INTERNET USE CAN PREVENT DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY

Apr 24, 2014

By Jane Brown

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Surfing the net may help to prevent depression as we age.

A new U.S. study suggests when older Americans regularly spend time online, they are about a third less likely  to suffer from depression compared with peers who don’t use the internet.

Lead author Shelia Cotten at Michigan State University says, “the largest impacts on depression were actually for those people who live alone, so she says it’s really suggesting that it’s about connecting with others, eliminating isolation and loneliness.”  Cotten also explains that a lot of older adults have mobility and health issues that keep them from being able to travel and visit with family.  But but being able to use email to see pictures of their children, grandkids or even great-grandkids can help they stay in contact.

Depression is thought to affect nearly 8 percent of Americans over the age of 50, or between five and 10 million people.

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