The Internet holds many benefits for seniors who can go online to make friends and learn new information. Seniors can also use online resources to do things such as check their medical test results and pay their bills. While it’s relatively safe for seniors to use reputable websites and talk to people they know online, it’s also easy for things to go wrong. Caregivers can keep their senior loved ones safe by using these best practices for preventing identity theft and fraud.
Set Up Strong Passwords
The days when seniors could use their birthdays for passwords are long gone. Seniors today may have started using the Internet when the purpose of a password was to keep people in close physical proximity from accessing their accounts. Now, people from all over the world can hack into an account with simple password-generating tools. Therefore, your loved one may need to update his or her accounts with strong passwords, which should have both upper- and lowercase letters combined with numbers and symbols that would be impossible for anyone to guess.
Warn About Sharing Personal Information
Seniors may be overly trusting of people they meet online, and this tip is especially important for seniors who are interested in online dating. When seniors first meet people online, they need to avoid giving out personal information such as their addresses. They should also take this precaution with companies that randomly request information on unsecured websites. While your loved one may need to enter information such as his or her birthday on a doctor’s website, you should caution him or her to ask you first if he or she is unsure of the trustworthiness of a person or business online.
A home caregiver can monitor your loved one’s safety when you need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Boynton Beach respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
Show Them Safe Browsing Practices
Your loved one may need to know how to identify reputable sources online. For example, he or she may need to go to a website that’s operated by an educational institution or government organization when looking up health information. Seniors should also be warned about clicking on links or downloading material that may contain viruses.
Talk About Common Online Scams
Your loved one has probably heard about scams like the fake wealthy relative who wants to wire money to his or her account. However, scams have become much more difficult to detect than in the past. For example, some scams involve fake websites designed to look like reputable ones, such as those operated by banks. Your loved one should know to check the web address carefully when conducting important business online. Seniors also need to be warned that they may receive emails with offers that are really just scams.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Boynton Beach families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Watch for Signs of Criminal Activity
Once your loved one has memory loss or loses the ability to view scams with skepticism, you may need to take further action to protect his or her safety. With your loved one’s permission, use web monitoring software that gives you a peek at his or her online interactions. If your loved one refuses, watch for signs he or she is having a problem, such as financial or computer difficulties.
Using the Internet safely is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (561) 220-9776.