Monday, September 9, 2019

The Ultimate Internet Safety Guide for Seniors

Follow the SafetyDetective blog daily as our tech experts keep you up-to-date on antivirus software.

Every year, seniors are scammed out of tens of billions of dollars, money they’ve spent their entire lives saving only to have it stolen. The elderly have always been a prime target for Internet scams because of a perceived vulnerability, and now because Internet use among seniors is on the rise. A Pew Research Center survey showed that 67% of seniors are now regular Internet users.

Internet security is something everyone should prioritize, regardless of age, so it’s important to be aware of current threats and how to deal with them. With so many people online, the magnitude of scams is increasing.


Protect Your Computer

Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable systems that they can break into. Viruses and other malware often infect a computer through email attachments, compromised software, or vulnerable Bluetooth connections. With so many powerful, affordable security tools on the market, there’s no reason to risk an infection.

Install a Firewall
A firewall acts as the first layer of protection between your computer and any third-party by acting as a barrier. If you’re using a home computer, you need to ensure that your firewall is always turned on. Depending on your operating system, you can turn on Windows Firewall through the Control Panel. It will also notify you if any attempts have been made to compromise your security. If you’re a Mac user, we recommend you check out our list of vetted antivirus programs.

Install an Antivirus Program
Antivirus software is one of the most important solutions you can use to avoid infections. Both free and paid versions exist, and the most popular free options include Avast Free Antivirus, Microsoft Windows Defender, and AVG Antivirus. Make sure that any software you use is regularly updated and running the latest version.

As for ease of use, we highly recommend the following:
  • Norton by Symantec is a great all-around option that is reliable and easy to use.
  • Comodo offers a seamless experience. Start and stop scans with only one click.
  • If you’re looking for more options, check out our reviews on some of the best antiviruses on the market.
Installing Ad Blockers
Advertising is important for helping websites stay in business and keeping the cost of internet use down for consumers. However, some sites take things too far with so many ads you can’t even see the screen. Other websites may even be using ads to hide malware, a trick known as malvertising.
Some of this malware can install on your computer by simply visiting the webpage, even if you don’t click on the ad. Luckily, an ad blocker is easy to install or can be added as a simple extension to your browser.

The best free ad blockers include Adguard for Chrome and Firefox, AdRemover for Chrome, and Ghostery for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, and iPhone iOS.
You also want to protect your system against other possible threats like spyware. Window’s users can download the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the Windows Download Center. Both Windows and Mac users can use an anti-spyware solution like Malwarebytes.

Use Complex Passwords

Your computer needs to be protected with a password that is both complex and hard to guess. Ideally, it will be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It also shouldn’t include any information that people can easily guess about you like your birthday or name.

Using these steps will ensure that any activity that you do on the internet does not negatively impact your computer. The software will protect your computer against any breaches and will notify you of the same. However, even with this software, you have to use your diligence in who you interact with and which websites you visit. The software can’t protect you against any scams and can only protect your computer system.

Avoiding Common Scams

Cybercrime is the fastest growing crime internationally, and it is estimated that it cost $600 billion last year alone. With so many threats, it can be difficult to protect yourself. Here are only a few of the rampant internet scams to watch out for:

Email Scams Scams that are communicated through an email are the most common. Phishing, for example, tries to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious purposes.

Phishing typically involves a scammer pretending to be someone else. The email looks real and will have a company’s color scheme, logo, and design style. It may feature an offer that seems too good to be true. However, if you look closely at the domain, you’ll notice it isn’t real. It may originate from a domain like, for example. When you click a link in that email, you will be taken to a website that may infect your computer with malicious threats. If you complete a purchase on this fake website, your credit card will likely be stolen.

Another form of email scams is whaling. It’s a lot like phishing, but the scammer targets businesses or C-level executives. Likewise, the email seems to come from a high-ranking executive, providing the scammer access to an account. The Snapchat CEO’s name, for example, was used in a mass email sent to his employees; it was successful in obtaining sensitive information about the company’s employees. To avoid this scam, verify the identity of the person sending you the email. If the email address and credentials check out but you’re still suspicious, contact the person or company about the email before following through.

