Depression affects literally millions of seniors age 55 and older and costs over $100 million each year in medical and workplace costs. Alz.org reports; “Experts estimate that up to 40 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from significant depression.”
A recent study indicates that spending time talking to friends and family online may significantly reduce depression in seniors who live alone. In fact, the internet is a great way to maintain regular family communication via SKYPE, emails or other social media.
With just a little time to teach seniors how to use the internet, they can be empowered with a platform for face-to-face communication, share cherished family photos, and keep in close contact with relatives who may live far away.
There are many computer classes offered at community centers and adult education programs that could function as an alternative plan to educate your loved one in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, on how to use the computer. Not only will it empower him/her to be able to communicate effectively online, taking classes is a great way for your loved one to socialize and keep his/her brain active-which is recommended for Alzheimer’s prevention. Learn more about other Alzheimer’s prevention measures by signing up for our 25 lesson course for caregivers at AlzU.org by CLICKING HERE.
Even though many seniors may be hesitant to learn about the latest technology, just a few basic classes could enable them to learn to use email and/or SKYPE. Using the internet to connect socially could dramatically reduce isolation and loneliness which can impact depression in seniors-particularly when they live alone.
According to Sherry Ford, associate professor of Communications Studies at University of Montevallo in Alabama “Maintaining relationships with friends and family at a time in life when mobility becomes increasingly limited is challenging for the elderly, Increased Internet access and use by senior citizens enables them to connect with sources of social support when face-to-face interaction becomes more difficult.”
Once your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is on task using email and/or SKYPE, it’s an affordable and easy way to stay in touch on a regular basis.