The Internet is a powerful tool that may even decrease depressive symptoms in adults over 50. This form of communication particularly helps those who live alone avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.
It’s been the subject of many research studies including a new one in the Journal of Gerontology that analyzed Internet use in retired American adults age 50 or older, with predictors of depression over a six-year period.
It found a positive contribution of Internet use to mental well-being, where Internet use reduced the probability of a depression state by one third. The reduction in depression was most noticeable in people living alone.
With an endless number of things to do online, it’s easy to understand the benefits to our emotional health – researching a topic we’re passionate about, finding resources to start or continue a hobby, connecting with friends and family, playing games, meeting and engaging with new people and those from our past, staying in the know about news and current issues, and much more.
With the possibility of reducing depression, it’s important that older adults have access to the Internet and Internet training. Many older adults are hesitant about the Internet, but once they get going are completely immersed!
Wilf Campus has two media computer rooms, one at our Stein Assisted Living Residence and one at our Wilentz Senior Residence for independent living. The technology includes touchscreen computers that make it easier for older adults to use. You’ll find our residents doing all sorts of things you might not expect – reading, emailing, and even using social media! Additionally we host computer classes with a specialized teacher, at least twice a month, at both facilities.