Technology is in popular demand these days. From smartphones to tablets to laptops, people of all ages are logging in and clicking away. More and more seniors are taking computer classes and learning the ins and outs of the Internet. In fact, new research suggests that computer usage may help seniors stave off declining memory.
A study of over 1,900 seniors found that those using a computer at least once a week had a lower risk of developing cognitive skill impairments. This may be because computer use, by its nature, is interactive. When using a computer, seniors must be fully engaged. Nothing progresses on a computer without the user doing something; for example, a page will not move without a command entered by the user. A game will not progress without the user playing it.
The same study noted that computer use may be indicative of cognitive health because it denotes an active senior. In other words, using a computer may help a senior’s mental health, but a senior may be mentally healthy because they seek out activities such as computer use. It is another marker that a senior continues to be living in a healthy way, just as knitting or gardening are markers of an active senior.
What other benefits could computer use be providing seniors? It may help to reduce depression and isolation. When seniors are housebound, or have limited mobility, it is difficult for them to participate in social activities. Loneliness increases. Computers and the Internet have changed that completely. People can stay in touch with each other across the globe. A senior who has moved to a warmer climate, or whose children have moved away, can now email Skype with each other regularly. The world is smaller than ever and that’s a good thing for staying in touch with family and friends.
If they have never used a computer before, seniors do not necessarily have the inclination to learn how to use a computer now. It can be very difficult to navigate a new process, especially one that involves a new abstract concept like the internet. However, it is possible, and very rewarding. By encouraging seniors to more actively use computers, we can all help them to have more active lives and better memories.
In fact, that is the goal of LivHOME. We know that seniors can live rewarding lives and find new activities that bring them joy. The internet offers the opportunity for seniors to find new friends with similar interests and stay in touch with family and colleagues. Our services can help seniors find new activities on the internet, or in their neighborhoods. That’s what we are all about. Find out more at www.livhome.com.