There’s no shortage of opinions these days about social networks and the decline of its in-person social connections but the internet can also be a positive force, especially for older adults. The Brain and Social Connectedness: GCBH Recommendations on Social Engagement and Brain Health, a report released recently by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), notes, “Typically, the digital engagement complements rather than replaces in-person communications.”
According to the report, online communication platforms like email, instant messaging, social networking sites (e.g., Facebook) and video chat (e.g., Skype, FaceTime or Duo) may help seniors not only maintain relationships with their family and friends but also expand their social world.
Advancement in digital technology, along with increasing internet access and the development and use of social media across the world, present new opportunities for older adults to engage socially.
For isolated older adults, technology can be a boon – improving social participation, increasing opportunities for employment and volunteerism, and providing better access to information and resources. Forty-seven percent of internet users age 50-64 and twenty-six percent age 65 and over now use social networking sites, according to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Beyond social networking, new technologies can revolutionize aging in place and help reduce the risks of social disconnection. An example is Senior Connect™ a revolutionary technology that help seniors stay engaged with their family and friends, assists with monitoring chronic health issues and daily living needs and can also allow family to monitor a loved one from a distance so that they can age in place. When required, Senior Connect™ can send alerts to family members or caregivers and generates reports on the data it collects that can be shared with health care providers.
Whatever its perceived shortcomings, technology offers endless possibilities for facilitating social connection – not as a replacement for human contact, but as a vehicle for developing and reinforcing relationships.
And it’s never too late to start. Senior Connect™ can allow you to stay connected with family and friends over the holidays. Even if you can’t be in the same room, this encrypted video chat service can help lessen the distance between loved ones!
To learn more about Senior Connect™ and the other services provided by Full Circle Home Care, visit www.fullcirclehomecare.com.