It’s hard to believe that anyone ever went through life without smart phones and social media, but a generation of aging seniors are relative newcomers to navigating the world of Facebook, Instagram and more. There’s a big emphasis on teaching teenagers how to use social media responsibly but sometimes seniors need to be educated on what to do and what to avoid. If the elderly care about connecting with others online, they need to care about how to conduct themselves on social media as well.
Family caregivers should not assume their elderly loved ones know all about social media, especially when it comes to privacy and permanence. Misuse of social media, even innocently, can result in a range of issues and problems. Here are some topics that family caregivers absolutely must make sure their senior loved ones know more about in order to become responsible social media users:
Here are several topics that family caregivers should talk about with their aging loved ones who are using social media:
Navigating through different social media platforms is difficult enough for savvy users, so seniors with less experience may not realize whether or not they are protected. Adult children should make sure that senior accounts are properly set up and they need to be reminded not to share passwords with anyone. The best way for a senior’s social media accounts to remain secure is to ensure privacy settings are
Avoid Personal Information
It’s great when seniors want to get on social media to connect with children and grandchildren. However, they may not be as well-informed when it comes to who else might be out there waiting glean information. Seniors that aren’t savvy on social media may not realize the hazards of posting private information like an address or whether they are leaving on vacation.
Many people use social media platforms to engage in discussions about a number of topics, including politics, religion and personal opinions. Sometimes, seniors might express their sentiments in the heat of the moment and later regret what they said or how they said it. It’s a good idea to remind seniors to never post anything online they wouldn’t want everyone to read years from now.
While there has been a lot of news coverage about internet predators and teen victims, there are many elderly social media users that are also taken advantage of. Predators are experts at building relationships of trust with their victims. They are then able to pursue financial information, passwords, and even convince trusting seniors to send money. Seniors may need to be reminded that not everyone should be trusted online.
Today’s seniors are increasing their use of social media as a fun way to connect with family members, friends and social groups. For more isolated elderly people, it’s a great way to indulge in their hobbies, learn about the wider world and interact with others that share their interests. Family caregivers should help aging loved ones use social media responsibly by making sure they are well established and are reminded of good habits when online.
If you or an aging loved-on are considering caregivers in North Chicago, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.
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