Elderly Learn Social Media
Social Media Use For Elderly
Why Social Media Use is Crucial for the Elderly (And How You Can Help Teach Them)
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to help your loved one feel more empowered while encouraging them to stay socially active? There is, and it’s called social media. Even though most senior citizens panic at the thought of using Facebook (and the like), if you can invest the time to teach them, everyone wins.
Benefits of Social Media to the Elderly
When people age, it’s no secret that their brain function begins to decline, their memory dissipates, and their social life tends to lose priority. However, with the help of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), all of these ailments can be remedied, as well as so many other common problems associated with aging. For example:
- Boost Confidence – Not very many people over the age of 65 know how to use social media, so when they do, they are very proud of it. It’s a badge of honor they get to wear and brag about to their peers.
- Connect with Friends – Unfortunately, a common problem with aging is loneliness. As their friends pass away, many elderly are left with no one to socialize with. However, with the entire world at their fingertips, they will easily be able to reconnect with old friends and find new ones.
- Stay in Touch with Family – Most of today’s younger generation just don’t send letters and pictures in the mail. If the grandparent wants to see updated pictures of the grandkids, they need to be on social media, because that is where all of the updates are.
- Remind About Birthdays/Events – While at times it may be annoying, Facebook is very good about sending reminders about any upcoming birthdays and events.
- Launch Hobbies – Whether your loved one is a master crafter and wants to attempt to sell their creations, or they just want to find volunteer options nearby, social media will help them take these endeavors to the next level.
- Improve Brain Function – Just the act of learning and retaining the process of using social media can work wonders to improve your loved one’s cognitive abilities.
Teaching Social Media
Okay, now for the hard part: Teaching your loved one how to use social media. It won’t always be fun, but as you can see from the list of benefits above, it is definitely worth it. Here are a few tips to make it just a little bit easier on you:
- Let Them Do the Clicking – Sure, you could always sit down with your loved one and demonstrate how to do everything. But do you think they will actually remember any of the steps after you leave? Probably not. However, if you employ the patience to let your loved one control the mouse—while you instruct from behind them—the information is much more likely to be retained.
- Leave Notes – Even if your loved one does have a strong memory, and performed all of the steps themselves as you were teaching them, there is bound to be something they forget. Instead of them getting frustrated and giving up, leave them step-by-step written instructions on how to do all of the basic things for the social media sites they are on.
- Start Small – Only choose one social media platform to begin with. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your loved one with too much information. Facebook is a wise first choice because it is where most of the action is, but any of them is better than nothing.
- Be Patient – Again, the process of teaching anyone social media can be trying, but the lack of experience with technology can make it even more difficult with this age group.
The power of social media can open up a whole new world for your loved one. As long as you never lose sight of the end goal and think about how great it will be to be able to connect with your loved one online, the experience is sure to be a pleasant one for everyone involved.