While the world bursts with technological innovation every day, many older adults continue to keep a safe distance away from the new technologies.
Unfortunately, seniors often struggle with learning how to use new technology, and typically have doubts as to whether these “new ways” are even worth the hassle of learning. These thoughts cause seniors to give up before even trying, distancing themselves further from the tech savvy world around them.
However, despite these fears, internet usage has proven to hold many positive benefits for seniors, aiding with emotional wellbeing, cognitive development, perception of self-worth, and more.
Not sure if your senior should be using the internet?
Here are 3 positive effects of frequent internet use for older adults.
Benefits of Internet Use for Seniors
- Social Connectivity
Social interactions with family and friends play a huge role in the happiness and emotional wellbeing of seniors. And, unfortunately, it can be hard for many seniors to get in a healthy dose of socializing. Especially, for homebound seniors.
Internet access gives seniors a great amount of social opportunity, whether in the form of video calls, social media platforms, friend making apps, and more.
- Cognitive Development
One of the best things you can do for older adults is keep their brains active.
The brain is like any other muscle in the body. And, just like any muscle in the body- you have to use it, to keep it strong. Or else, the muscles grow weak.
In order to fight against cognitive decay, it’s important to constantly use and strengthen the mind. And a good way to do that, is by pushing the mind to learn new things.
It may be hard and a little frustrating for seniors at first, but learning to use the computer is a great way to exercise the brain. Not to mention, all the new information seniors can glean and memorize off of the internet- another good use of the brain’s muscles.
Now more than ever, being able to use the internet grants a large amount of independence. Seniors who are able to navigate through the world of cyberspace can take part in online banking, online shopping, online telehealth, and more. Being able to take charge of all these various activities from the comfort of their own homes give seniors a good sense of autonomy and self-reliance.
As humans, feeling strong and able is extremely important to our sense of self. It contributes immensely to how we view our importance in the world. So, for seniors who are able to take care of themselves through the internet, their lives feel much more their own.
Helping Your Senior Learn to Use the Internet.
The key to teaching your senior how to use the internet is making it a fun, enjoyable experience.
If you push too hard or get impatient too quickly, your senior will have little interest in continuing to learn.
Rather, stay calm and teach little bits at a time. It may feel slow at first, but the more your senior learns and absorbs, the faster they will be able to pick up things later on.
It’s a learning curve.
And, no matter what happens, be sure to act respectfully. When teaching others, it’s easy to view them as children or individuals less smart then you. But, that’s not the case. Your parents are brilliant individuals, they just need a little extra help with technology.
Enjoy the experience together!