Studies have shown, one of the biggest reasons for anxiety and depression in Seniors is loneliness. As families are spread out all over the country, or people move away from loved ones to escape higher costs of living and inclement weather, it becomes more difficult to establish close bonds with others.
Once a loved one starts losing friends and relatives and can no longer get around as easily, life becomes more lonely. What can we do about it? Plenty.
One thing is a tablet designed specifically for older people. I think Consumer Cellular has one. It’s specifically for people who aren’t necessarily tech savvy, and don’t want to be. There are very few Apps on those tablets and they are designed for Video Chatting.
How does that help Seniors feel less isolated? This post from USN makes some interesting points
“….Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, reviewed four online communication technologies to see which helped seniors best:
- Video chat
- Social media networks
- Instant messaging
Older adults (average age of about 65) who used email, instant messaging or social media platforms like Facebook had about the same rate of depressive symptoms as those who did not use any communication technologies. But people who used video chat applications such as Skype and FaceTime had almost half the estimated probability of depressive symptoms, after adjusting for other factors, such as pre-existing depression and level of education.
The Benefits of Social Connection
The study was led by Dr. Alan Teo, associate professor of psychiatry at OHSU. It was a follow-up to an earlier study of his, which was published in 2015, that investigated other modes of social contact and risk of depression in older adults. “In that study, we found face-to-face, in-person time came out on top. The more frequently seniors got together with loved ones, the lower the rates of depression even years later,” Teo says. “Phone and email were not as beneficial.”
If you or your loved one is missing friends and family, perhaps a Skype chat on your computer or Facetime on an Apple device once or twice a week would be a good way to chase away the blues.