Older adults who live alone can easily slip into a deep depression by isolating themselves from the outside world. One way to combat these feelings is to hire an elderly care provider who can offer your loved one companionship throughout the day, while also helping with regular tasks that have become too difficult for them to do on their own. Another way elders can ward off isolation and loneliness is through the internet.
Surveys that were conducted between 2002 and 2008 found that fewer elders who regularly used the internet to communicate with family and friends were depressed compared to those who were non-internet users. The use of this technology helps elders feel like they are a part of a much larger community, allowing them to socialize with their loved ones. There are a number of ways the internet can boost the mood and self-worth of older adults, resulting in lessened feelings of isolation.
Here are just a few of those reasons.
Can stay in touch with family and friends. If you or family members live far from your elderly parent, the internet can be a lifesaver. Thanks to social media, Skype, and email, there are a variety of ways to communicate with your loved one.
Make new friends. There are several chatrooms available that are designed specifically for seniors. AARP is one of the websites that have a chatroom feature. Social media sites, such as Facebook, also offer numerous pages for hobbies or products the elderly may be interested in. This could include a product, knitting, or brand name. However, talk to your loved one about being safe when interacting with people they do not know because they could become the victim of an internet scam.
Learn a new skill. The internet is not only great at connecting with others in our lives, but there are also a variety of classes available online. Whether your loved one would like to learn basic computer skills, a new craft, or a foreign language, there are thousands of video tutorials and websites that can teach them what they want to learn. These skills will help take their mind off of the fact that they live alone.
Older adults have begun to take over the internet compared to other age groups, especially since baby boomers are now a part of this demographic. Encourage your loved one to use the internet safely to help improve their social skills.