Seniors, ages 62 and older, are now the fastest growing demographic on Facebook! Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, have wonderful benefits for all of those connected, but it can be especially helpful for older adults. Today’s senior living options are varied, some prefer to stay home with care giving services, while others embrace the sense of community and camaraderie of an independent living community. An older, more compromised senior may need the care and assistance of assisted living. Whatever the circumstances, Facebook allows seniors to stay connected with friends and families no matter where they are!
Many senior living communities have their own Facebook page where family members can regularly check in and see their mom, dad, or loved one dancing, attending an outing, or simply engaging with other friends at a happy hour. It’s a great comfort to the adult children to see their parents having fun, meeting friends, and living out their golden years with the dignity they deserve while at work, a soccer match, or wherever they are on their smart phone. Seniors also have fun looking at their pictures with the friends they live with and sharing laughs over funny photos. Many independent senior living communities teach Facebook classes or have an Activity Director who will help them navigate the website. Learning new fandangled things and staying current is what keeps our older adults young at heart and engaged. Listed below is a list of the wonderful benefits of Facebook and social media for the older generations.
- Keep in touch. Nowadays, social media is a remarkable tool for keeping in touch with adult children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Seniors are finding long lost childhood friends, their old college roommates, or keeping in touch with family and friends that are separated by miles. It gives them an excellent opportunity to view photos, videos, or chat online and stay connected.
- Meet others and share. Facebook offers many different groups and pages of all different interests and backgrounds. Seniors can meet people that share similar activities, volunteer opportunities, hobbies, travel, etc., and swap ideas. It’s a great way to share ideas and stories and be part of a community of shared interests. By feeling a sense of connectedness, it can also help lower feelings of isolation or loneliness and bring a sense of purpose.
- Opportunity. Posts on Facebook can spread like wildfire. If a senior has an interest in volunteering somewhere, reading a new book, joining an exercise group, trying a new restaurant, or visiting a new town, Facebook is the place to look! By simply posting a question for a recommendation or searching for something they enjoy, a whole world of new opportunities is open to them. It is an excellent sounding board and resource.
- Stories. The elderly have amazing stories and brilliant ideas. Facebook and social media allow them to share their stories and knowledge with countless others. Whether it is their experience of fighting in World War II, growing up during the Great Depression, or other stories of miraculous survival and inspiration, creating a blog or outlet on Facebook is an excellent way to have their story heard. By sharing their stories, seniors can also mentor others who have been through similar experiences and it helps create a sense of support and connection.
- Learn. Facebook and social media are abundant with interesting articles, blogs and topics. It presents an excellent resource for seniors if they need to research a health topic, have an interest in a specific class, or have an interest in trying something new. It creates multiple opportunities for learning, growth, education and activity.
These are just some of the ways Facebook and social media can be beneficial to seniors. In the age of technology, the opportunities and benefits are endless and all it takes is a click of the mouse to start your own journey!