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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on February 3rd, 2014

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Senior Living and Staying Connected Through the Internet

assisted living | senior living | social seniors | internet | Aging & Caregiving

026120130724 135027 resized 600If you are caring for an aging love one and considering ways to make your parents' life more convenient, while maintaining vital connections with family, remember to consider the tools available through the Internet.

Believe it or not, more and more seniors are embracing the Internet. The Pew Research Center estimated that 56 percent of the 65 and over population is currently online. For a senior living in the digital age, the Internet should be used to its full potential.

Here are some ways today's seniors can benefit from being connected to the online world.

Staying Connected Over Long Distances

In today's society, families are being spread across the country and even across the world. As job opportunities take children far from their parents, the Internet has made it possible for them to remain connected, even at long distances. Using tools like the various social media sites, Skype, and FaceTime can help your aging loved ones stay connected to the people they love most.

With Facebook, for example, your mom or dad can log on daily to see updates from their grandkids, including photos and videos, so they can watch them grow. Video chats, like Skype and FaceTime, allow them to talk and see their loved ones regularly. Even simple email makes communication quick and convenient. This helps prevent the feelings of isolation that seniors often feel.

Maintaining Friendships and Making New Ones

Connecting with family is an important part of an active older adult's life and social media is also used to connect with new people and restore friendships that have been lost over time. Just as you have enjoyed using Facebook to reconnect with high school and college friends, your aging loved one can use social media in the same way. Friendships long lost as people drifted apart can be rekindled and new friendships made along the way.

Using the Internet for Research

The Internet also helps today's seniors feel empowered. Your loved one might log on to her favorite cooking blog to get information about how to cook a new meal or join a woodworking forum to learn more about their chosen hobby. They can research health concerns, catch up on the daily news, place a shopping order, or explore other topics of interest. Internet connectivity helps foster a sense of independence in older adults.

With benefits like these, the Internet needs to be part of today's senior living arrangements. Keeping seniors connected to the Internet opens up a wealth of possibilities. Many senior living communities are now utilizing the Internet for daily activities, special events and projects, and resident use. If you are considering a senior living community for your loved one, be sure to inquire about wireless internet and other amenities that will provide your loved one with easy access to the online world. As you consider the future for your parents or other older adults you love, be sure to keep them connected!

Key Takeaways

  • The Internet is improving the lives of today's seniors.

  • Today's seniors are using the Internet to stay connected to friends and loved ones.

  • Many seniors are making new friends over the Internet.

  • The Internet is a valuable tool for research for modern seniors.

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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