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Wheaton North Seniors Teach Senior Citizens to Use Facebook

A four-week course at Wyndemere Senior Living Community gives seniors the tools to use and navigate Facebook

A group of Wheaton North seniors last week finished teaching a group of senior citizens how to use Facebook.

The four-week course at the Wyndemere Senior Living Community was offered to residents interested in learning how to use social media to connect to friends and family, as residents are always seeking new programs for cultural, intellectual and social learning, Erin Donaldson, Wyndemere Executive Director wrote in an email.

She added, evidence points to how social networking has become a “powerful” way for aging adults to connect to loved ones and maintain relationships. “Emotionally, it lifts spirits and boosts morale; intellectually, it’s an ideal exercise for the mind,” Donaldson wrote.

Wyndemere resident Harold Crittenden said as he learned how to log in to Facebook and find friends, “a lucky thing happened”: he found his grandchildren’s profiles. Without the course, he said he may not have been able to keep up with Facebook.

“When you’re 86 years old this is sort of a fun thing to do right? I can sit at the computer anyway—(and) it’s cheaper than a phone call,” he said.

About a dozen residents participated in the Facebook course, according to Donaldson. “I think we are on to something—our residents are loving it. Many

considered it as the exclusive domain of young people, and were delighted to find many of their peers on Facebook. They’re already receiving positive feedback from family and relatives at a distance, and appreciating what a powerful tool this can be,” she wrote.

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