Social networking sites bring the world together. They enable family and friends to keep in touch through messages, photos, live conversations, and video; and they enable people with common interests to network together. The best part is that it’s not demographic-specific anymore – the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is the over 65 crowd. That means that seniors are using the internet more and more to stay in touch with their family who may live further apart, or make friends that they otherwise might have difficulty finding in their community.
At Serenity Home Care, we meet a lot of seniors who are single/widowed, and don’t get enough chances to socialise. Loneliness can have a lot of negative effects on a person’s wellbeing, and is a real worry for many sons and daughters who are unable to live with their senior parent. Especially for seniors who are limited in their ability to get out and about very often, social networking can offer access to a community of other seniors with common interests.
Look for social clubs/organisations, niche online communities for interests (i.e. book clubs, hobbies), travel groups, in addition to major social networks such as Facebook to start finding people online and network comfortably and safely. If your senior loved one is relatively new to online networking, it might be prudent to cover the ‘ground rules’ of not giving out passwords or important details.