To continue reading go the original article.

Used with permission.

BY: Eric C
Eric is a professional cyber tech expert with almost a decade of experience writing about security and tech. In recent years, he has been focused heavily on the rapidly developing fintech and cryptocurrency industries and how they relate to online security.

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Caring for Your Aging Parents Course

Time is precious and none of us have enough in a day to do everything we need to. That's why my course from, Caring for Your Aging Parents, allows you to download the file and just LISTEN while you go about other tasks; or just sit and rest for about an hour and soak in all of the tips and information. You can also print out the handout to refer back to and make notes as needed.

Learning to delegate and share responsibilities is just one point I cover in the course. So share what you learn with your loved ones and make a plan to care for your aging parents or other family and stop stressing about it. Not everyone is able to do what you can, but they can ALL help with something and share the burden.
Let Go of "It's Not Done Right"
Granted, you will likely have to learn to accept the fact that they might not do it to your standards or expectations, but if it's done and you don't have to do it, celebrate that and let it be. It does NOT have to be another episode of "I have to do it myself if I want t done right." There are always more than one way to do things and learning to accept help is not easy. In the end, everyone will have shared the burden and you don't have to do it ALL!

One of the easiest ways to share responsibilities is to delegate the financials such as bill paying, bank reconciliations, monitoring medical bills etc. This can be done from a distance and doesn't require the person to even live in the same state!

More Jobs to Delegate
Other tasks that can be delegated include grocery shopping (with a specific list of course), helping with housekeeping and laundry,  ordering medications and picking them up if they aren't mail order, walking the dog and making sure s/he gets to the vet or groomer as needed, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, etc.

These are just a few of the points covered in the course. And remember, you don't have to spend time reading it; just listen to the course. Repeat as necessary (as many times as you need to for the one price to get the info you need) to lessen the burden and spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Friday, July 26, 2019

7 Ways to Help Seniors Learn New Technology

In today’s increasingly digital world, many seniors are finding it difficult to keep up. The technology that powers our lives didn’t even exist just a few short decades ago, and for a lot of our grandparents and parents, learning about it all can be more than just a little overwhelming.
If you have ever tried to help an older person learn how to use a new piece of technology, the situation may have left both of you feeling frustrated. What may seem simple to you could be a completely foreign concept to someone else. It could seem like you are speaking an entirely different language when trying to explain tech concepts, and you might feel like the other person isn’t really trying.

Helping seniors learn new technology can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Keep in mind that your elders possess vast quantities of intelligence. They just didn’t grow up with technology in the same way that younger generations have. It takes time and patience, but you can teach an older person how to use all sorts of high-tech devices. Here is some advice on how to help seniors learn new technology.

Build on Existing Knowledge
Even if someone doesn’t know anything about the newest iPad or how to use a laptop, seniors have a lot of existing knowledge that you can build on when teaching them how to use something new. Compare a newer concept with something that they are already familiar with. You could, for example, relate web addresses with street addresses when explaining how to navigate the internet.

Avoid Technical Jargon
Tech speech has become a part of our everyday language. For many seniors, though, words like selfie and emoji may not have much meaning. When trying to explain newer concepts, stick with words that they are likely to know and understand. There are usually multiple ways to describe something, and choosing the simplest option is usually best. If you use a word or phrase and the person you are speaking to doesn’t understand, backtrack and explain before moving on.

Be Patient
Watch your pace and avoid trying to go through too many topics in a short period of time. When you fully understand how to do something, it’s easy to fly through all of the steps. If you are trying to teach someone who doesn’t understand, though, going too fast will just leave everyone feeling frustrated. Take the time to explain things slowly and pause between steps.
Repeat important concepts, too. When you are presenting a lot of new information, taking the time to go over things more than once is important. Doing so makes it easier for seniors to remember what you are saying and helps reinforce the most important concepts.

