Though aging in place allows you to grow older from the comfort of your own home, it’s not without its challenges. One-third of seniors live alone, and many no longer drive, increasing their chances of becoming socially isolated. Loneliness poses incredible health risks, like escalated stress levels, high blood pressure, and an increased likelihood of Alzheimer’s in older adults.
However, seniors hoping to make the most of their golden years at home need not despair. Research shows social interaction can provide many benefits, including lowering your risk for mental instability, malnutrition, and cognitive disorders. However, thanks to digital technology, there are many ways you can improve your social connections from the comfort of your living room, including online therapy. Below are various ways to utilize technology to rectify social isolation.
Keep in touch via social media
Although social media may seem like a young man’s game, there is ample room for seniors to experiment with online interactions and applications. By making your own social media profiles, you too can connect with far-away family and tap into the mental-health-boosting benefits of an online presence.
If you’re interested in expanding your horizons and delving into the world of social media, research computers for seniors to find the perfect device for your specific needs and begin your descent into online communication.
Try video conferencing
Though it might not be quite the same as meeting in person, video calling your friends and family is the next best thing. Video chatting allows you to see and hear your loved ones in real-time, giving you access to live footage of your newest grandchild or friend’s new furry companion. Even better, you can easily access video conferencing applications on both smartphones and computers, giving you the option for on-the-go communication.
Join an online group
Finding a community is incredibly important for adults of all ages looking to stave off loneliness. However, for seniors with limited mobility, getting yourself off the couch and into a physical location can be taxing. With the help of the internet, online communities are within reach. Whether you’re an avid knitter or the world’s best weekend bowler, there’s an online group where you can meet with others who share your favorite hobbies.
Play brain games
Activities that challenge the brain can be critical to staying mentally fit as you age. One way to engage in stimulating exercises is to engage in online gaming. With a smartphone, computer, or tablet, you have access to infinite gaming choices that allow you to challenge yourself while meeting new people virtually. You can find free games online as well, like Solitaire.
Reach out through text or email
One way older adults can avoid isolation is by reaching out to others when they’re feeling lonely. Texting can be a great way to quickly contact a friend and let them know you’re thinking of them. Email messages offer a slightly different format, allowing you to send a longer message to a loved one you might not see very often. Either way, access to the internet opens communication avenues to fend off isolation.
To wrap up
Oftentimes, seniors aging in place find themselves isolated from the outside world as they lose connections and fall away from loved ones. Thankfully, digital technology has created a wide range of opportunities to help keep adults connected at any age. From setting up social media accounts to video chatting with old friends, this is just the beginning for seniors looking to combat loneliness from the comfort of their home.