Since the arrival of Covid-19 and having to live through lockdown in the last 12 months, the reliance on the internet and technology has massively increased and become the norm. Staying in touch with friends and family using communication platforms like Zoom and Facetime has seen huge adoption, fast-tracking their way into our everyday lives.
Technology continues to develop every year, and while the younger generation use it with ease, the older generation are catching up fast. The Office for National Statistics report 44% of those aged 75 years and over have recently used the internet, and internet use among women in that age group has almost tripled since 2011. It has great benefits for the older generation including:
Using the internet and hand-held smartphones or tablets can improve social engagement and person wellbeing, giving people the ability to connect with relatives and friends on a regular basis. By using these devices and platforms like Zoom, people can talk to family and friends easily and see them onscreen. There are also a range of online communities, like boundless for ex civil service or public sector workers, representing many hobbies and interests you could join, which are great to help positivity and general wellbeing.
Staying healthy & maintaining wellbeing
While ‘Dr Google’ should never be a replacement for genuine advice from a medical professional, people can look up information about health conditions, medications, the foods they are eating, ways to improve their health and much more. There are so many useful and reputable sites offering good information, like the NHS 111 service or even book an online consultation with a Doctor through the online GP service. These are there to support you, putting your mind at ease if you have questions that need answering quickly.
Actively stimulating the brain
As we age, our ability to communicate and perform problem-solving skills will gradually deteriorate so staying mentally stimulated is crucial. Joining a community dedicated to a favourite area of interest can reignite once loved hobbies. From online books, educational videos and tutorials, recipes and games such as Scrabble, Sudoku, Crosswords and Chess – the internet offers many ways to help elderly people remain mentally stimulated and learn new things.
Doing everyday tasks like shopping and banking
Ordering groceries for home delivery for loved ones is just a few clicks away and the more you use it, the easier it gets. Not only is it convenient, especially at a time when social contact is limited, it also creates a feeling of independence. For those who are confined to staying indoors at home, online banking is provided by all major high street banks and you can catch-up on your favourite television programmes using the BBC’s iPlayer or ITV online hub. These are paid for online TV subscription services are further valuable benefits of the internet and can keep you entertained 24 hours a day.
Useful online resources to check out
Being connected online can be a wonderful way for people to continue leading a happy and contented life, to meet new people, enjoy their hobbies and learn new information from the comfort of their own home. If you want to improve your online skills and build your confidence using digital technology, Barclays LifeSkills provide a wide range of online tutorials to learn. The Age UK One Digital programme provides good advice and online resources too.
As one of the leading care homes and at home care providers in Kent, Birchwood has a team of highly skilled people providing care both in our residential home in Speldhurst and for those in their own home in and around Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. They possess great people and technology skills and go the extra mile, day in, day out. With the guidance of the Birchwood Promise, the team look after our clients in a way we would like to be looked after.
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