The signs are hard to miss, even though they are showing up even earlier this year: stores of all kinds displaying holiday decorations, holiday sales ads on TV, and Santa taking children’s wishes in many malls.
Yes, it’s time again to wrack our brains on that annual question: “what do we give our grandparents and parents for Christmas”?
We try so hard to come up with something that is both appreciated by them (yes, they say everything we give them is appreciated, but…) and useful to them — and usually end up feeling like we have fallen short.
Senior Care Corner suggests giving the Gift of Social Media this year.
The Gift of Social Media for Grandma (or Grandpa, Mom or Dad) is one of those rare gifts that truly keeps on giving year-round to both the recipients and givers of the gift.
While the use of social media by seniors is growing faster than for any other age group, research shows that fewer than 1 in 7 access social networking sites.
Why social media as a gift?
As we have discussed in prior posts, there are many benefits to seniors of being active on social networks, whether Facebook (by far the most accessed), YouTube, the newcomer Google+ or one of many others.
- Keeping families close, making it possible for many seniors to chat and keep up with their children and grandchildren.
- Photo and video sharing, with social networks making it quicker and easier than ever to share pictures and movies with loved ones and friends.
- Community Belonging, giving seniors the ability to socialize from the comfort of home.
- Peace of Mind, keeping the growing number of seniors preferring or needing to live in their homes a convenient way to check-in regularly with loved ones and healthcare providers.
- Coupons and other Discounts, linking seniors to the online offerings of retailers and service providers.
- Brain and memory exercise, helping to keep seniors’ brains young.
Giving the Gift of Social Media is more than signing up your senior loved ones for Facebook or showing them how to access YouTube videos and can be part of a truly memorable family experience.
- Arranging online access, where needed, often through cable TV or home phone companies or a cell phone provider.
- Choosing the right device(s) for your loved one. Popular options include computers, tablets and smartphones. Some devices are targeted to seniors and their specific needs.
- Setting up access to desired social networks.
- Establishing privacy settings and practices.
- Communicating with loved ones on a regular basis to form and keep the habit.
The Gift of Social Media is truly a gift for the entire family.
Stay tuned for more on our campaign!
We hope you’ll join us in promoting the Gift of Social Media and consider giving the gift to the senior loved ones in your life!