According to research from Pew Research Center's Internet and Technology branch, plenty of seniors are discovering the benefits of the internet. More than 67 percent of seniors say they go online, and around 40 percent own smartphones. If any residents of Bethesda Gardens in Monument haven't discovered the perks of the internet or are unsure how to access it, they can visit the computer center and ask Monument staff for help.
Here are some online resources you might want to check out if you're not already using them.
While there are dozens of platforms to choose from, Facebook is probably the best option for older adults who are new to social media. Facebook moves at a slightly slower rate than platforms such as Twitter, and you're more likely to find your friends and old classmates here than on Snapchat or other platforms that cater to younger audiences.
Some benefits of a Facebook account can include:
Connecting with friends from your past
Staying connected with family members from all over the country and seeing what they are doing
Being able to easily share photographs and updates with loved ones
Joining groups where you can chat online about almost anything — Facebook has support groups, hobby groups and even location-based groups
Safety should always be a concern when you're connecting with people online. Make sure your privacy settings are always on high, and if you're not sure how to do that, ask for help from a relative, a friend or an assisted living staff member.
The internet is a wealth of information, but you do have to know where to go to get the good stuff. Because the web is also a hotbed of misinformation. Here are some great informative sites for seniors.
AARP. The senior service organization offers plenty of free resources on its site, including helpful articles. Members can sign in online to access additional resources.
Savvy Senior. This is the home of Jim Miller, who writes a syndicated column for seniors. You can find a huge archive of his helpful columns and other resources here.
National Institute on Aging. The NIA offers numerous articles and resources for seniors on a bevy of relevant topics and also provides links to government agencies and programs that may be helpful to seniors.
In addition to connections and information, the internet provides plenty in the way of fun. Seniors may be interested in online game opportunities. While you can play the types of heavy adventure and role-playing games that your grandkids might have shown you (there's no age limit on fun!), many seniors prefer puzzle, word or trivia games. You can find a great list of these types of games from Guide for Seniors, or simply browse your smartphone's app store for free game options. While gaming might seem like a frivolous endeavor, these types of games can be good for your memory and cognitive function, especially if you put some limits on how much time you spend with your device.