Senior at computer

Regular online communication with friends and family as well as in-person interaction and phone chats all work together to help maintain long-term memory among older persons, says a study conducted by the University of West London’s Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory, and the University of Manchester.

Study researchers, publishing in the Journals of Gerontology, found that older people who frequently connect with others via email along with traditional in person social interactions or phone calls showed less of a decline in episodic memory, which refers to one’s ability to recollect meaningful events. Episodic memory impairment is a hallmark sign of major forms of dementia.

The study, titled “Social Contact and 15-year Episodic Memory Tractories in Older Adults with and without Hearing Loss,” looked at regular communication habits of 11,418 men and women aged 50 to 90 years.

Study researchers concluded that older adults, especially those living with hearing loss, might benefit from supplementing conventional social interactions with online communication modes.