Most people believe that social media isn’t popular with senior citizens. But this isn't true. Studies have found that more numbers of seniors are approaching social media in recent years than any other age group, which proves that this technology has great benefits to offer to older age groups as well.
Here are some important aspects that show how social media is playing a positive role in senior citizen's lives.
We usually say a person is healthy if they don’t have any diseases or infirmity. But being healthy is much more than just this. Good health includes complete physical, mental, and social well-being.
New studies have found that seniors using social media acquire many positive instances related to their personal and social life as they are more engaged in constructive activities and focus on self-education and love. In addition, they stay updated with the latest news and trends, so they are less indulged in habits like smoking and alcoholism.
In fact, there are very few cases of depression and other cognitive illness in such people. It also reports that older people who use social sites have much-controlled blood pressure and sugar in comparison to those who are not using it.
Shopping is something that excites every age group. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 60; shopping is always fun for everyone. But for senior people, it might be challenging at times because they become weak with age and aren't able to roam around much. However, this isn’t a matter of concern these days as online shopping has made things really easier. It's really beneficial for senior people to order anything online and get home delivery. Anything they want is just a click away, and they do not need to go out or drive anymore. They can also take advantage of great deals on online sales and even get discount coupons for further money-saving.
Older individuals are usually seen as suffering from depression or anxiety due to too much leisure time. Social media gives them a sense of connectivity with their friends and family as they can see their grandchildren grow up even if they aren't with them.
They get to know what their children are doing, and what's happening in the lives of their loved ones. Many of them form groups on social media to stay in touch with all of their loved ones as they can plan to catch up and socialize through social media.
Social media creates a sense of belonging to a greater community among senior citizens. It allows seniors to be part of many online communities and make them feel connected on a large scale.
Seniors can use social media to chat, make audio/video calls, and share photos. The best part of social media is that it helps them to find like-minded people and discuss the topics they are most passionate about. For example, seniors can find a Facebook group based on their interests and share a project they are working on to get some troubleshooting ideas.
Senior isolation is a serious problem that can also cause mental health issues in senior citizens. Social interaction is found to be crucial for the overall health of seniors.
Using social media can reduce senior isolation to some extent. However, it should not be used as a replacement for in-person social interaction. Seniors also need to spend time with others in-person to avoid mental, physical, and emotional effects of social isolation.
Along with these benefits, certain risks are also involved when a senior adult is engaged in online activities and social media because the Internet is full of scams, phishing, and more. If you have any senior members at home using social media, you need to make sure they are keeping off from any malicious internet content.
Guide them about do's and don'ts to protect them from scams. Let them enjoy the benefits of social media and lead a peaceful old age with great positivity.
Studies conducted among social media users of all ages have raised a concern that social media usage can aggravate the symptoms of depression.
In this study conducted at the University of Missouri, researchers found that social media use triggered depression only in people who use various sites like Facebook to compare themselves to others.
However, if users limited social media usage mainly to contact friends and family, their risk of depression did not increase. Instead, it has been found to help the elderly avoid feeling isolated and lonely. Since most seniors use social media to stay connected with their close friends and relations, they are not at high risk of depression due to social media usage.
There is no doubt that social media is a positive tool for seniors, families, and senior care providers. However, it should be approached with a degree of caution.
If you think your loved one has got addicted to social media, and it is their only avenue for social interaction, maybe it’s time for a change. Make sure that your loved one has other interests apart from social media. For example, having a Facebook account should not reduce their social interactions with others.
If you find your loved one is showing too much interest in spending time on social media, you should encourage them to decrease their social media usage and spend more quality time with them.
Even though spending more time with your loved one is always a welcome solution, it may not always be possible because of your busy schedule. In such cases, you should encourage your loved one to spend more time with friends and relatives. You could even suggest they join a local organization that they would find enjoyable.
Additionally, you can also consider hiring companion care services for your loved one. This is a specialized form of quality home care solution that helps the elderly avoid isolation by providing companionship and conversation in the comfort of your home.
If you want good quality senior care, consider hiring a professional caregiver from Newport Home Care who provides companionship at home. To learn more experienced home care providers in your area, contact us today.