How social media can help loneliness in the elderly

Social media for the elderlyA common myth among the elderly is that they’re much too old to be using social media and that it is mainly for the younger generation.

In fact, adults aged between 65 and 74 are almost twice as likely to use a smartphone now compared to 2012. Sixty percent of us now have a Facebook account and one in seven over 65s now use social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

The most popular reason for the elderly to take up social media is in order to keep in contact with friends and family. This is especially important if they live far away. Social media will enable them to see regular updates and pictures and they can even use video messaging platforms such as Skype to ‘call’ them and talk to them in real-time.

Being able to talk to people, even if in a virtual sense, is a great way to reduce social isolation.

The Internet and social media in general is also a great way for the elderly to keep up with what’s going on in the world around them. They might not be able to pop out to the shops to pick up a paper, but they can fire up their computer or tablet and have the news at their fingertips. Local news in particular can help elderly social media users feel more connected with their community.

They can also use the Internet and social media to indulge their passions with other like-minded folk. There are many online groups and forums where people share hobbies and interests as well as voicing their opinions on community or world-wide issues.

Simply learning a new skill is important for the elderly as it can stimulate their mind and will give them a boost of confidence once they’ve cracked it. There are plenty of computer courses out there or if you have a patient and social media-savvy friend or family family member, why not call on them to help get you set up and surfing the web.

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