The prevalence of depression among aging seniors is an unfortunate reality. It is estimated that about 6 million individuals over the age of 65 are suffering from the disease. I recently read that the World Health Organization stated that, “Older people who feel they are a burden perceive their lives to be less valuable, putting them at risk of depression and social isolation.”
It is understood that the benefits of intergenerational connections among seniors and kids can help older adults feel a greater sense of fulfillment. Fortunately, we have so many technological advancements, tablets and smartphones are ideal tools for personalized engagement among the two demographics. They serve as an accessible and affordable means to listen to customized music playlists, viewing meaningful photos or videos, connect via video with other family, re-establish old relationships, and engage in games or activities, all while allowing the child to educate the older adult about the technological programming that is essentially instilled in them.
With a greater focus on closing the “digital divide,” new versions of the tablets and phones are catered to the aging population with bigger screens, larger fonts, and more easily accessible applications. The power of technology in connecting the two generations brings a sense of fulfillment and collaboration to both demographics. With more opportunity for socialization through use of the digital screen, hopefully we will see a greater decline in depression among seniors.