Loneliness in the elderly population is more common than most people realize, and so is boredom. While active personal engagement can certainly help with situations like this, there are some online options that can also keep older adults stimulated, engaged, informed, and connected with friends, family members, and like-minded people of their generation. Below, you’ll find five online socialization methods to recommend for a senior loved one.
1. Social Media Platforms
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 70 percent of seniors in Canada are online, and many of them are also active on social media. While Facebook is a popular platform for a broad range of users, seniors can also explore niche platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, especially if there’s a desire to share fun or meaningful photos. What’s also good about social platforms for older adults is the many options for engagement, some of which include:
• Real-time chatting with family members and friends
• Playing games remotely
• Commenting on topics of interest
If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, his or her online activity may need to be supervised closely, and a home caregiver can help. Families looking for top-rated home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. Senior-Focused Online Discussion Forums
Popular senior-specific forums like SENIORSonly CLUB give older adults a chance to browse through topics that may be of interest to them. They can then share their thoughts or start entirely new threads on topics they wish to cover and solicit input from other senior forum members.
3. Interactive Websites
Websites are more than just places seniors can go to shop. For instance, sites such as Pogo have classic games like Scrabble that older users can instantly play in real time with other users. Other sites give senior visitors access to age-appropriate jokes, while others provide opportunities to ask trained experts about such things as technology, health, and fitness.
4. Video Chat/Meeting Platforms
Online video-sharing platforms like YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo can be used by seniors wishing to passively watch or share video-based content. Video chat platforms like Zoom, which is a popular video conferencing tool also widely used for personal video chatting, can be used for times when older adults wish to remotely connect via video with friends and family who don’t live close by. However, it’s important for older users to ensure connections are secure and privacy is maintained.
A home caregiver can monitor your loved one’s online and physical safety when you need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Barrie, ON, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Thanks to several apps, seniors don’t have to be limited in where they socialize and engage online. Downloadable apps allow older adults to quickly connect while on the go or when sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Fortunately, there’s a growing number of apps specially designed with senior users in mind, many of which include an assortment of engaging features. Many popular senior-friendly apps, some of which also have Web-accessible versions, include:
• Simple Social – A user-friendly app that allows seniors to remotely connect to a senior-friendly social site.
• WebMD – The app for this popular medical site will remotely take older adults directly to a website with features that allow them to check symptoms. There’s also a built-in medication reminder feature.
• Lumosity – This is a popular brain training app that provides access to an assortment of mentally stimulating and fun games for seniors.
Using the Internet safely for socialization is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Barrie families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 647-970-3803 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.