Why Seniors Should Be On Facebook

Social media connects seniors

Many of my elderly family members have created Facebook accounts recently. Although social media has its negatives, for the senior demographic it has more positives. Below I have listed five benefits of your senior loved one being on social media.

Benefits of using Facebook

According to the Pew Research study (April 2012), 53% of American adults ages 65 and older use the internet or email.

Research shows that older adults are less likely to use technology and the web, as compared to younger Americans, the latest data show that half of seniors are going online.

After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.

Overall, 82% of all American adults ages 18 and older say they use the internet or email at least occasionally, and 67% do so on a typical day.

The 5 Top Ways Seniors Use Facebook

1. Improved Technology Confidence

As we all know, once a Facebook account is set up the amount of time you spend checking your news feed increase over time. For seniors, technology can often be intimidating and less intuitive over time. However, as seniors are on Facebook more it becomes part of their social routine, and they will feel out of the loop if, not regularly checked. It forces your senior loved one to interact with their computer, table, or phone more.

2. Family Updates

Facebook is the perfect way to keep elderly family members updated on what is going on in your life. My family posts pictures of the activities my nieces and nephews are participating in and my grandmother LIKE's 99.9% of the pictures posted. She truly enjoys seeing pictures of her grandchildren and it requires little to no time for my family to post them. I am amazed how much my grandmother knows what's going on with everyone now because she has a more convenient look into our daily lives.

3. Emotional Support

At some point, your elderly family member may need to be hospitalized for a health issue. With wireless Internet available for devices, your senior loved ones can access Facebook while in the hospital. This is great for seniors for two reasons; it helps pass time and it allows family and friends to send messages of encouragement.

4. Organization Updates

Whether your senior loved one is involved at a church, volunteers at a non-profit, or likes to attend the local university sporting or drama events, he or she can stay up to date on all their activities in one place if they like their organizations Facebook pages. Also, they can comment or share the organization's posts to ask questions, clarify event details, or notify friends of upcoming events.

5. Decreased Feelings of Loneliness

In many parts of the country, winter brings weather that forces seniors to stay inside. This can really impact their social life and contribute to feelings of loneliness or depression. Facebook can fill this void for many seniors by providing a way to connect with friends while being shut-in.

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