Technology, including social media, holds a number of positive benefits and can help to improve, enhance, and enrich our lives. This goes for everyone of all ages, including senior citizens.
There have been few studies that looked into the direct correlation between social technology use and physical and psychological health among older adults. Despite this, many older adults are reluctant to try new technology as many older adults feel anxious and intimidated by the thought of using new technologies. With that said, older adults still generally believe that the benefits of technology greatly outweigh the costs and challenges of using technology.
Benefits of Social Media
There is growing evidence that there is a number of different benefits associated with technology and internet use. According to a study published in Cyber-psychology, Behavior and Social Networking, using the internet is associated with lower instances of depression and loneliness while also leading to higher levels of social support, life satisfaction, purpose, and social capital. In fact, older adults even report using technology to help prevent feelings of loneliness.
If technology does work to reduce loneliness and enhance social networks, it is something that can help lead to better and improved physical health among older adults as loneliness and social isolation are strong predictors of poor health and mortality. In general, social relationships, including online relationships work to reduce stress and depression which can, in turn, help to improve physical health.
Using Social Media
Nowadays, there are literally hundreds of different types of social media sites, but the most popular, especially for older individuals is Facebook. Facebook is one of the most straightforward and simple to use social platforms on the internet. Facebook and social media hold a number of different useful advantages that can help seniors become more social.
Obviously, Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and family. It also gives you the opportunity to reignite old, lost friendships. Technology and social media platforms can also allow you to talk via video chat with family members. Allowing you or your loved one to truly connect with family members and friends.
Social media is one of the best ways to get news in today’s digital age. Facebook and Twitter, are two social media platforms that are great for aggregating news sources and sites. While it may be easy to find news articles and information, it is important to verify this information from multiple sources to ensure that the information that you are receiving is true.
Meet New People
Social media is a great way to meet new like-minded people as well. You have the opportunity through social media to meet people who have similar hobbies as you or your loved one. It is also a great way to get started on a new hobby or activity. You can meet with beginner groups that can help you learn new things like painting or photography.
Seniors can use social media and other online sources to find old television shows and movies that they used to watch earlier in life. Likewise, there are thousands of ebooks, articles, and blogs that you can read. There are also many online games and activities that you can play online by yourself or with friends and family.
Internet Safety Tips
One of the biggest reasons that seniors choose to avoid new technology and information systems like the internet is because of the learning curve associated with them. Unfortunately, this learning curve can cause issues and lead to seniors falling victim to online scams.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can look to reduce you or your loved one’s likelihood of running into these types of issues.
Many older individuals and seniors aren’t the most computer savvy which can lead to security issues and scams that can cause some to lose valuable personal information that may cause identity theft.
One of the best ways that you can avoid these problems is to take a class. Many technology courses are offered at a low cost through local colleges. This will help you or your loved one learn to become more internet savvy but won’t help you avoid scams from others.
Unfortunately, seniors are one of the main targets for online scams for a number of reasons. For one, seniors generally have more money in the bank than younger individuals. Moreover, older people tend to be more trusting and respectful of official looking material than younger generations. These two things make seniors prime targets for online and over-the-phone scams.
While the internet is something that you need to be cautious of, it can provide you or your loved one with a number of physical and emotional benefits.
Technology can carry a number of different physical and emotional benefits. This doesn’t just include assistive technologies, but also information systems like social media and the internet in general. The use of social media holds a number of different benefits including higher levels of social support, purpose, and life satisfaction. Similarly, it can also lead to lower levels of social isolation and depressive symptoms. Social media and the use of technology can be very beneficial for everyone, including senior citizens. Unfortunately, many seniors deal with too many problems that impede their ability to perform day-to-day tasks. Luckily, there are assisted living facilities and caregivers available to help you overcome some of these issues.
Landmark Senior Living is a facility that can help you or your loved one as they struggle with physical or mental health issues at this point in their lives. Landmark has a dedicated care staff available to help residents with whatever health concern or ailment that they may be dealing with. Landmark also offers residents access to social activities to help keep them happy during their time with us. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website and schedule a complimentary walkthrough of one of our assisted living facilities in Hobbs.