Social media may help older generations live longer

So how can older people feel younger? Social media might be the answer

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Feeling young is more important than being young according to a new study. So how can older people feel younger? Social media might be the answer.

A new study from the University of Exeter suggests social media helps older people stay connected, happier, feeling younger and could be the key to good health as we grow older.

Gerald Washington, 62, said he doesn’t use social media Like Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or Skype a lot — just email. “I use internet to communicate with my son,  we communicate with emails,” says Washington.

Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein agrees with the study’s findings. “The more you challenge yourself cognitively, it delays the onset of dementia and confusion and it’s a great way to keep people healthy in terms of your mental health,” says Burstein. “You can reach out to people and communicate with them so you’re not isolated. It can help elevate your mood and help depression and when your mood’s elevated your endorphins are higher.”

So if you’ve been putting off Skyping with your loved one this holiday season, that could help them out in the long run.

“For people who are older it might take a little bit longer to learn a new skill,” said Burstein. “Everybody can learn and if can teach them it can open up the doors to a whole new world.”

The two-year project funded by the European Union and led by the University of Exeter showed people who got training became more positive about computers over time, and eventually enjoyed connecting with friends and relatives via Skype and email.

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