are serious mental health issues for seniors. However, studies show that seniors who use social media feel less lonely and depressed than seniors who aren’t.
Staying Social in Real Life.
Social media is embraced by businesses and organizations of all types. Elderly adults that are connected can take the opportunity to find out more about things to do and places to go. They can stay on top of local events, like community theater, volunteer efforts, and senior citizen center events. When they know what’s going on, they can work with their senior care provider to help them participate.
If family caregivers think their aging loved one is ready to connect, all they need to do is make sure they have a computer or tablet and an internet connection. Seniors won’t care much about the details on setting up a social media account, so family members or senior care providers can do that in advance. This includes doing the appropriate privacy settings and linking to the social media accounts of other family members, friends, local organizations, and businesses.
After some tutorials and training on how to use the social media platform, elderly adults can get started. If they are having trouble remembering all the steps, it’s easy to provide written instructions they can refer to.
It’s never too late for an elderly adult to start using social media if they have help from family members, friends, and senior care providers. It’s an excellent way for them to maintain social connections and maintain interest in the community.