Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge, Explains How Social Media Can Promote Overall Wellness
When you consider that many seniors were around for the invention of the television in 1927, it is no wonder that they may be resistant to new technology and especially social media. For many seniors, computers are intimidating, but it is critical for family members and the healthcare community to encourage seniors to get involved in social media.
A recent article by The Harvard Business Review (HBR), points to several studies that show social interactions could lead to a smarter, stronger brain. This is traditionally a huge focus in senior living communities, who try to encourage social interactions in order to promote overall wellness among its residents. Thanks to technology, these social interactions can now happen online.
Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge, who launched Community Social—the first-ever social network dedicated to helping seniors lead an active and social lifestyle– offers 6 reasons why seniors should usesocial media:
1) KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY: As the body slows down, visiting old friends and even family can be difficult. Couple that with busy work schedules and staying abreast of social current events can be challenging. The best part of social media is that it overcomes geography and now seniors can keep in touch with kids and grandkids. They can receive videos, photos and have conversations with the push of a button.
2) FIND OLD FRIENDS: Ever wonder what happened to your World War 2 buddy or your high school sweetheart? One of the most amazing parts of sites like Facebook is that you can find people from your past and reconnect. This can be a thrilling experience for someone living in a senior living community.
3) MAKE NEW FRIENDS: When a 25 year old in a major city complains that it is hard to meet new people, imagine how an 85 year old in a senior living community feels. Isolation is a huge problem for seniors due to limited mobility. Traditional social media can certainly help in finding old friends. However, finding new friends on the same old sites is not practical for the aging. What seniors want is a much more simpler solution that allows them to connect with other like-minded people right within their own local community. New social media sites geared just for seniors make it possible for them to broaden their horizons and find people with similar interests in their local community. Seniors, today, are still looking for face-to-face interaction so sites like these are used as a tool to create an active lifestyle within their own environment and closer proximity.
4) KEEP WORKING: 65 is no longer the retirement age for most seniors and while a daily commute into the nearest city may no longer be a viable option, digital and online opportunities for work are expanding at a rapid pace. Social media networking tools could allow seniors to no longer have to be forced into retirement. Moreover, senior living providers can easily post local jobs along with many volunteer positions to continue to allow seniors to live an impactful and purposeful life.
5) LEARN AND RESEARCH: Having an endless library at your fingertips is a luxury that seniors did not have growing up. When most of them take the leap and begin to use Internet and search sites like Google, they are astonished at how much there is to learn. This will keep their brain active which is critical to health and wellness. This can lead to new hobbies or even business ideas and can be great for keeping up with world events.
6) HELP WITH GIFTING AND FINDING SALES: For those seniors who have grandkids, being a good gift giver is a core responsibility. Elder consumers can follow their favorite brands on Facebook and other sites to be alerted to sales and promotions. They can also see what is “new and hot” among the younger generation and come up with great ideas their grandchildren will actually like.
ABOUT ASIF KHAN
Asif’s 20 years of experience in technology have led him to found Caremerge. Before serving as CEO, he spent eight years in various Senior and Global Product Marketing roles at GE Healthcare IT. During his tenure at GE, Asif worked as an entrepreneurial catalyst driving positive change across various businesses. Prior to his leaving GE Healthcare in late 2010 to start Caremerge, Asif was responsible for a portfolio of healthcare products generating $140 million annually with over 3000 clients, worldwide. Asif holds a B.A. in Journalism and History and a B.Sc in Computer Science. He earned his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Caremerge forges meaningful connections between providers, families and seniors seeking to improve communication in today’s complex healthcare environment. With a revolutionary, easy-to-use cloud-based coordination platform, Caremerge keeps the entire care team informed and cohesive through an intuitive interface that enables real-time staff interaction, provides families with peace of mind and improves overall senior wellness.