Internet Surfing Can Help Beat Dementia among the Elderly

November 21, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. dementia /dɪˈmɛn ʃə, -ʃi ə/ (n.) – a mental disorder that affects a person’s memory and thinking ability
Example: The old patient who is suffering from dementia can no longer remember his name.

2. potential /pəˈtɛn ʃəl/ (adj.) – possible or probable
Example: The scientists are working hard to find a potential cure for the illness.

3. pop up /ˈpɒpˌʌp/ (v.) – to come out or appear quickly and suddenly on the computer screen
Example: The advertisements that pop up on my computer are annoying.

4. ensure /ɛnˈʃʊər, -ˈʃɜr/ (v.) – to make sure that something will happen
Example: We have to ensure that our computer has an anti-virus application.

5. scam /skæm/ (n.) – a dishonest way to get money from people
Example: We should be careful of money-making scams on the Internet.


Read the text below.
Surfing the Internet and sending emails for the elderly can help avoid memory loss and lessen the risks of dementia.

An eight-year study of 6,500 50-90 year olds shows that the mental ability of those who regularly use the Internet declines more slowly than those who do not. The study, which was published in the Journal of Gerontology [jer-uh n-TOL-uh-jee], also reveals that regular Internet users can recall better even in different time intervals.  

Contrary to beliefs that the Internet is only for young people, Dr. Tom Stevens, a psychiatrist [say-KAHY-uh-trist] in London Bridge Hospital, says that the Internet actually helps older people stay mentally active. He further states that people over 65 years old should see the Internet as an effective tool to utilize their mental faculties.

The Internet and information technology do not only provide a form of communication but also offer convenience to older people despite any disabilities they may already have.

But despite the benefits of Internet surfing, there are also potential online risks. Adblock Plus, a company that blocks advertising banners from popping up while browsing, stressed that older people should be aware of the possible dangers on the Internet. Online scams, promotions of discounted medication and cheap insurance are some of the risks that the elderly might be tempted to look at.

Ben Williams from Adblock Plus recommends that old people seek basic lessons on how to ensure they don’t fall prey to online scams and viruses. Otherwise, they might think that the Internet is hard to manage and difficult to use.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that using the Internet can help the elderly utilize their mental faculties? Why or why not?
·         How else can the Internet benefit the elderly?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the reasons why some old people shy away from using the Internet? Explain your answer.
·         How can they be encouraged to use the Internet?

November 21, 2014