Social Media Prevents Isolation And Loneliness In Elderly

Joan Timpson  |  February 13, 2015

One of the most advantageous aspects of social media for senior citizens is that it allows them to communicate with loved ones who live in other parts of the world.

According to the Office of National Statistics, from 2006 to 2013, the number of senior citizens in the UK aged 65 or older who used the Internet climbed from 9 per cent to 37 per cent. This figure is expected to have risen significantly since 2013, highlighting how the Internet is playing an increasingly important role in the lives of elderly citizens. 

The importance of community

As older adults age, adapting to certain physical and mental health changes can be frustrating and could even cause depression. It's common for senior citizens to feel isolated or lonely, especially if their loved ones live far away.

Being a member of a community can drastically reduce these feelings of seclusion. Talking with others who may be experiencing similar emotions or physical alterations will remind senior citizens that they're not alone. Living at home can make communicating with others difficult, which encourages elderly homeowners to continue secluding themselves even further. Residential care homes, on the other hand, make it easy to socialise. 

Many recent studies have emphasised the important effects that the Internet and social media have on older adults living on their own and at care homes. Social media provides them with the opportunity to engage with others and feel connected to family and friends who they previously felt distant from.

The benefits of social media

One of the most advantageous aspects of social media for senior citizens is that it allows them to communicate with loved ones who live in other parts of the world. They are able to chat with friends or family in group messages, enabling both parties to check in on the other and have peace of mind knowing everyone is healthy and happy. Pictures and videos are easily shared as well, making it possible to stay up to date on what's going on in each other's lives.

Platforms like YouTube and Twitter also provide a sense of connection with others and allow the elderly to stay well informed on special interests and hobbies. They can share ideas, engage with friends or meet new people with similar interests through forums and messages. However, elderly users should ensure that they're using the Internet safely to avoid fraud.

These aspects of social media provide a community senior citizens can turn to for support, as well as a sense of connection that makes ageing less intimidating and isolating. 

Sunrise Senior Living provides senior citizens with the opportunity to live in a community with friends and neighbours adapting to old age together. Our assisted living facilities are staffed with caregivers who give their residents full-time support and attention as needed. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.