Studies show that the fastest growth in social media demographics is in those 40 and over, and no wonder. There are many great reasons for seniors to develop their digital literacy skills and get comfortable online, learning about the web and social media. Increasingly, the information you need is found most easily online, from research on retirement communities to financial statistics, stock reports, and ways to manage your money through the web. Social media provides a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. There is almost no end to the ways that seniors can benefit from what the internet has to offer.
It’s simply not true that the internet is too difficult or confusing for retirees to use. For one thing, the latest generation of retirees may have already learned how to get around on the web on the job or from friends and family. They may only need a little encouragement and assistance learning the latest social media platforms or how to navigate an online banking site. Further more, even for seniors who aren’t familiar with the web, becoming so is a great opportunity to keep the mind sharp, learning new things, creating new habits, and finding all manner of new articles and stories for a variety of interests. By getting online, your loved one can play a game of chess with someone half a world away, read the latest books, and gain new skills, all of which will prevent isolation, loneliness, and boredom, which can have a negative affect on elders’ health.
If your loved one is considering joining a retirement community or is already a member of one, there is often a computer available for residents’ use. There are also many inexpensive models available for purchase that are simpler than ever to set up. With the holidays approaching, this could be a great gift for an older loved one. Some, like the Telikin, are even designed specifically for the needs of seniors, with a touch screen interface with large buttons, simple menus, and an out-of-the-box setup. The Macbook Air is also easy to navigate, simple to setup, and lightweight, making it perfect for seniors who travel or are on the go.
With so many reasons to get online and technology making it easier than ever, there’s no reason to not help an elder in your life make the most of the web. Talk to your loved one about getting set up with email, social media, and a good computer or tablet if they aren’t already. If they are, encourage their online activity with regular emails, posts, and invites for online games. It’s a great way to stay in touch that’s fun for both of you, even from across the country or state to state.