Video Chat and Social Media Keep Seniors in Touch
While no technology can take the place of in-person human interaction, video chat services like Skype, or Internet-based communication channels such as email and social media, can supplement seniors' social interactions when visits with friends and family aren't possible or too infrequent. Seniors can check with their local senior center for Internet how-to classes, or they can have a tech-savvy grandchild get them set up and show them the ropes.
According to UnitedHealthcare's 2012 100@100 survey of centenarians, staying socially engaged is just as important to healthy aging as genetics and maintaining a healthy body.
Video Games Get Seniors' Bodies and Minds Moving
Many nursing homes and assisted living communities have already recognized the recreational and exercise benefits that Nintendo's Wii sports games offer for elderly adults. Seniors living at home could also benefit by owning a Wii or other video game system controlled by motion. The games offer a fun opportunity for seniors to engage in light physical activity from the comfort of their own living room.
For mental exercise, seniors could try games such as Tetris (spatial recognition), Trivial Pursuit (fact recall), or Mahjong (memory and matching). Encourage seniors to practice on their own and then challenge their grandkids.