Seniors may lack the expertise and resources to utilize the latest technology, but your caregivers can help enhance seniors’ digital literacy to stay connected and live safer lives.
For example, using speech recognition in the home to increase communication between caregivers and seniors or outside communication with loved ones is possible with technology.
Read on for ways your caregivers can encourage online safety and introduce technology to improve seniors’ lives with technology.
Improve Seniors’ Lives with Technology
Seniors must achieve digital literacy to stay connected and safe online. Caregivers can help seniors develop digital literacy and avoid most online scams.
Encourage asking for help—First and foremost, clients should look to trusted resources, family and friends for guidance. There are plenty of trustworthy organizations dedicated to online safety, such as the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice, Connect Safely, the AARP and more.
Caregivers can help reset passwords, install important security updates, monitor financial accounts and be a good sounding board if something seems suspicious.
Check for strong passwords—The strongest passwords combine uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. Eight to twelve characters is a good length, but longer is always better. Nicknames, birthdays or ordinary words in the dictionary should not be used. Avoid using old passwords, as they may be compromised.
Tell clients to never share personal data—Clients should be wary of emails or websites that require a social security number, phone number, date of birth or other personal information, as that data can be used to commit identity theft.
Encourage caution when connecting with unknown people—Whether trying online dating or accepting random friend requests on social media, seniors must be cautious when communicating with unknown people. Encourage clients to look for abnormalities in the way a person writes and the type of grammar and words they use. If online dating, avoid people who profess their love too quickly, share personal struggles too soon, and those who are never able to meet face-to-face.
Think twice before acting—The natural response to an urgent email or message is to open the communication and complete the request. However, it is critical to think twice before clicking links found in urgent emails, especially in reference to client finances. A client’s safest bet is to call the organization to confirm if their communication was authentic.
Useful Technology to Improve Safety Within the Home
Using technology in the home can improve seniors’ overall home experience and safety. This technology can range from fall detection to medication management.
Fall detection—Smart watches or necklaces can detect falls, alerting emergency responders and contacts. These devices may also offer additional features, such as medical alerts, heart rate monitoring and more.
Voice recognition devices—Voice recognition is a commonly used technology that can help improve senior care through knowledge-based assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. These gadgets identify preprogrammed keywords and associate them with a certain instruction. Caregivers can assist by preprogramming these devices, adding everything from medication reminders to timers and more.
Medication management—For seniors, forgetting to take medication can be a major issue. Automated medication dispensers can offer both visual and audible notifications and can even phone a client to remind them to take their prescriptions.
Fire prevention—Kitchen fires are common, especially among the elderly. Stovetop sensors can help to reduce the risk by turning off an electric stove automatically to prevent anything from catching fire. Caregivers might also recommend microwave sensors to better protect seniors from potential threats in the kitchen.
Support from Lockton Affinity Home Care
These tactics and technologies have the potential to improve the safety and well-being of seniors. However, not every danger can be predicted. Caregivers must assess the dangers in each client’s home and be protected with the right insurance.
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