Partnership creates social network for senior health

Social media use is on the rise among older adults, and while many seniors are turning to Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, a newly developed social network could actually become part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors. The website, known as LifelongHealth.com, connects older users with a variety of professionals in the senior health industry, Healthcare Finance News reports.

The project, a partnership between Alliance Health Networks and Life Line Screening, serves as a one-stop shop for seniors who are interested in looking up everything from the latest health news to health-related message boards and online support. The main goal of the site is to help keep older adults healthy, but in doing so, developers hope it can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for seniors and limit the financial strain on the medical community.

"The philosophy behind this social network is as people talk to others in similar situations and connect and share, they help motivate each other towards wellness for lifelong health,"  Dan Hickey, senior vice president of products at Alliance Health Networks, told the news source. "Whether it’s people connecting over losing weight or particular side effects of a medical condition – it's the power of the crowd that can prevent people from having needless visits to their healthcare providers.

Using social media to improve the health and well-being of seniors is certainly a good idea, especially in light of recent findings from Pew Research. The survey found that as of February 2012, approximately 34 percent of people 65 and older are using social networking websites. Perhaps most interesting is that the figure stood at just 1 percent in 2005.