9 benefits of photos and images for older people

There is plenty of research indicating the human mind processes images faster than text. It is also now much easier to share photos and images with our loved ones. We have cameras and software on our phones, tablets and computers. 

It is easy to assume that photos and technology are just for the younger generation. But older people find incredible joy and memories in photos as well.

We've put together some benefits to encourage you to share photos and images with your older loved ones whether they live at home, in aged care or independent village.

1. Start a conversation

Photos build a wonderful base for conversation. Particularly across generations, using photos is a great way to find a comfortable space to start a chat and may even lead to learning something new about each other. Talking about when the photo was taken, what else was happening or who may be in the photo are great, simple conversation starters.

2. Reduces accessibility barriers

The use of images and photos can help to overcome any potential communication barriers for people that may have limited speech or movement. 

3. Helps the person be a part of an event or activity

We’re not together all the time so that means we can’t always be there to share events or activities. Events like an overseas holiday or concert as well as birthdays or Christmas can’t always be spent together. Photos help someone feel like they were there with you and share that experience.

4. Be used as a learning tool

Images are more than just the photos we take of people, places and things. Using images can be a great education tool for all ages. Continuing to learn is an important part of maintaining a healthy brain. 

5. Help tap into emotions

An image can help tap into a range of emotions and often more than just one emotion. For example, this image is of myself and my grandmother from a couple of decades ago. It brings me joy that she was there for that moment but also reminds me that I miss her even after all these years.

6. Break down potential language barriers

Regardless of what language you may speak or read, images can help with communication without the use of words or text. For example think of an image for a key, watch, cutlery or eye and we will most likely identify a similar image regardless of language.

7. Help as a memory aid

Photos create an amazing memory aid across all ages. Using photos and images creates a connection point between the present and the past, often helping us to recall a lot more. Particularly as a tool for older people that may require memory assistance, images become an essential part of the support structure.

8. Stimulate imagination

Images and photos stimulate the imagination and help inspire us. How many times have we seen a photo of a car, a beautiful location or a piece of clothing and thought about buying or visiting it? Inspiration and dreaming is an important part of life and we think it should always encouraged. Use photos to help your older loved ones see new things and visit new places.

9. Help put a smile on someone’s face

This is a great one to end on. Images can make us laugh or smile regardless of age. Whether it’s seeing loved ones in photos or humorous images. That’s why so many people will share cat or dog pictures on social media and email. Share one with your older loved one and see them smile.

Explore the YourLink Photo Album

Find out more about the YourLink photo album.

Here’s a snapshot of my YourLink Photo album at the moment. 

Download YourLink for iPad for free and start building your own personalised, private photo album. Invite your family and friends and you can start helping your mum, dad, or loved one create their own album by sending them photos.

Please let us know if you found this article interesting or have any additional comments to add. And feel free to share.