Connectivity offers older adults easy access to socialization while taking advantage of our increasingly digital landscape. As we age, extenuating circumstances can lead to isolation, whether it be retirement or health issues; opportunities for socialization can decline. Connectivity via technology can remedy this.
What’s more, connectivity can have significant effects on physical health and mental wellness. A recent study found that increased social technology use among older adults led to:
- Fewer chronic illnesses and depressive symptoms
- Better self-rated health and subjective wellbeing
- Reduced loneliness
The study explains; “Close relationships are a large determinant of physical health. Technology has the potential to cultivate successful relationships among older adults.”
Read on to discover the many other benefits of connectivity for older adults.
Experience Digital “Company” via Video Chatting
According to recent research, 67 percent of seniors use the internet daily. However, some 34 percent still experience trouble accessing electronic devices and performing online tasks. The rise of multiple video chat options, as well as straightforward platforms, cut through the difficulties. As easy as picking up the phone, you now have the ability to see friends, family and loved ones who live far away.
For older adults, video chatting offers a more interactive experience than a phone call. You can see expressions and bring conversations to life. Not to mention, if you’re the family member or friend communicating with an older adult, it allows you to see them and assess their wellbeing. This can offer great peace of mind for those worried about older relatives.
Connection Offers Comfort and Security
For older adults that feel lonely or isolated, connectivity can be a cure. Knowing family is accessible is of course at the top of that list. However, comfort also comes with smart technologies like automatic lights, motion detectors or cloud-based security systems. Families can use digital doorbells or similar services to ensure safety for loved ones living on their own. Also, as age can limit mobility, smart connectivity means answering the door from your chair or lights turning on when you enter a new room.
Enhanced Digital Literacy Strengthens Cognition
A University of Exeter study found that training older adults (aged 60-95) on social media led to heightened feelings of self-competence. Those trained on social media engaged more in social activities, had a stronger sense of personal identity, and showed improved cognitive capability. According to the study, “These factors indirectly led to overall better mental health and wellbeing.”
By training older adults on technological platforms and devices, you’re empowering them to connect, which, in turn, gives them confidence in their abilities. Additionally, another study found that using digital tablets can also enhance a senior’s cognitive function by improving episodic memory and processing speed. So digital literacy not only means increased connectivity but an increase in mental health.
Connectivity at Vineyard
At Vineyard, we understand the importance of connectivity, and we seek to elevate the lives of our residents through two innovative programs:
Every assisted living and memory care resident will have smart home technology in their living space to provide a safe and comfortable environment. Programmable smart thermostats can be set to fluctuate to preferred temperatures throughout the day, yet easy to adjust when needed. Automatic lights sense motion, which means they’ll turn on when residents enter a room or get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. All features are aimed to enhance not only safety but overall wellness and comfort.
All residents in assisted living will have a tablet with the Vineyard Community program. With the tablet, they can communicate with family and friends, as well as access announcements, community events, activity calendars, and dining menus. Residents will experience ultimate connectivity with options to share photos, face-to-face video chat, and text—all on a simple platform with an easy-to-use interface. Social media platforms have grown increasingly complex; Vineyard Community cuts out all the unnecessary options and functions to make it simple.