106-year-old woman embraces Facebook for charity

As her 107th birthday approaches, Edythe Kirchmaier remains one of the oldest users on the social networking site Facebook. She'll celebrate on January 23, and if it's anything like her past few birthdays, it's likely to be full of digital well-wishes and charitable activities. ABC News reported that the non-profit foundation, Direct Relief, signed her up for a Facebook account when she turned 105, and she's been promoting the charity through social media ever since.

History of giving
While Facebook has helped Kirchmaier promote the charity, her volunteer work dates back much farther. In a Super Soul Short interview, she told the Oprah Winfrey Network that her desire to help others began when she was a young child. She was looking for food to give to the poor, and her mother encouraged her to take what she could find and give it to others. Ever since, volunteering has been a major part of her life and has only become more prominent throughout her retirement.

"My goal was to get my favorite charity, Direct Relief, better known," she told ABCNews.com. "I never thought we would hit 105,000 likes, but we did. I have been volunteering here for 40 years and it feeds my soul."

She's also no stranger to setting records. ABC reported that she's the oldest licensed driver in California, as well as the University of Chicago's oldest living graduate. When she was unable to enter her birth year while signing up for Facebook, that marked another instance where she paved the way for older adults to stay connected with loved ones, whether they're living at home or at a senior residence.

Others embracing Facebook
There was a time when Kirchmaier was the oldest Facebook user, but that has since changed. Joining her are other tech-savvy seniors, like Anna Stoehr, who USA Today reported created an account at the age of 113. At the time, Facebook only allowed for those as old as 99 to enter their age in the system, so Stoehr responded by faking her age and writing a letter to Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg using an old typewriter.

Not only does it help older adults stay connected to loved ones, but going online can also keep users cognitively and socially active. It's especially helpful for those in retirement communities or assisted living residences who want to show friends and family everything they're up to and stay in the know about what's going on in their loved one's lives. Embracing the connectedness of today is valuable for those of all ages!