Social media has become a powerful tool for meeting new people around-the-world, or for staying in touch with friends and family members. The use of social media for seniors has become even more prevalent.
Many Americans aged 65-and-over are homebound due to chronic illness, disability, or other reasons. As a result, this situation makes it harder for them to interact with others. Caregivers for homebound seniors can demonstrate how to navigate social media effectively. This engagement can lead to an improved quality of life for the elderly. Sociologists have studied the positive impact of social media on seniors, and have learned about the benefits.
Why Seniors Become Socially Isolated
A common problem in the elderly, social isolationism typically results from one or more of these issues:
- Loneliness caused by the death of a spouse or close friend
- Depression due to a chronic medical condition
- Difficulty accepting and coping with the aging process
- Feeling dissatisfied and bored after retirement
- Stress brought on by financial problems
- Moving to another town, or struggling to deal with adult children who have moved away
- Having to rely on caregivers to perform activities of daily living
Once an aging loved one has become socially isolated, continuing down that road can trigger more severe health problems, including a higher likelihood for developing the type of dementia that is associated with Alzheimer’s. Therefore, if it is hard to get out of the house because of physical limitations, social media can be an invaluable morale-boosting resource.
Identify The Social Media For Seniors Objectives
There are numerous social media platforms available, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Helping a loved one set up an account on the right one(s) depends on whether-or-not they want to use social media for:
- Staying connected with family and friends
- Keeping up with what is new in the community
- Finding online discounts and deals from businesses
- Learning about healthcare providers and innovations
- Other hobbies/interests they might have
- Interacting with others daily or on a less-frequent basis
Once a loved one connects to one or more social networks, it is time to sit back and watch. Most importantly, it is a game-changer for their health and wellbeing. If they want to try one platform at first, Facebook is popular with seniors and accomplishes all the above goals.
The Benefits of Social Media For Seniors
Based on research, these are some of the main ways social media for seniors is beneficial:
- Staying Connected with Family
Today’s families are more geographically spread out than ever before. As kids and grandchildren move away, social media allows them to stay connected and current in their lives. For example, photos and highlights from birthday parties, weddings, graduations, and other important events can be shared within seconds with a senior, therefore making them feel loved and appreciated.
- Cultivating Friendships
There are many stories in the media about long-lost schoolmates or military buddies reuniting on Facebook after many years. Social media is an excellent way for seniors to cultivate new friendships built around shared interests, or share memories with old friends. And, a feature like Facetime makes the interaction all that more enjoyable!
- Entertainment Value
Laughing at a new joke, reliving the past through clips of old TV shows and movies, playing games or reading news articles are all now possible through social media.
- Educational Opportunities
Social media not only makes seniors aware of continuing education opportunities out in the community, but many social media sites are also committed to keeping members updated about new scientific breakthroughs, current events and the world in general. And, learning new things at any age keeps the mind sharper.
- Inspire Civic Pride
Social media can also inspire generational movements and raise awareness about important issues. Engaging in social media actively involves seniors with these civic movements, filling them with a sense of purpose and pride.
Helping Seniors Stay Active And Engaged
Keeping an at-home elderly loved one active and socially engaged is challenging itself. However, this difficulty is especially real when living far away or managing one’s household. When in need of assistance, consider reaching out to Hibernian Home Care. As a nationally accreditated and licensed home care agency, our carefully screened and highly trained professional caregivers know how to provide seniors with the social interaction they deserve, and they can continue aging comfortably in place in their own home, right where they want to be.
In addition to companionship, our Home Care services include light housekeeping, personal care, meal preparation, medication reminders, and transportation. To learn how Hibernian Home Care can help ensure the social engagement, as well as the safety of an aging, loved one, give us a call at 732-481-1148 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with our registered nurse and case manager.