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Why Does Using the Internet Intimidate My Senior Loved One?

Technology is now so commonplace it’s difficult to avoid using even in day-to-day life. Because of this, it’s likely your senior loved one has been faced with the need to use the Internet. However, the Internet can be tricky to navigate and even frightening for some seniors, which can be caused by a variety of factors. To help prevent your loved one from being intimidated by this technology, Bridgewater in-home care experts recommend ways to alleviate his or her fears and frustrations.

It Seems Too Difficult to Use

If you have offered to help your loved one learn how to use the Internet and heard repeatedly that doing so is too complicated, brushing off the use of the Internet as a bother could be a sign he or she is actually intimidated. One way you can help with this is by offering assistance a bit at a time and reassuring your loved one that the Internet has become simpler to use in the past few years. Likely, learning to use the Internet won’t be as complicated as your loved one feared, but he or she may only be familiar with older versions of the technology.

The Technology Seems Unnecessary

Many seniors insist they will be just fine without the Internet or other forms of technology in their lives. However, technology’s omnipresence means that may not actually be true. Some modern tasks are easier and more efficient to perform using the Internet. Work with your loved one to point out the benefits of using technology. Talk to him or her about some of the specific things that will become easier or possible through the use of the Internet, some of which he or she may not even know about. This method can encourage your loved one to see the possibilities of technology.

He or She Is Worried About Making Mistakes

Many seniors worry about making mistakes or not being good with technology. This may be a sign your loved one is interested but intimidated by the Internet. Luckily, making big mistakes on the Internet is more difficult than he or she likely thinks. Show your loved one some of the ways the Internet can “fix” itself. For instance, teach your loved one how to recover a lost browser page through the Internet history or show him or her there aren’t any places to input something that will break the Internet. Knowing the Internet is more foolproof than expected can be a big reassurance. Also, show your loved one how serious things like purchases or closing unsaved work in a browser are often programmed to show a final warning before proceeding.

He or She Is Concerned About Privacy and Safety

While many seniors have genuine safety concerns about the Internet, a great deal of those concerns result from lack of knowledge and intimidation. If your loved one is using his or her safety on the Internet as a reason to avoid it, you may be able to help. Show your loved one ways to identify safety features online, such as explaining about SSL notices listed on websites and how an “https” at the beginning of a URL denotes a secure site. Generally, this is used on sites containing sensitive information, such as bank or health center websites. Make sure to keep the conversation upbeat and positive to ward off continued nervousness.

The Internet has become extremely beneficial to the lives of many seniors, offering interaction and mental stimulation that might not otherwise be available. To learn more about how using the Internet and other brain-boosting activities can benefit your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. By using the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to stave off cognitive decline, our part-time caregivers in Bridgewater can help keep your loved one mentally stimulated. We also offer live-in care and specialized care for Alzheimer’s and dementia. For more information, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.