Connect Our Seniors to the Internet Is Healthy for All
Since email became popular I have touted the benefits of electronic communication to my parents, grandparents and other seniors I know. Heck, who am I kidding? I have to convince many of my contemporaries as well. (Let’s just say that I’m young at heart and leave it there) Anything new meets great resistance by some but I am happy to report that my Father has now changed from berating my kids for not writing letters to him to texting them to see how they are doing. That’s sometimes the only way I can communicate with him lately!
My father-in-law was housebound, but being able to access on line articles and research kept him very much into the world. We gave him an IPAD one Christmas and he happily checked his mail, and shopped online–after numerous tutoring sessions and phone calls of course.
To the point. Older adults are more likely to be living with a chronic disease, so now they can get support on line.
Social media bridges generational gaps. Seniors can participate in and share skills across these generational divides. (Madden, 2010) http://www.pewinternet.org
Many of you reading this blog may wonder “Isn’t everyone connected.”? Anecdotally, I would say not enough. Specifically, many of our seniors do not have the skills to access the wealth of the internet and worse, many are afraid. Stories of fraud and scandals create fear of computers and the internet.
Hurray for the Maryland Department of Aging and Towson University’s Center for Professional Studies who collaboratively produced The Internet Literacy Program. (full disclosure–I may have helped with this program) 🙂 This program is geared to seniors who want to get connected, is offered free of charge at convenient locations.
Check out http://www.aging.maryland.gov if you or someone you know would like more information. Get Wired Up!