Social media complements face-to-face interactions for residents
A recent study published in the journal PNAS found that Facebook interaction among older adults is doing more than just helping them while away the time.
Loneliness in older adults
Older adults often report they are lonely and feel isolated in their lives and in the communities in which they live. An Archives of Internal Medicine article found that 43% of those aged 60 or more reported feeling lonely. Delving into the numbers, researchers were able to pinpoint two issues facing older adults: 32% reported lacking companionship, and 25% said they felt left out.
Face-to-face interaction long has been the gold standard for socializing, decreasing loneliness and isolation in older adults. Our culture is fast-paced and ever-changing, and our means of communicating is changing along with it. Researchers have taken notice of the continuing growth of social media, the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and tablets that help people connect to the internet, and the fact that people around the world easily can interact through the technology.”
Lisa Price, M.D., is chief medical officer at Denver-based InnovAge, a provider of health and wellness services for older adults in California, Colorado and New Mexico. She was a private practice geriatrician for 11 years and then attended on the Acute Care of the Elderly service and taught quality improvement at the University of Colorado.