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A carer assisting a Whiddon Casino resident to speak with her son in Adelaide. Image: The Whiddon Group

Seniors turning to social media to feel less lonely: report

Older Australians who use the internet daily are less likely to experience feelings of loneliness than those who peruse the web less often.

This was one of the key findings the Whiddon Group has highlighted from its Social Isolation and Loneliness Report, which was conducted by Galaxy Research. Just under half of those surveyed who use the internet daily said they felt lonely, compared with 59 per cent of those who are less frequent users.

While the report found older Australians most commonly used the internet to access email and search for information, 55 per cent of respondents indicated they use social media.

The majority of social media users were logging onto Facebook, at 97 per cent, followed by sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, at about 10 per cent each.

Of all survey participants, 70 per cent said social media makes them feel less lonely.

Karn Nelson, executive general manager of strategic policy and research at Whiddon, said the internet and social media are avenues the provider is continuing to explore as a means of keeping residents and clients connected with loved ones and the community.

Nelson said: “Every day we see that many of our residents and clients really relish the time they spend online and on social media as means of keeping up with their families, particularly grandchildren, near and abroad. It allows them to stay in touch more frequently and reach out further than ever before.”

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