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How The Web Can Improve The Lives Of Senior Citizens

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The Internet is such an essential part of our current society that almost everyone has an email address or social networking page. We use the web to satisfy most of our information and entertainment needs or desires. The youngest children are instructed in computer and Internet use. But the one segment of the population that is farthest behind in online usage is senior citizens.

Senior citizens use the Internet less than any other group, but they are also the group that is growing the most online. A great number of senior citizens do use the Internet frequently and fluently. There are many who have recognized the benefits of the web and embraced it. But there are still many more who just aren’t interested or don’t want to take the time to learn how to use it. Perhaps they are resistant because they view the Internet as only beneficial to or designed for a younger generation. However, the Internet has many uses for senior citizens, and it can greatly improve their lives, just as it has for every other age group.

Communication

Too many senior citizens don’t interact with the outside world as much as they would like to. Maybe health problems prevent them from getting around like they used to. Maybe their family has grown and spread out so much that staying in touch is more difficult and less frequent. Senior citizens grew up in a time when communication was done primarily in person, over the phone, or through letters. Nowadays people regularly communicate with each other through email, video chats, or social networking sites. If senior citizens don’t utilize these forms of communication, they can be missing out on the conversation. Just maintaining a Facebook page, for example, will have significant benefits for senior citizens. They can stay current with the developments in the lives of their loved ones. They can communicate more often and have more in common, especially with their busy and tech-oriented grandchildren. For the more active senior citizen who enjoys traveling one very engaging way to use the web is by writing a travel journal, with technological advances even those that have opted for a nomadic lifestyle can have a wireless card installed on their laptop giving them the flexibility to do a minute-by minute narrative of their travel. A good companion to this project is a good digital camera. Many Senior Centers across the nation offer digital photography classes for the elderly. Communication is the area of life that Internet can bring the most improvement in for senior citizens. Video chatting is another great tool to bring them closer to family that they don’t get to see as often as they’d like to.

Ease of Errands

If mobility is a problem for senior citizens, the web can help. Shopping can be done online for just about anything they might need, including groceries, and have their purchases shipped right to their home. If senior citizens can’t get to the store without assistance, they no longer have to wait for someone to be available to them. They can just log on and do their shopping, banking, and more, anytime they want. Many doctor offices also do online appointment scheduling.

Socializing

Many senior citizens who are retired enjoy socializing with each other. They might organize trips, events, parties, and get-togethers. They socialize with others who have the same interests, from knitting to baseball games to bingo. Using the Internet will only increase their ability to socialize, by making it easier to find opportunities that interest them and connect with others. Dating sites for widowed seniors are also becoming more popular.

Learning

Studies show that aquiring new knowledge reduces the progression of senile dementia and alzheimer. The internet is an endless resource to aquire knowledge, from simple know-how documents to virtual libraries with free e-books such as the gutenberg project. Many universities also offer online classes. Perhaps for many the later years in life provide the ideal circunstances to obtain their first, second or third advanced degree.

The possibilities of the Web are endless and life-enhancing. The important part is to overcome the fear of technology. Rest assured there is very little you can break. Experiment, ask a grandkid to lend you a hand or join a class or a group. The experience will be rewarding and life-changing

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