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How to Help Your Elderly Loved One Adapt to Social Media

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Technology has made it possible for seniors to prevent isolation by connecting with others on social media, and more seniors every day are learning the many benefits of communicating with friends and family online. Because learning how to navigate social media can present a few challenges, Henderson elder care experts have a few tips to help your senior loved one adapt.

Focus on Accessibility

Spending an hour chatting with a friend online can provide your loved one with more than just a chance for socialization. It also engages cognitive skills and promotes memory retention. However, seniors sometimes have health conditions like arthritis that interfere with their use of technology. Explore devices and software that enhance accessibility. For example, voice to text software can allow your loved one to speak messages rather than typing them.

Encourage Taking a Computer Course

If it has been a while since your loved one has touched a computer, taking a computer class designed for seniors can serve as a refresher. This way, your loved one can enjoy browsing social media posts without worrying about doing something wrong. These courses often cover social media safety, which is beneficial for seniors who have concerns about online privacy.

Start Simple

Keeping up with multiple screen names and passwords can become difficult for some seniors. However, they can get a daily mental boost when they can receive messages from friends on their social media profile. Begin by setting up a profile on a social media site known for its simplicity, such as Facebook, then consider adding new ones as your loved one adjusts to the technology.

Teach Online Etiquette

Using social media requires an understanding of the nuances of text, and many of the practices used for typing or writing letters can come off rude on social media. For example, your loved one may interpret typing in all caps as adding emphasis, while the general online public views it as yelling. Explain to your loved one how to prevent a social media faux pas like posting too many status updates so he or she can enjoy this new way to connect with others.

Using social media can be a wonderful way to keep your loved one connected with the outside world. However, if you think he or she needs more in-person social engagement, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care in Henderson, and our compassionate caregivers are available 24/7 to provide social and mental stimulation and help with various tasks around the house. For more information on our senior care services, call a friendly Care Manager at (702) 527-7723 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.