The use of smartphones, tablets, and other technology tools is on the rise in older adults, and for good reason. Whether you’re looking to discover a new hobby, find ways to engage with your community, or continue learning, using the internet is a great way to stay socially active and improve your well-being at any age.
In fact, interpersonal connection is one of the most important aspects of our overall health throughout our lifetime, but this is especially true as we age. Social isolation can lead to a higher risk of premature death, and up to a 50% increased risk of dementia, as well as increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and depression. Thankfully, staying connected with those you love and cultivating new social connections is easier than ever through technology.
Benefits of Technology for Seniors
For younger generations, extended screen time can lead to negative consequences, with children, teens, and young adults spending countless hours glued to screens of varying sizes, using technology to a fault. However, when used in moderation, with the right intentions behind it, technology can provide many benefits, especially for older adults.
Fewer Chronic Illnesses
Believe it or not, one study shows that technology use in seniors is linked to an increased sense of well-being and fewer chronic illnesses. The exact cause is yet to be determined, but there is something to be said for breaking the isolation barrier through technological means like online chatting, video calls, and other social media applications. Tending to your mental and emotional health through fostering quality social connections can reduce overall stress levels, and reduced stress levels can have a major impact on your physical health over time.
Reduced Emotional Distress
Likewise, stress reduction does wonders for emotional well-being. Older adults are more prone to depression, for a variety of reasons. Using technology like smartphones allows you access to not only friends and family, but a world of fun online games, social media accounts that cater to your interests, as well as videos, music, and more that can all contribute to your emotional health.
The same study from above shows that when seniors utilize technology for social connectivity at higher rates, they have better self-rated health, higher subjective well-being, and fewer depressive symptoms. That’s a major win.
Easier Connection With Loved Ones
Perhaps the reason many older adults begin higher usage of technology like smartphones is due to the barrier it removes from connecting with loved ones that may live farther away. These days, smartphones give grandparents and great-grandparents instant access to photos, videos, and even video chats with the newest additions to the family tree, regardless of the distance, and the quality of cell phone cameras makes the miles feel like they’ve disappeared. This ease of connection lightens the emotional load for many seniors whose friends and family have moved over the years.
Explore New Ways to Stay Connected
If you’re wondering how to maximize the benefits of technology in your life, there are many places you can look. From exploring new hobbies to creating social groups with friends both near and far, there are a multitude of ways to make the most of what the world wide web has to offer the senior set.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Online games for seniors. Both solo play and cooperative games are available, often as applications on your phone or tablet, that allow you to play your favorite games (solitaire, anyone?) to keep your mind engaged on your own, or alongside friends, family, or other game enthusiasts across the globe. If there’s a game you’re interested in playing online, chances are you can find it.
- Online dating for seniors. Love flourishes at every age. There are even ways to foster romantic connections via dating sites designed for those 65+. Friends and loved ones may be able to offer suggestions on the best sites for you. Many are designed specifically for those with particular needs or interests, making it easier to connect with like-minded people.
- Online courses for seniors. For the lifelong learners out there, the internet has much to offer. From countless tutorials on YouTube to in-depth video learning series on websites like Masterclass, to actual college courses offered online, if you’re interested in learning it, you can probably find a reputable place to further your knowledge.
- Social media for multiple purposes. Though it gets a bad rap, social media can be the springboard for a plethora of new and valuable connections. Find others as enthusiastic about your niche interests as you are, connect with local chapters of your favorite charities, or form and join Facebook groups to bond with like-minded peers.
As you can see, the only limit to the benefits you can reap from utilizing technology and social media are the ones you impose on yourself. Still, the internet can’t quite replace the comfort of being part of an in-person community that fosters quality connections and encourages you to engage in your interests alongside others. But that’s where the independent living suites at Abbey Delray South comes in.
Connect With Others at Abbey Delray South
Abbey Delray South is a premier luxury retirement community in Delray Beach, Florida. Featuring social, cultural, and recreational activities, residents have ample opportunity to connect with one another. Spend time enjoying our exceptional amenities such as our golf driving range, arts and crafts studio, and computer lab, or take to the nearby thriving resort town of Delray Beach and explore all the culture, shopping, and beach-city living there is to offer. Does it sound like Abbey Delray South might be the right place for you? Contact us today to learn more.