Someone once told me that internet access isn’t a good thing for seniors because it would just make them more isolated. Well, I suppose that would be the case if they spent all their time on the internet watching movies. But they don’t. Most of those over 65 I’ve talked to use the internet to connect with the outside world. They want to be on Facebook or Instagram so they can get photos of their grandkids who live far away. They use pages like Newport, VT Rocks! to find out about things that are going on in the area, so they can go to them and socialize with other people. If you don’t know what’s happening, you will miss a lot! They use Facebook and email to exchange information about club meetings, projects and church events. They access their medical portal to communicate with their health care provider online. Keeping in contact with friends and family helps others know what kind of help the senior might need and might inspire a visit from a concerned friend. Those not in communication are easily forgotten! They can get local and national news that keeps them informed and mentally sharp. They are also quick to pick up on useful applications that make it easier for them to stay independent. A 75 year old lady wrote this: “Well I use Instagram too but I haven’t gotten down with Snapchat. I like my apps. One to remind me to take pills, one to get up and move, another to remind me to drink (water) , and of course I have Miss Google to tell me what the date is or the temperature outside.” One study done by researchers at Michigan State University found that that elderly individuals who spend occasional time online can drastically reduce symptoms of depression. Our primary focus here at Newport Wireless Mesh is to bring the internet to two types of neighbors, families with children and seniors, because we understand that there are so many ways that the internet can help keep older residents from dropping out of the social realm.