Social media can benefit the elderly
A two year study has shown that training older people to use social media has a beneficial impact overall on their physical and mental wellbeing, improves cognitive capacity and increases a sense of self competency.
The study took 120 elderly and vulnerable people from two regions – the South West of England and the Marche region of Central Italy – and gave them equipment and training in Skype, Facebook and other social media tools. Researchers found that compared to a control group, those with the skills and the equipment reported feeling less isolated because of the social connections they could make online, especially through email and Skype. Participants talked of feeling mentally and physically healthier, an even performed better in tests to gauge cognitive capacity and personal identity.
At Depression Alliance we’re thrilled that the latest research is in line with our own findings – that people talking and sharing support through our on and offline Friends in Need community report feeling less isolated and alone, with one user admitting, “as crazy as it sounds to me right now…with every person I find with a similar story it eases the pressure of loneliness and isolation just a little.”