Early findings from a University of Arizona study on Facebook’s benefits for seniors showed promising results. According to this article on Futurity.org, seniors who had learned how to use Facebook “performed about 25 percent better on tasks designed to measure their ability to continuously monitor and to quickly add or delete the contents of their working memory—a function known in the psychology world as ‘updating.’ ”
With or without a research study to back it, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence highlighting the benefits of using tech with older adults: from the amazing breakthroughs chronicled in the Music & Memory project (using iPods with individuals in various stages of dementia), to iPad classes at retirement communities connecting seniors with their homelands, alma maters, grandkids, doctors and more, to long-distance caregivers using Skype or other video chat programs to check in visually, to the pure joy of intergenerational connections that computer games and activities can bring — check out this featured post, Seniors Getting Digital (and Loving It), for videos of this very thing. Technology can, and should, be used for good.
Though some seniors may be hesitant about using it at first, the pros far outweigh the cons. Teach a senior you know about a technology you love today!