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Old Lady Using Computer

Social Media and the Elderly

Many of the elderly have well and truly embraced the age of Social Media now.  According to Pew’s Research, 40% of those aged 65 and above use Facebook.  It is also said that the fastest-growing demographic for Social Media use is the over 65 population.

 

What are the Benefits?

Social Media provides a means of social networking online, and that has certainly been the case during the pandemic.  Loneliness, anxiety, and depression have dramatically increased, especially for those that live alone and because of lockdowns cannot have visitors or visit family and friends.  Being able to connect and chat to others or join online groups of like-minded people sharing common passions, interests or circumstances has been invaluable for social connectiveness.

 

Are there any Disadvantages?

  • Can make the elderly more vulnerable to scams, frauds, and identity theft.
  • Susceptible to giving out too much personal information and not even realise it.
  • Connecting to and trusting people they don’t know.
  • A distraction and time waster!

 

Tips on using Social Media.

  • Know your intentions and have a clear purpose of what you are using it for and why.
  • Be your authentic self! Communicate from the heart and talk about things that matter to you.  If you need advice or support, ask for it.
  • Think before you post! It’s easy to forget how many friends are reading your post, or friends of friends or even the public – depending upon your profile settings.
  • Experience now, share later. Be in the ‘real’ moment, you don’t need your friends joining that exact moment too.
  • Be active, not reactive. Choose your time when to join the conversation.
  • Don’t overshare information or spam your friends with frequent private messages.
  • Don’t post or share false information.
  • You don’t have to accept every friend request.
  • You don’t have to respond to every comment or post your friends make.
  • Be careful who you accept as a ‘friend’ as you could be sharing information you hadn’t intended to.

 

What can you do on Social Media?

  • See what your family and friends are up to and share your updates.
  • Send a message.
  • Update your profile.
  • Read a blog or journal.
  • Watch a video.
  • Search for information. Write a review (i.e. travel or restaurant).
  • Instant messaging or video.

The rise in technology has created an era where people want to discuss, share and review everything online. If you’re not online and using Social Media you really cannot be expected to be up to date with the latest going on, let alone taking advantage of connecting in real time using video calling and Face Timing with family and friends in lockdowns.  There are many support groups and volunteer opportunities which are totally online.

There are also many online training courses aimed at teaching the elderly the basics of using and connecting on Social Media, as well as tutorials to watch on places such as YouTube.

Many of our residents have embraced Social Media as a means of keeping in touch with their families throughout the pandemic.  Using technology such as Zoom and Skype has been very precious, enabling them to see their families and chat to them in real time.

If you would like to know more about how we have kept our residents in touch with their families during Covid-19 or to find out more about our short term or long-term accommodation options, call us on (03) 9559 0400 or email us here.

 

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