It’s easy for seniors to feel lost in today’s technological world. With social media constantly evolving, it can be difficult to stay on top of trends, and can even be a little overwhelming to seniors.
Many seniors don’t want to learn social media because they don’t understand how they can personally benefit from it. It can be intimidating for them because nowadays, social media is more common among the younger generations.
Seniors are typically weary of digital media because it didn’t exist while they were growing up. But there is nothing wrong with adapting to the current time and taking advantage of the benefits that they can receive from social media and technology.
Here are just some of the ways that seniors can use social media to enhance their lives.
Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family & Friends
According to Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation, about 40% of adults aged 65 and older experience significant loneliness. (Source)
Loneliness can have a huge negative impact on the health of older adults. In fact, “loneliness and social isolation are associated with increased blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, depression…a decrease in cognitive abilities and Alzheimer’s disease.” (Source)
Many seniors experience loneliness if they live a long distance away from family members. It’s not always possible for seniors to visit their family members and vice versa, and sometimes a phone call, text, or email isn’t enough.
That’s where video chat platforms such as Skype or Facetime come in. Face to face interactions can help seniors stay connected to their loved ones on a more personal level. Seeing their family member’s faces can help to keep that close connection while being far apart in distance.
Seniors can also stay up to date with family member and friends through photos on Facebook. Their family members can share photos of vacations, events, and other occasions, and seniors can always view these photos to stay connected and involved.
Get Involved in an Online Community
Of course it’s always best for seniors to go out to events within their community, but many times it is not possible for them to leave their home due to lack of transportation or mobility issues.
Facebook groups are an easy outlet for seniors. They can find other people who are interested in similar activities and hobbies and share ideas with them. This can give seniors a sense of community involvement even though they aren’t mingling in person.
Facebook groups can also allow seniors to find new hobbies, book recommendations, new TV shows, and more, which can keep them busy in the comfort of their own homes.
While Facebook groups and online communities are fun and beneficial, it’s important for seniors to take caution when talking to people online. They should never give out any personal information or passwords.
Find Entertainment at Home
Social media comes with an endless amount of entertainment. Seniors can search for any topic they want to on YouTube and watch entertaining or interesting videos of their choice. YouTube has a plethora of video categories and content, and videos are constantly being added daily.
Seniors can also use YouTube videos to learn how to do something. They can watch tutorials on how to do a new hobby, such as a crafting project, or they can watch simple videos on how to use new technology. It’s important for seniors to keep learning things as they age, because it helps to keep their brains active. According to a study done by The Rush Memory and Aging Project, “…cognitively active seniors, whose average age was 80, were 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than seniors with less cognitive activity.” (Source)
Another option for entertainment is music. Seniors can also search for their favorite music on YouTube, including classic songs and newer songs. Music in itself can be extremely beneficial to seniors. It’s important for seniors to listen to their favorite songs to help boost their mood or help them relax at night.
If seniors would prefer to read content rather than watch it, they can search for various blogs through Facebook links, Google, or Pinterest. They can connect with people through these blogs as well, by joining discussions on their favorite topics.