Encourage Questions
When you are teaching, pause to ask for questions regularly. Many people are hesitant to interject to ask a question because they don’t want to appear rude. They may also be embarrassed. By stopping to ask for questions, you are creating a time when they can ask for help without feeling like they are a burden.
This also gives them a sense that it is an appropriate time to have questions, which can keep them from feeling embarrassed. It makes them feel more comfortable, and it provides an opportunity for you to assess whether you should move on to the next topic or spend some more time on the current one.

Let Them Try for Themselves
Many people learn more effectively when doing things themselves than when simply being taught. Whether you are teaching someone how to use a phone, tablet, computer, or another device, encourage them to learn by doing. Explain or demonstrate how to do something, then ask them to do it themselves. Allow them to take an active role in learning, and they are likely to pick up new skills much faster.

Validate Their Feelings
Seniors often get frustrated when trying to learn about technology from someone younger. They have grown accustomed to being more knowledgeable about many subjects than younger people simply because they have so much more life experience. There is a chance that they haven’t been a novice at something in decades and experiencing those feelings can be incredibly frustrating. Validate their feelings and let them know that it is perfectly all right for them to be confused in the beginning. Remind them that everyone has to start somewhere and that they can and will learn.

Wow Them
When you use technology every day, it’s easy to forget just how amazing it can be. By wowing seniors with just how amazing the tech world is, you can encourage them to work through the challenges and become savvy users themselves. Bring up a satellite view of their childhood home on Google Maps, or help them FaceTime with their grandkids on the other side of the country. Show them how you can print out beautiful photographs at home using their inkjet printer. By providing these little experiences, you can help get them more engaged in the learning process.

The Bottom Line
Teaching seniors how to use technology can be difficult. It’s important to remember, though, that even if they don’t know how to use a smartphone or a laptop, they have just as much knowledge and intelligence as anyone else. Be kind and patient and encourage them to practice their new skills as they learn. Be open to questions and don’t ever make them feel like a burden if it takes them a while to fully grasp a new concept. While teaching older people how to use technology can be frustrating, it is also incredibly rewarding. You may even learn a thing or two yourself along the way.

Tania LongeauTania Longeau serves as the Head of Services for InkJet Superstore. Tania oversees a team of Operations and Customer Service Reps from the Los Angeles headquarters. Before joining InkJet Superstore, Tania was a team leader and supervisor working for one of the biggest mortgage and real estate companies in the country. She is a happily married mother of one who enjoys spending time with her family and reading in her leisure hours.

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Thanks Tania!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Caring for Your Aging Parents Course

I have recently published my newest course on, Caring for Your Aging Parents. The cost is $22 USD. Check it out, pick up some tips and resources to assist you in this journey. Know that you are NOT alone. Please share the link with friends and family.

Monday, June 24, 2019

A Caregiver's Guide to Senior Isolation: How to Recognize the Symptoms and Prevent your Loved Ones from Experiencing Loneliness

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Loneliness is a universal experience. All of us feel lonely from time to time, and most of us learn how to cope with it. But loneliness or isolation among the senior population can come with more troubling consequences. 

The Scope of Senior Isolation

According to the Administration on Aging, senior isolation is anything but an isolated problem. In the United States alone, more than one out of three women over 65 years old are widowed, while nearly half of women over 75 are living alone. And among all seniors, 40 percent are living alone by the age of 85.

While living solo doesn’t necessarily translate to loneliness, it can certainly increase the risk.

What Factors Lead to Senior Isolation?

There are several possible factors that may lead to senior isolation. Losing a life partner or long-time friend certainly are big contributors, but other factors can include:

      Limited mobility
      Rural living
      Limited transportation or loss of driving ability
      Limited budgets
Even seniors who are living with family members aren’t necessarily immune from social isolation, especially if they’re alone all day.

