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Social Media Prevents Elderly Health Decline

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How many of you have grandparents on social media? I know that they exist out there, making odd comments or putting their Google searches into status bars. No one needed to know granddad’s search history.

My grandparents and social media aren't the best of friends. Though one of my grandparents is quite tech savvy and loves his Blackberry, social media to him couldn't be more of a waste of time. Even if it rolled out neat vodkas for him at the end of a day.

However, they could be ignoring some of the health benefits that social media brings to older folks the University of Exeter found in a recent study.

sciencedaily.com



The issue of loneliness effecting issues of health is immensely true. You would never assume that feeling isolated would lead to a decline in physical and mental health but unfortunately the two are linked. Especially with the elderly who live alone without family or partners.  My great grandma is 102 years old now; she lives alone and is aware of how lonely she is. She’s still very quick, witty and incredibly stubborn. I expect her stubbornness is keeping her going! However, her loneliness is greatly impacting her mental health causing her to confuse times of the day and to suspect that people are stealing many tins of mackerel from her. She doesn't eat mackerel.

As she is 102 now, I feel as though her chance to embrace more technology is gone, but if there is an opportunity to prevent this loneliness and the health issues it brings we should take full advantage of it.

Dr. Thomas Morton who led the study commented on health issues and said: ‘Human beings are social animals, and it’s no surprise that we tend to do better when we have the capacity to connect with others. But what can be surprising is just how important social connections are to cognitive and physical health. People who are socially isolated or who experience loneliness are more vulnerable to disease and decline.’

One person who took part in the study spoke about the benefits she felt it brought: ‘Having this training changes people's lives and opens up their worlds, invigorates their minds and for lots of us gives us a completely different way of recognising our worth as we age.’

Taking care of the elderly is something that we should all take very seriously. If you’ve got a lonely family member you should do whatever you can to make sure that they don’t feel such a way.
I think this study and the training offered to the elderly is a very simple way to make sure that they don’t spend years alone with deteriorating health.

listden.com

Here’s a quote from one of the carers which I think is a good way to end this article: ‘Seeing the smiles on my participant's faces when they Skyped a family member in the UK or abroad was such a special moment.’


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Social Media Prevents Elderly Health Decline Reviewed by Tom Welby on Friday, December 26, 2014 Rating: 5
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