Seniors Onboard the Web Revolution – Help Them Navigate it Safely

Does your senior surf the net?

Does your senior shop online?

Is your senior a Facebook fan?

Do they tweet?

If you can answer yes to any or all of the above questions, your senior is part of the revolution!

If your senior is familiar with the words used above – good for them, but it’s time to start getting more involved!

If your senior doesn’t know what those questions mean, you can help them get on board and join the revolution!

Many seniors find using technology and accessing the internet can stimulate their brains and help maintain their cognition. Exercising their minds is a definite benefit to getting connected for many seniors.

The Latest Trend

Seniors are adopting — and adapting too — technology, using the internet more and more and finding social media has many perks.

In fact, a Pew research study found, that from 2009 to 2011, internet use among seniors 65 and older grew 150%!

Of seniors who use the internet, 71% go online daily and 34% are using social media, such as Facebook.

The latest trend shows that as the numbers of seniors using Facebook is increasing, the number of younger users decreases.

How are seniors using Facebook?

You might think that they are using the web to connect with family and friends, share photos with far away families, and keep up to date on the lives of their family members.

It is true, but they are doing much more!

The internet can reach lonely seniors who are isolated without the friends they meet and with whom they talk online.

One study found that 44% of seniors over 65 are using social media and the internet because they find it user friendly, others their age are doing it, and it is useful to them.

In addition to socialization, they are increasingly using it to gather health information and to talk about their own health problems.

Even better is the fact that many health professionals are recognizing this use of the internet and joining them online to become an informational source for patients. Connecting with their current and future patients is a great use of social media and the internet.

Seniors are also using the internet to share and learn about their medical conditions. Support from others who are living with the same issues is growing.

Other Favorite Internet Uses

Some of us are so accustomed to doing things on the web that we can’t fathom why seniors who did not grow up with a computer on their lap or a phone in their pocket are not doing it all on the internet.

Their slower adoption should be understandable when you think that the learning curve for technology is great.

They struggle with how to turn on a computer, fear of breaking the internet or pushing the wrong button and deleting it all.

But seniors are coming around to using all kinds of devices from e-readers, tablets, smartphones and lap tops. Many are even using health wearables to track their own health. Connected health devices are seeing a great rise in senior users.

Many of us might find it very surprising that in a survey published in October 2009 a shocking number of seniors reported that they shopped online – 77% of those 65 years or older. 94% regularly use email, 71% seek health information online, and 59% conduct financial business online.

Our stereotype is that seniors are not getting connected, but that is not the reality.

Amazing how quickly things can change! For the better!

Seniors are also using Skype, FaceTime and Twitter to connect with people they know and love.

Using the internet for a wide variety of things from shopping, online support, couponing, sharing photos, learning a new skill, telemedicine, playing a game or any other of the millions of things you can do on the internet is benefiting the quality of life of our seniors.

Seniors and family caregivers are also taking advantage of the wealth of information available to them about options such as senior living, researching home care providers, and talking to others about their aging services experiences.

Many of these seniors are using Pinterest to connect with others, learn new things, shop, and just be part of the conversation.

Safety Concerns

Some seniors and family caregivers may cringe at the opportunity for security breaches that can occur when using the internet, social media and emailing.

They may fear that their senior loved one’s personal information, especially health data, is subject to HIPPA violations or misuse.

Scammers are out there as we all know waiting for your senior to share too much information.

Protecting your senior from risk on the internet can be done with education, reminders, security setup, and password safety. We have to help our seniors navigate the web safely.

If your senior loved one is uncomfortable with the computer or needs someone to help navigate or troubleshoot once they are connected, there are many classes they can take to help them join the revolution!

Most would concur that seniors are finding the internet an invaluable personal connection to shopping and services previously not accessible especially for those with mobility impairments or lack of transportation.

How great your senior will feel when he or she receives an email from a grandchild, sees them playing a game via FaceTime, checks out family pictures on the wall of a granddaughter’s Facebook page, gets a package in the mail that they bought online without the hassle of a department store line and many more experiences.

Continue the revolution by signing up for our newsletter today and we will connect with you on this and other topics of interest to YOU and your senior loved ones!

2 thoughts on “Seniors Onboard the Web Revolution – Help Them Navigate it Safely”

  1. Interesting points. It seems that the internet is becoming the norm across different ages. The internet is a great tool but needs to be used safely because there can be security breaches as well. Thank you for sharing!

    • We agree! Security measures need to be in place and password reminders too! The internet has tremendous benefits but needs to be used safely!

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