Spending time online reduces depression for the 55+ group by 34%, but many seniors still don’t go online. Can we – or should we – do anything about this? For the more elderly, there’s the “it’s too complicated, I’ll never be able to do this” excuse (which means “I don’t want it; don’t need it.”), and younger seniors of depression age parents who still hate to toss out a slice of burnt toast, are very afraid of breaking a computer, tablet, or even a cell phone.
If you’d like to encourage a senior to enjoy the benefits of social interaction with family, friends, and the world in general, the first step is to make sure they have broadband access at home or a mobile device with Internet access. Once someone has the freedom of a wireless device, even the most resistant becomes a more avid Internet user.
Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connect families in ways never before imagined, regardless of geographical location. Grandma no longer has to travel to share the joy of a newborn great grandson, or a granddaughter’s graduation ceremony. Email has become the bedrock of communication for seniors to share links, photos, videos, news and status updates with family, friends and colleagues.
Using new technologies to lift seniors out of depression is a boon to their health and happiness as they reconnect with people from their past or reach out for support for health problems or personal issues. If you know a senior who might benefit, many neighborhood senior centers and libraries in and around Cincinnati have computers, tablets and classes to teach web surfing, emailing, and social networking.