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Benefits of Social Media for Seniors and Safety Tips

Some recent studies have shown that more seniors have started using social media for entertainment and to interact with family and friends; as COVID-19 restrictions have encouraged them to explore new ways to stay connected and up-to-date date with current events. These interactive tools allow seniors to play games, see, and talk with others as if they were sitting in the same room. Here are several tips on how seniors can safely benefit from social media participation.

Benefits for Seniors Using Social Media

  • Depression has been found to decrease by as much as 33 percent in seniors using the internet. 
  • Seniors' increased engagement in activities and social communication may lead to a senior's cognitive improvement — especially in those who are active on email, ZOOM, Facebook, and Skype.
  • Seniors who live alone and without nearby family are able to keep in touch. The ability to interact with others gives seniors something to look forward to. 
  • Human interaction is vital to a person's overall well-being. This is especially important in these unprecedented times of pandemic. Social media allows crucial connections and helps to avoid mental, social, and emotional isolation.

Social Media Safety Tips for Seniors 

  • Beware, scammers are always scrolling through social media sites. Most of them make it a full-time job to scam others. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, go with your gut feeling. Anyone can fall prey to online scammers, it is not your fault. A scammer's sole purpose is to encourage you to believe them and part with your money.
  • Avoid clicking links that are unfamiliar. Especially those that just show up in an email from people you don't know. 
  • Never send money over the internet to someone you do not know. Be wary of those pretending to be a family member and need money. Hang-up and call another trusted family member about the phone call received. Scammers can get your card number or bank account numbers and drain your account. 
  • Protect your real identity and address. Create a fun name to interact with family and friends. Never give your address and personal information online. 
  • Do not fall for the "you owe us money scam". Ignore emails that claim you owe money. Be wary of emails asking you to help claim money from a foreign country by allowing a large deposit into your bank account. 
  • Beware of those who ask you to send them money for big or small emergencies. These are likely scammers. Be aware that they can also pose as a potential friend or romantic interest. Scammers come up with different ways to get money out of people every day, stay alert. Report any incidents to a trusted person or law enforcement. If you do fall prey report the incident to a trusted person or to law enforcement.

To find out more about how the best use of social media can benefit seniors, or explore the benefits of in-home care in the Greater Oklahoma City metro, please call 405 608 4339 or email: greaterokc@seniorhelpers.com.