How Social Media Could Help Solve The Loneliness Epidemic In The Elderly
Social media is often criticized for polarizing its audiences, and making us feel lonelier as we jealously watch the lives of others unfold. But remember, social media was designed as a tool to bring us closer together, and if used responsibly, for the right applications, it could make us feel more connected than lonely.
One population could especially benefit from the integration of social media: the elderly, and those in nursing homes.
Loneliness and Old Age
Loneliness is a massive problem for older populations in the United States. More than 28 percent of people ages 65 or older live alone, with those numbers increasing with age, and since more and more adults aren’t having children, there are fewer family members to provide immediate support and care.
Seniors who live alone are at significantly increased risk of mortality. This is attributable to several potential causes; acute symptoms may develop quickly, and without someone to address them, they could lead to death. Plus, loneliness is associated with a higher health risk than obesity or smoking; lower rates of socialization lead to higher rates of mental health issues, and potentially, lower rates of self-care.
As people get older, it’s also harder to meet new people, or engage with people you’ve known in the past; elderly populations aren’t as mobile as younger populations, and there aren’t as many opportunities to forge new connections.
Why Assisted Care Isn’t Enough
Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities attempt to give elderly residents more access to the social activities they need to stay connected, but these aren’t without their flaws. In most of these living situations, elderly people almost exclusively interact with other elderly people, and the same people, day after day. Plus, some nursing homes don’t provide the level of interaction and care necessary to mitigate the effects of social isolation; even a single fall could be disastrous if neglected by an attendant.
Social media is a valuable alternative for a handful of key reasons:
- Socializing with other people is almost always valuable for your health, and in the absence of other forms of interaction, social media can serve as a viable substitute. For example, a senior who has difficulty walking long distances and can’t drive on their own can still hold ongoing conversations with their loved ones. Anyone with a smartphone and/or an internet connection can hypothetically be involved.
- Most major social media platforms are entirely free to use. There’s no need to pay for someone’s time or attention; even without existing contacts, a senior could easily find other people to have a conversation with.
- Online exposure introduces seniors to a diversity of other people. Rather than being in close quarters with the same peers every day, they can branch out to people from different backgrounds and of different ages and feel more connected with the world.
Technology use among seniors is increasing, but remains a sticking point for many elders. Only 42 percent of Americans older than 65 own a smartphone, with percentages declining with age. And speaking anecdotally, older populations may find it more difficult to learn how to use social media apps than younger populations. If someone can’t figure out how to access and use an app effectively, they’ll clearly miss out on the benefits.
The obvious solution is to educate seniors on how to use smartphones and social media apps effectively, but this comes with challenges of its own; if a senior is especially lonely, with no family members or caretakers to provide them support or company, by definition, there won’t be anyone to teach them the basics. An alternative solution would be to develop a social media app geared toward senior learn ability, but without an existing target audience to take advantage of it, few developers would be incentivized to do this.
In any case, social media does have the power to at least alleviate, if not resolve the loneliness epidemic among senior citizens. Teaching the basics to the elderly people in your life could dramatically improve their mental health—and keep them connected well into old age.
7 Common Reasons Why WordPress Websites Get Hacked
If there is one content management system (CMS) that’s credited for revolutionizing the modern web, it’s WordPress. Thanks to this revolutionary software, making any type of website is not difficult today. Its flexibility and ease of use make it so popular that WordPress powers as…
Manage Endpoint Security With Cloud-Based Action 1
Meet a free Cloud-based endpoint security and patch management solution from Action1 (www.action1.com). This top-ranking solution facilitates network discovery, enables you to find installed software and orchestrate software updates across all your endpoints regardless of their location. With many tools over there, you might be…
Private Practice: Crucial Services Your Startup Needs
Medical professionals around the world dream of having their own private practice. It allows more freedom for dictating your own schedule but it does come with its own set of challenges and while many are similar to those most startups face, starting a business in…
How To Keep Your Personal Information Anonymous And Secure While Using A Web Browser
Browsing the web or checking Facebook a few times a day has recently become something natural as breathing and eating. People wake up, immediately reaching for their phones to be up to date. Is it already an addiction to the Internet? Of course, it depends…
How To Stay More Secure When Using Kubernetes
Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment of new apps and software, and is becoming increasingly popular due to its utility in going back to previous versions. But while lots of developers are excited to take advantage of the benefits and convenience offered by…
- 3D Printing
- App Dev
- Artificial Intelligence
- Arts and Entertainment
- Big Data
- Blockchain Tech
- Business Technology
- Car Technology
- Cloud Computing
- Cloud Storage
- Computer and Technology
- Conference Calling
- Coupons and Deals
- Cyber Security
- Dark Left 1
- Data Center
- Data Recovery
- Digital Arena
- Digital Marketing
- Edu Tech
- Email Marketing
- Google Glass
- Guides and Tutorials
- Health and Fitness
- Home Appliance
- Home Improvement
- Home Security
- Internet and Businesses Online
- Internet Marketing
- IT Careers
- Mobile Apps
- Mobile Security
- New Tech
- Online Shopping
- Project Management
- Reference and Education
- Reputation Management
- Sales & Marketing
- Self Improvement
- Shopping and Product reviews
- Small Business
- Social Media
- Tech Trends
- Technical Support
- Technology in Education
- Tips & Tricks
- Tips And Tricks
- Video Conferencing
- Virtual Reality
- Wearable Technology
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Web Hosting
8 Best Home Updates To Do In The Spring
8 Best Home Renovations To Take On In The Spring When the snow starts to melt and the weather slowly warms up, you likely have the urge to do a little work around the house. Here are some improvements to make before summer arrives: 1….
Use Android Parental Control Apps And Take An Interest In The Digital Activities Of His Children Without Blame
The screens quickly create a gap between parents and children. They limit conversations, disrupt meals, homework… Children are absorbed by their smartphones, tablets and other screens, so that they quickly become a source of tension. We use the deprivation of such a video game as punishment on…
Online Security Tips You Might Not Know About
Technology is now playing a major role in our daily lives. From how we work to how we spend our leisure time; it is central to us all now. Of course, a tech advance that has transformed our lives the most is the internet. While…
Here’s How Proxies Can Aid Email Protection
Are you concerned about your email protection measures? If that is the case, then this is for you. It all began in November 2014 with leaked emails from Sony Movie Pictures. After this leakage of emails went viral all over the world, people, organizations and…
3 Ways to Prepare For Cyber Security Risks That Employees Must Know
In a world where everything is much easier to do via mobile, app, or device, technology is not going to slow down. We’re all guilty of potentially owning more than one device, whether that is our personal phones, work phones, tablets or fitness trackers. All…
Non-Negotiable Elements For Your Business IT Security Plan
In 2019, having a business IT security plan is more important than ever. An IT security plan is the first line of defense you have for protecting your business – and your clients – against cybercriminals. Cybercriminals include hackers, who frequently obtain personal information with…