The world feels smaller the more you explore online. Suddenly friends, family and even strangers with shared interests are just a click away. Online communities can feel intimidating if you’re just starting out, but they can be a wonderful way to connect with others. Here’s the rundown on how to make the most of online groups.

Support

The aging journey isn’t easy. Those experiencing it can find difficulties in accepting the physical changes that come with getting older and those who watch their loved ones age feel the emotional pains as well. Support from those who have been there becomes important. The digital age has provided online support for individuals aging as well as those caring for aging loved ones. Online groups found through social media sites (Google+, Facebook) and more traditional sites like AARP, offer connection with the click of a mouse. Get the most out of these groups by participating. Have a question? Post it to the forums. Need a moment of celebration? Post it! It can be hard in your own neighborhood to find people who are experiencing the same life challenges you are. The digital world offers the ability to connect with these support systems from anywhere in the world.

Social

Yes, there is online dating for the over 50 crowd. Socialization is an important part of who we are as human beings and meeting friends and “more than friends” isn’t so easy to do in person anymore. The digital age can offer an opportunity to meet that special someone from the comfort of your own home. Match.com and other dating sites often offer a special section for seniors and specialty sites like Ourtime.com provide a digital space specifically for senior meet-ups.

Information

Want to know the top 10 bucket list items? How about the ways you can support a loved one with memory loss? These answers and more are right at your fingertips. Pinterest is an online community that enables users to search ideas, questions and topics, “pin” related website results to a board and save them for later use. It’s not only a great way to keep ideas organized, it’s a great way to connect with others. The site allows users to follow other user’s boards. If someone else is also searching for “activities to do with Mom and Dad,” you can follow their board and get some ideas of your own. It’s social sharing at its finest.

Follow Tabitha’s Pinterest board at www.Pinterest.com/TabithaHealth for even more ideas on how to connect digitally.