After retirement, seniors often experience a host of life changes. While some changes are welcomed, others such as the loss of loved ones or a decline in activity due to immobility or an advanced condition can leave a senior to feel idle and disconnected from the busy society around them. Often times, this leads to unhappiness. In fact, staggering senior care statistics show that close to 10 million Americans experience depression in their senior years.
If you have an aging parent or loved one and you are concerned about their emotional health, there are ways to help. While there are several avenues that can help keep aging adults engaged, one that is growing in popularity is the internet. Recent studies are now showing that internet use among the elderly is linked with reduced incidence of depression.
The internet and all it has to offer can help eliminate feelings of loneliness. While idleness breeds depression, the internet is a valuable resource that aids social connection. With a click of a few buttons or swipes on a touch screen, a senior can connect with family, keep up with adult children and grandchildren, or connect with long-standing friends. Many stay engaged with pictures and videos sent via the web and some enjoy regular live video chats with distant love ones. Several seniors even find their place on Facebook and other social networking platforms.
In addition to connecting with others, the internet offers activities that can serve as hobbies for seniors and older adults. There are endless games and puzzles to play, not to mention, the abundance of educational information available at one’s fingertips. Seniors can continue to learn and test their mental acuity, actively promoting memory and cognitive functioning. Alzheimer’s and dementia care specialists also report that these activities can help reduce one’s risk for dementia and can even help slow the progression for seniors already living with the condition.
Another way that the internet reduces incidences of depression is by bringing on a greater sense of independence. Keeping up with modern technology keeps an aging senior from feeling left behind in the dark ages, and taking on the challenge of mastering a new technology is always uplifting. Seniors can become more familiar with computers and tablets by taking a simple class or by having a family member take the time to go over the basics.
Especially when seniors are living independently, a balanced use of the internet can be quite valuable. It brings on social connection, eliminates idleness and encourages independence. All of this plays a major role in avoiding depression in seniors. If your aging parent or loved one is already utilizing the internet, but could still benefit from care at home, companionship care. A professional and compassionate caregiver can visit anywhere from once a week to a few hours a day, providing invaluable companionship and creating a meaningful bond to help your elderly loved one combat loneliness and depression. For more information, contact Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire at 603-471-3004 and speak with a friendly Care Manager to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.