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Does online engagement constitute a sign of successful aging? Some of these questions do not yet have answers and are in need of additional scholarly discussion and research. Gerontological scholars have suggested older adults turn to the Internet to enhance social interaction (Harley & Fitzpatrick, 2009; Jung, Walden, Johnson, & Sundar, 2017) and, for many, it helps. Online engagement among older adults appears to increase perceived closeness to family and friends as well as reduce self-reported depression and stress (Hogeboom et al., 2010). The understanding of friendship: An adult life course perspective. Additional scholarly discussion and research on this topic is needed. A version of this article will appear in the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Program's (Co PGTP) forthcoming fall newsletter. Gerontol., 36, 93-111 Jung, E., Walden, G., Johnson, A., & Sundary, S. To maximize the benefits of clinical guidance, and to ensure older clients feel prepared to negotiate the advantages and risks of online engagement, psychologists must understand the common ethical obligations and challenges it presents. In some practice contexts, professional competence may be incomplete if the clinician lacks familiarity with these issues.
How do we assess capacity to engage in online dating?
Even after the death of a spouse, many older adults want to date again—and quickly (Altterovitz & Mendelsohn, 2011).
An analysis of widows and widowers ages 65 and older, for example, found that 18 months after the death of a spouse, 37 percent of men and 15 percent of women wanted to date (Carr, 2004).
Co-authored by Keisha Carden, MA Many adults seek intimacy into later life, both in person and online (Addis et al., 2006).
Compared to previous generations, the rate of casual dating has ballooned among adults over 50, who now account for one in four divorces since 1990 (Brown & Lin, 2012).
Engage in open and transparent discussion with older adults about the benefits and risks of online social interactions.