Computer Use by Seniors Eases Loneliness
More and more seniors are catching the ‘computer bug’ and taking the plunge to go online. The active baby boomers have grown up and become active seniors looking to get out and explore the world around them. The Internet and computers in general, have opened the doors to many avenues of entertainment and excitement for these seniors. No longer are they resigned to the playing of shuffleboard or canasta with their friends for their entertainment. Now with the aid of computers and the Internet they can play these games and more over online connections with people from all over the world. While learning to use a computer is still one of the biggest challenges to many seniors, many of them, when they learn to use a computer, cannot believe that they were ever worried about it at all.
Some seniors have expressed nervousness when it comes to learning how to use a computer and interact with others over the Internet. They are doubly proud when they cannot only learn to use a computer but can also manage to send emails and use computer programs without any outside help at all. While some seniors may have had some experience with computers in their past employment, most are learning the basics of computer use for the first time from the ground up. It is quite an ordeal at first for many people who find it all a bit overwhelming. This quickly passes though as they learn the basics very quickly and can see basic results after only a few lessons.
Computer use among seniors has proven to be very beneficial to them in many ways. It gets them active again in something. While using a computer is not the same thing as doing exercise for the body, the use of a computer is a very stimulating way for them to exercise their most important muscle – their brain. By keeping mentally active, many seniors find that they are not lonely any longer and they have much more that they can accomplish with the aid of a computer. Not only can they use computer programs to help them work on any hobbies they have, but the Internet can also help them to stay in touch with others who share in their hobby. Staying in touch with family and friends by way of email is another great way to help seniors feel connected to the lives of others and to the world around them. By staying in close contact, they find more purpose in their old age.
Some seniors even become competent enough with their computer usage that they can take on part time jobs doing simple data entry for businesses. They can also help to teach other seniors about the benefits of learning to use a computer and the amazing world of the Internet. Many seniors may have only heard about the millions of web sites out there that have so much information that they can access easily. For many seniors it is like turning on a light that shows them what they have been missing all these years. They become passionate about their search for knowledge with computers and the Internet. The sense of isolation is immediately lifted the very first time they send and receive their initial email message to someone they know. Whether the person is across the country or just across the street, the excitement is the same. They soon learn to feel part of the world again and can take part in many more conversations as their knowledge about computers and the Internet grows.
Being able to reconnect with old friends that they have not talked to for years is a very big deal for these seniors. They can also encourage each other to learn more as they go through many of the same things together while learning about computers and the Internet. Many seniors with hearing problems find it much easier to email someone rather than try and talk to them on the telephone. Seniors who are grandparents find the Internet a great way to stay a part of their grandkids lives. By sending emails and talking over everyday events, the family grows closer and stays closer as well. By using the Internet, many seniors have found friends with common interests, whether those interests are hobbies or health matters they share, the excitement at being able to message someone and have them chat back to you in nearly real-time is very fun for these seniors.