New study shows social media can reduce elderly depression - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New study shows social media can reduce elderly depression

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Doris Gage, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff) Doris Gage, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff)
Marguerite Garrett, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff) Marguerite Garrett, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff)
Joy Coble, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff) Joy Coble, Resident at PineCrest Retirement Community (Source: KTRE Staff)
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Late life depression affects nearly 10 million people who are over the age of fifty, but a new study shows that social media could fix that by increasing feelings of connectedness.

Joy Coble lives at the PineCrest Retirement Community in Lufkin, but her family is spread out all over the world.

Though, Joy says she is still very close to her family, thanks to social media.

"I went on Facebook so I could keep up with my daughter and granddaughter and just investigate what it was all about and I started finding friends all over the world," said Coble.

Doris Gage, who is also a resident at PineCrest Retirement Community, says social media brings joy to her life.

"I really do not see these people, but I see pictures of what they're doing and pictures of their families and I just feel like they are very close," said Gage.

It also helps her feel like she is that much closer to her family.

"Everybody either works or goes to school, so I don't see them often, but [on Facebook]I know what's going on in their lives and that makes me apart of it and I enjoy it," said Gage.

It's more than just Facebook and Twitter that are responsible for helping people connect.

Video chat applications like Skype are taking that connection a little further by allowing people half way around the world to see each other.

Marguerite Garrett, who is also a resident at PineCrest Retirement Community, says social media has allowed her to see her granddaughter who lives in China.

"My granddaughter is in China and she is three years old and first thing in the morning at 6:30 am…she says ‘Hello Grandma' and I say ‘Have you gotten away from your nanny' and she says ‘yes, but I want to talk to you'," said Garrett.

Garrett also says that social media is great especially when you can't travel.

"So that was wonderful getting to see that because we would never travel there and see what they do," said Garrett.

On top of getting to chat with family at 6:00 a.m., social media also adds grandparents to the ‘cool' list.

"The fun thing is that my kids friends say to them 'O your moms on Facebook? How cool', like it's really rocket science and it's not rocket science," said Gage.

The study also show that only 27 % of grandparents are online and that could be due to the complexity of it or even the fear of having their personal information online.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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