Friday, September 27, 2013

Assisting Seniors with Social Media

Within the field of eldercare, Chapel Hill professionals have seen a rise in the number of seniors who are using social networking websites. Social media is a tool that has helped bridge the geographic gaps that settle between friends and family members, as the Internet allows individuals to connect with one another from virtually anywhere in the world. But while social media is certainly accessible to any senior who has a connection to the World Wide Web, it is also difficult for seniors who are not tech savvy to navigate.

Eldercare professionals and family members who provide senior care can play an integral part in helping elderly individuals to stay connected with friends and family online. Below are a few of the ways in which you can assist your loved one with using social networks to stay actively engaged with the people about whom they care.

  1. Start slowly by getting your senior involved with one social site at a time. Facebook is the most popular, as it appeals to the widest range of users and is the easiest to navigate. As your elderly loved one wants to become involved in new networks go ahead and help them do so, slowly building their ability to use these websites on their own. 
  2. Take the time to set up your loved one’s profile. Once this is up and running it will be easier to explain to them how to use the website. Once the profile is set up, set aside an hour or so to walk your senior through the many features and functions that the site has to offer. For instance, you might coordinate with them to send friend requests to their loved ones on Facebook and then teach them how to send private messages, write on walls, and peruse the pictures that others post. 
  3. If you think it will prove beneficial, schedule a time each week to get online with your loved one. For instance, you might log into your senior’s Facebook account and update them on the activity in which they are interested every Sunday after family dinner, or every Monday after you help them with grocery shopping. 

Home care professionals understand that social media can greatly impact a senior’s life in a positive way. With these tips you can help bring about these benefits.

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