Tips for Helping Older Adults Use the Internet Safely

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Using the internet can keep your senior loved one connected to family and friends, especially those who live far away. Navigating different websites and platforms could also boost your parent’s cognitive health and help him or her stay actively engaged. Below you’ll find tips to keep your loved one safe online, whether he or she is using the internet to watch movies, play games, communicate with other people, or learn new things. 

Hide Sensitive Information

Some websites require sharing personal information to create an account. Such sites include social media platforms, utility companies, streaming services, and online retailers. Your loved one should only stay logged in to these sites if he or she is using a trusted device such as a home computer. 

It’s common for seniors to misplace their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, which is why they should avoid staying signed in to online accounts if they’re using any of these devices. If your parent loses a device and his or her passwords are saved, another person could access your loved one’s accounts and make purchases or steal vital information. Encourage your loved one to always hide sensitive information when going online. 

Use Sound Judgment with Other Online Users

Not everyone your loved one interacts with on the internet is trustworthy. In actuality, some people invent false online personas using fake names, locations, and interests. Your parent should be wary of the people he or she shares information with, even if they have common interests. 

Some seniors use online dating platforms to find romance. However, when it comes to meeting someone offline, your loved one should never give out his or her address. Your parent should only meet someone in a safe public place, and you may want to consider going along for the introduction. 

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. University Park 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. 

Update Antivirus Software

Your parent should never enter personal information on a website unless it’s trustworthy. There are countless scams, including emails asking recipients to follow links to sign up. However, these links are often to unreliable sites that steal visitors’ information. 

Antivirus software will verify a website immediately upon accessing the web address. The software will approve the site or share a message stating it’s dangerous and visitors should enter at their own risk. Let your loved one know that if this type of message pops up, he or she should log off the website immediately and avoid it in the future. 

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 senior home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Monitor Usage

Using the internet is excellent for cognitive health, but you should monitor the sites your loved one visits and the people he or she interacts with regularly. Even though the activity is rewarding, seniors living with dementia or Alzheimer’s should never use the internet without supervision, especially in the later stages of these conditions. 

Seniors with cognitive impairment and memory problems could wind up in hazardous situations due to their decreased ability to focus and make sound decisions. However, if a caregiver monitors your loved one’s online activity, your loved one can continue to use the internet safely and receive many benefits that enhance quality of life.

If you need help monitoring your loved one’s safety, both online and in person, a home caregiver can be a wonderful asset. Families looking for top-rated University Park home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (214) 363-3400 today. 


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