Mary Madden, a researcher for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, notes in a report called Older Adults and Social Media:
Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users[...]Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.
As more and more seniors use the Web on a regular basis, we are seeing the growth of websites and platforms geared specifically toward these users, covering the topics and issues that are most important to them, such as grandparenting, financial planning, retirement issues, and health care.
Here is a list of useful online resources specifically for seniors that we hope you find helpful:
- Seniors Guide Online — Compares active adult retirement communities, home health care services, and home care agencies. Offers senior living options, including senior housing, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, retirement homes, independent living, skilled nursing, home health care, and additional senior services.
- Eons.com — An online community focusing on boomers with an emphasis on social networking. The primary thrust of the website is using social tools to stay in touch with friends and family later in life. Groups, games, photo and video sharing, and all the other expected trapping of social media are part of its offerings.
- Collaborative Insights — “Tech & Social Media for eldercare providers and senior living” is the tagline for this wonderful blog. Written by online communications and change engagement specialist Donna Arriaga, it is a great resource for those helping seniors get comfortable with social platforms, as well as seniors who wish to teach themselves. You’ll find everything from iPad’s to Foursquare covered.
- Growing Bolder — Geared toward the 50+ market, this website is mostly video-oriented. Socially-based offerings include videos, video logs (“vlogs”), audio podcasts, photo galleries, forums, and blogs, with over 130 channels of content ranging from sex to extreme sports for those over 50.
- ELDR.com — For those who wish something a bit edgier, ELDR.com features a wide array of resources including a vibrant community, a plethora of blogs, an online housing locator, and a wealth of information ranging from legal issues to volunteer opportunities.
Every day, more tools and opportunities appear online, and more and more of them are focused on the needs of the baby boomers and their elders. The online world is racing to provide better platforms that address the needs of seniors.
Do you have any helpful tools or resources? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Source: “The Senior Side of Social Media,” WebAdvantage, 05/27/11
Source: “11 Benefits of Social Media for Senior Citizens,” Kommein, 12/16/10
Source: “Social Media Seniors: Five Reasons Twitter Is Good for Grandparents,” The Huffington Post Tech, 04/28/11
Source: “Older Adults and Social Media,” Pew Internet and American Life Project, 08/27/10
Image by Asthma Helper, used under its Creative Commons license.