Is it at all worthwhile to help the elderly (85+yrs) to go online & have a Facebook account?

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Some have never had a computer and have arthritis in the hands, etc. Will the public enjoy photos of the elderly? I guess I would just enter in everything for my mom and add a photo, but would it be worth it? She could not even read any replies. She says all of her best friends have departed anyway.

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My Mom is 83 and I just signed her up for Facebook. It's amazing how many friends she has that she doesn't even know. They are all younger...some are my friends and every one of them gives her delight. On her birthday she kept checking her FB to see who had wished her a happy birthday. She also has an iPad and is loving it. She doesn't always know what she's doing, but it's keeping her engaged and busy and her mind is is fully engaged. She's definitely staying connected and now she wants to buy stock in Facebook!
Because Facebook allows you to control so many factors, it is a wonderful way for an older person to follow a few select people or even a church website. It can open a new world because there are people who might need her advice, she might be able to communicate with grandchildren, and she might even make new friends. One thing that is particularly important, it can focus her attention on something other than being older. I am 56, but I have friends on Facebook the age of your mother. They have limitations, too, but I find that they want to have an opportunity to stay in touch. I was not a fan of Facebook until I had to retire due to illness and my son insisted that I try it to avoid feeling isolated. Best wishes and encourage her to look at other websites she might enjoy. My grandmother was 97 when she died and wanted to learn how to fax. She would have loved Facebook. :)
Using Facebook is NOT complicated!! I use the computer every day and I am 85. This is how I keep in touch with friends, children and grandchildren. I would miss it terribly!! I enjoy just checking Facebook every day and seeing the pictures that have been added and reading some of the messages. I have discovered old friends and former students--I was a teacher. I still exchange emails with my high school friends and some of my former students. I spend a lot of time on the computer--keeps me from getting lonely. So, show your older parents or grandparents how to use the computer and give them a lot of joy! Our library offers classes to anyone so that is another possibility.
I always post pictures and/or stories of what my mother-in-law and I have been doing. We have family on facebook that really enjoy seeing her.
Based on the comments of researchers I've talked to, online tools definitely help people who may be socially isolated because of mobility or cognitive issues to increase their social communications. If you're concerned about the technology being overwhelming, check out programs like and speak with an assistive technology person about simple, low-cost solutions like large print keyboards, accessibility settings in Windows, and more. You can speak to an assistive technology specialist through your state's AT project:
Regardless of age, what difference does it make. If they want a facebook , hey I am all for it. they are still human. just because one may be older or have less ability to do things dosen't mean that they can't learn. Besides they still think and feel like they always did on the inside although they may not appear to be on the outside.we shouldn't give up on someone because of their age. Give them all the help and support they need, I mean is there a certain age to quit living and just give up on life. Hopefully you will make it to that age. I am not a spring chicken but I love older people, and if it wasn't for them you wouldn't be here and there would be no facebook..
LillyLu,

If they can easily access and use a computer Facebook is a great idea. It can keep them in touch with their kids or grandkids and feel connect to their lives. My grandparents (are in their 70's) and my grandmother just created a joint Facebook account with my grandfather. They follow me and always know what is going on in my busy life. They are also good at texting and will send me quick texts to check-up on me. It's created to for the elderly generation to being connected with the younger generation with social media.

Look for some tech articles to come out soon for the elderly :)

Karie H.
AgingCare.com Team
It's not the computer that's complicated, it's Facebook. If you must go on Facebook, then keep it simple. Limit your "friends" and be careful of 'Like" , "Comments" and Wall Posts. It can get complicated. I stand by my previous statement.
LillyLu,
Sounds like a great idea! Give it a try, my MIL is 75 and loves being able to keep up with her Family and friends near and far.
OMG YES!
How fabulous this is. Great to post photos on for family. If you post her stories of what she remembers from her childhood - especially the names - she will get reposes from people doing family tree research. She could be invaluable for this.

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