Written by: Kimberly Bergmann
February 1, 2016 • 0 comments
At a time of life when disconnect can be a real concern for the elderly, social media is a great way for seniors to have a stronger connection to friends, family and the world. Learn more in this article about how social media and technology can benefit seniors by providing ways to share more about their own lives, as well as partake digitally in others’.
It helps to foster relationships: Stay connected to your family and friends through Facebook, LinkedIn or other similar social networking sites. Have you ever wondered what happened to your next-door-neighbor from when you were a child? We’re willing to bet they’re on Facebook! Share news and see what you’re great-niece has been up to lately by connecting with your friends and family members on Facebook. We’re sure they’ll be glad to see what you’ve been up to recently as well!
It helps you stay connected: Maybe Facebook isn’t your thing. That’s fine! Stay connected with friends and family through email. You’ll be able to upload videos, attachments, links and get your messages to your loved ones quicker than regular snail-mail.
Technology isn’t always for sharing: Keep your appointments, grocery lists and reminders all in one place with apps like Evernote or GoogleKeep. We’re also a huge fan of journaling. Writing down important things that happen each day can be both calming and can help clarify your thoughts and feelings. If you’re not a big writer, journaling can still be beneficial to you! Try writing down questions you have for your doctor or tracking your progress in physical therapy so you can revisit it later. There are many different types of online journals that serve different purposes: Penzu allows you to fully customize your journal and search through tags; goodnightjournal offers a strong journaling community. Or you could always start a blog and make it as private or public as you’d like.
Technology is great for entertainment: Go ahead and sign up for Candy Crush or Pogo or whatever other games your heart desires! Online games can provide hours of entertainment and some can even strengthen your memory and attention span. Technology is also great for learning something new—instead of how-to books or articles, YouTube offers a plethora of how-to videos of everything from knitting and crocheting to gardening and cooking. If you want to learn how to do something, YouTube has a video to teach you how to do it.
It boosts creativity: Are you a crafty person? Do you love to cook? Do you have a passion for home décor? Try Pinterest! Pinterest is the type of social media site that will really help boost your creativity. You can narrow down recipes specific to your diet (low sugar, gluten-free, etc) and find an infinite number of “pins” you can save to your board, making them easier to find again. Pinterest is great because like YouTube, it’s full of “how-tos.” Spend an hour on Pinterest and you’ll definitely kick start your inner creativity!
Share your life in pictures: Instagram, a social media photo sharing app is great if you’re really into sharing photographs. Snap a selfie with your friends or share priceless old photos from the past. Instagram is great because you can use filters to brighten your old photos—allowing you to literally see them in a whole new light!—and add hashtags such as the year the photos were taken or the names of who’s in them.
No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to embrace technology and social media because of the many benefits they offer. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to sign up for a Facebook account or to share photos on Instagram, either. By using technology and social media to your advantage, you might find something new that you love to do—whether it’s journaling or learning a new skill. What do you have to lose?
At Generations, we treat each resident like family and help them to lead full, enriched lives. Learn more about our Independent and Assisted Living communities.