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Ways to Tackle Depression and Social Isolation in the Elderly Using Technology

One in every twenty people in Singapore suffers from depression. Even though depression is relatively more common among elderly, it is not a part of normal aging. The main causes of depression in old age can be separation from closed ones, loneliness, loss of a friend or family member and health problems.

 Importance of being in touch with family and friends for well-being of elderly

When you grow old your entire social network changes. You lose people you once considered most dear to you. A lot of people don’t realize that depression does not come with old age; it is actually the result of social isolation and loneliness. It is believed that elders who stay connected with their family tend to live healthy and relatively longer lives. We live in a fast moving world where technology has made communication very easy. Even if you live far from your children, you can always contact them through your mobile phone. There are lots of apps that let you contact your loved ones through audio and video calls.

The Use of Technology to combat depression in the elderly.

We are living in an information era. Technology has made life easier and convenient for everyone including the older citizens of our society. Singapore is one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world and social isolation in senior citizens of Singapore can be eliminated through effective use of technology.

It is well known that playing games can release a lot of stress and improve one’s life. Gaming is a fun outlet for elders and more senior friendly games are being designed to help them feel more relaxed and happy. Senior-friendly games by SilverActivities as well as apps by Lumosity, Dakim, Senior Games and Temasek Polytechnic are popular among elderly.

Apart from games, apps to help elders stay connected and communicate with their family are also available but may be too complex to navigate. Grandpad offers senior-friendly tablets that help senior citizens connect with their families with an easy, simplified interface. Many smartphones also come with built-in health apps that help to monitor heart rate, record routines and diet so that elders can stay healthy. Using such technologies in old age can help to stay healthy and avoid social isolation.