Getting online and staying connected
Technology has moved in leaps and bounds over the last 25 years, and while the younger generation take it for granted and use it with ease, for older people it can feel daunting and confusing. The good news is that while they might find it difficult at first, older people are beginning to embrace modern technology. According to the Office for National Statistics, 44% of adults aged 75 years and over were recent internet users, and recent internet use among women aged 75 and over has almost tripled from 2011.
As more and more elderly people are now using mobile phones and tablets they are realising that the technology can be beneficial, fun – even providing a much-needed lifeline.
Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits:
Health & wellbeing
Believe it or not, the internet can be good for us! While ‘Dr Google’ should never be a replacement for genuine advice from a medical professional, elderly people can look up information about health conditions, medications, the foods they are eating, ways to improve their health and much more.
Social Engagement with loved ones
Keeping in touch with family and friends across the globe has never been easier. Using the internet can improve social engagement by giving elderly people the ability to connect with relatives and friends on a regular basis. By using video chat sessions with family or friends or by joining in online communities (41% of people aged over 75 have a social media account), elderly people feel more connected and loved, thus reducing mental illness and depression.
Continual learning – and playing games
As we age, our ability to communicate and perform problem-solving skills will gradually deteriorate so staying mentally stimulated is crucial. Joining a community dedicated to a favourite area of interest can reignite once loved hobbies. From online books, educational videos and tutorials, recipes and games such as scrabble, Sudoku and chess – the internet has many ways to help elderly people remain mentally stimulated and learn new things.
Ordering groceries for home delivery or Christmas shopping for loved ones is just a few clicks away and the more you use it, the easier it gets. Not only is it convenient but it also creates a feeling of independence.
For those confined to one place, online banking and catch-up television are further valuable benefits of the internet. Being connected online can be a wonderful way for elderly people to continue leading a happy and contented life, to meet new people, enjoy their hobbies and learn new information from the comfort of an armchair
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