Social Media: Senior Citizen’s Gateway to the World

The older generation has seen the world change at breakneck speed. While there are few who remember the horse and buggy, there are still those around whose memories span from the trolley car all the way to the walk on the moon. Communication for them shifted from letter writing and telegrams to the telephone and, now, email. Ever adaptable, the elderly in our midst have now come to embrace what would have been science fiction to them in their youth – email, Skype, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

social mediaAccording to the Pew Research Center, internet use among those 65 and older grew 100% between 2009 and 2010 showing the largest growth in a demographic. They use it to bridge the geographic gap between them and their loved ones far away. They also use it as a tool to re-connect with friends from a far off time. Studies show that the internet has become an important tool in reducing isolation, loneliness and other depressive symptoms. It has become a healthy emotional outlet and word of its benefits has spread like wildfire among the elderly.

In addition to the psychological benefits, the internet has become an important way to exercise the minds of our senior citizens. Older adults emphasize the informational and educational aspects of the internet using it in an encyclopedic fashion. While their younger counterparts use social media in a “selfie” sort of way, the elderly, who are very sensitive to privacy issues, use it to connect with like minded individuals. They often use it to visit government sites or to research financial issues. They also use it to find out health information and to connect with others experiencing the same health challenges.

Computer classes at senior centers are growing in popularity. They offer computer basics as well as instruction in using email and other social media platforms such as Facebook. The Jewish Council for the Aging in Washington, D.C. offers an entire Senior Tech program. Seniors have discovered that Skyping is a great way to bring relatives from faraway destinations right into their living rooms. Twitter has become popular for keying into specific news sections they want to follow. Many of the elderly have uncovered the beauty of the digital travelogue and the value of have a book review available through a simple click.

Having this gateway to the outside world is critical once the elderly become homebound. David York Home Healthcare Agency is very sensitive to the potential of feeling isolated and makes every effort to send caring and compassionate home health aides into the client’s home. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines and trends for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.