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Social networking has mental health benefits for older people

— Posted 10/01/14

For people over 65, regular use of the internet help enrich mental health and wellbeing, new research from VicHealth has shown.

The study, which surveyed almost 8,200 people aged 65 and over, suggested that seniors who used the internet for activities like social networking were less likely to be depressed or feel isolated. They also feel safer, volunteer more and are more involved in their local community.

“Staying in touch with family and friends is important to prevent social isolation and this is particularly true for older people who live alone,” says VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter. “We know that loneliness is detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing.”

Plus, using the internet can help provide mental stimulation, which Alzheimer’s Australia says is a great step towards warding off and reducing the impact of dementia. 

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