Seniors might stave off memory loss by frequenting Facebook, a new study suggests.
The social network is just what the doctor ordered for older folks who are like-minded and can find enjoyment in photo-sharing, and copious discussions about such topics as family life, health, retirement, nutrition and fitness.
It has long been reported that sites like Facebook can actually reduce stress, anxiety and depression but now researchers have added brain flexibility to the list. A study conducted by the Italian Association Of Psychogeriatrics, an organization that promotes better geriatric mental health, revealed that Facebook and Internet technology in general helps keep elderly people’s cultural curiosity alive. It stimulates attention span and memory, keeping them mentally young.
The study involved two resident facilities in Italy. The participants were all given laptops with wireless connections, along with tutorials on how to maneuver on the internet. The men and women were schooled on the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Those folks who got the knack of it and were successful at using the social networking sites demonstrated better cognition and were more on-the-ball than those who chose to remain detached from Internet use.
In recent years, the number of silver-set members who are entertaining themselves via sites like Facebook has increased by 80 percent; the number of seniors who have profiles on Facebook exceeds 1.5 million.