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Getting Social, Battling Loneliness

couple w:computer © Mark Bowden
©Istockphoto/Mark Bowden

Volunteers from the nonprofit organization Family Matters of Greater Washington teamed up with District residents this year to help them battle loneliness by learning to use social media.

Funded by AARP Foundation, the Connecting to Community (C2C) project provided iPads, Internet service and six months of volunteer-led instruction to about 50 isolated, older, African American residents. The volunteers taught participants how to use email, Facebook, YouTube and other social media to develop closer connections with their families.

More than half of adults age 65-plus use the Internet and email, and 1 in 3 uses a social networking site like Facebook or LinkedIn, according to the Pew Research Internet Project.

Nationwide, more than a third of adults age 45 and older say they are lonely, according to AARP research.

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