Posted on Jan 26, 2015, 6 a.m.
The Internet – and in particular, social media – can help to foster social inclusion among the older population, thereby potentially improving mental well‐being and cognitive performance.
The University of Exeter (United Kingdom) is home to the AGES 2.0 project, which aims to assess the use of the Internet and social networks, tailored on two selected groups of elderly people in the two countries involved in the research (Italy and United Kingdom). Subjects are followed by social workers, and their progress in social relations, computer literacy and health are monitored. A two‐year project funded by the European Union, AGES 2.0 provides a group of older adults, ages 60 to 95 years, a specially‐designed computer, broadband connection and training in how to use them. Participants became particularly engaged in connecting with friends and relatives via Skype and email. As a result, self‐competence improved, social engagement rose, personal identity strengthened, and cognitive capacity improved. These factors indirectly led to overall better mental health and well‐being.
For more information: http://www.ages2.eu/