The Effects of Senior Isolation

The effects of senior isolation extend beyond mental and emotional symptoms and can even lead to changes in physical health.

For the large minority of seniors living alone, isolation can increase the risk of some  serious health problems including cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Warning Signs of Senior Isolation

It’s not always easy to tell when a loved one is feeling lonely unless they say something. However, social isolation, which is a leading cause of loneliness, is easier to spot.

Seniors can find themselves isolated due to a variety of reasons such as the loss of a long-time friend, relocation of family members, losing their driving privileges or declining mobility.

Signs and symptoms to watch out for include:

      A loss of interest in hobbies or social engagements
      A sudden change in appetite or weight
      Neglected personal hygiene
      Abnormal sleep patterns
      Feelings of helplessness

You’ll be better poised to spot signs of isolation and loneliness if you are able to observe and listen to your loved one and encourage them to share their feelings.

Prevention and Awareness

Living alone can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.

There are alternative living solutions that can balance a senior’s preferences and needs without compromising their health and well-being. These can include:

Senior Villages
One of the most obvious options is to move to a neighborhood intended for seniors. Senior communities allow elders to continue to reap all the benefits of a small, well-connected community while still enjoying their independence.

Know Your Neighbors
If your senior loved one would prefer to age in place, get to know your loved one’s neighbors so that they can be allies who will work with you to keep your family member safe and involved in the world.

Get Involved
Seniors who prefer to age in place can also benefit from becoming more active in their community through volunteer work, community education programs or community centers. 

If your loved one has a hobby, check into area clubs or programs focused on that hobby. Local libraries are a great place to start. 

See a Doctor
Make sure your loved one visits his or her doctor regularly. Sometimes elders become isolated not out of choice, but because their hearing or vision deteriorates slowly to the point that they’re no longer confident in their ability to move about safely and communicate effectively.

Regular eye and hearing checks will catch problems at an earlier stage while physical checkups can help prevent issues that increase the risk of frailty.

We're living longer than previous generations, but that doesn't mean we have to face our golden years alone. With the right support system, our parents and grandparents can live full, vibrant — and connected — lives for years to come.

Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a freelance writer living in Raleigh, NC


Thanks Christian!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Helping New Clients Adjust to Having a Caregiver for the First Time

The need for a caregiver is a life-changing event for most people. Sometimes this is caused by an unexpected event, like a fall resulting in a fracture, or it may be the expected gradual decline of old age.

The client may or may not have dementia. They may have a family caregiver who needs occasional respite, and this will be the first time they are having a “stranger” assisting them. At-home senior care can range from companion care to medical care by an RN. Whatever the situation, the goal is to have this first time be as comfortable and stress-free as possible for the new client.
Success or failure is greatly influenced by how much preparation and communication exists between all persons involved. Here are some ways that this will be a smooth transition from total independence to accepting some amount of assistance.

1. Clearly determine the role of the caregiver. What type of assistance is needed? Will the caregiver need to assist with personal care? Will meal preparation be needed? A realistic evaluation of the client’s abilities and weaknesses needs to be made. Families are not always able to make this assessment, so the assistance of professionals can be invaluable. Also consult with the client’s doctor for any medical complications that need to be addressed.

2. Determine the client’s previous experience with accepting help. Have they had professional cleaning help in the past? Have they used Meals on Wheels? Has someone been hired to mow the grass or shovel the snow? The use of any outside help gives the client a frame of reference for accepting help from the caregiver.

3. Determine if there is a family caregiver. Some clients have trouble accepting the help from a professional caregiver instead of a family member. It helps if they know this is temporary, and that their family member is returning. The client may or may not recognize the family caregiver’s need to have personal time away from the client to “recharge their batteries.” Perhaps presenting this new professional senior caregiver as a way for the family caregiver to enjoy their time away and not have to worry about the client will be easier for the client to accept.

4. Patience is key. This will probably be an anxiety-provoking experience for the client, especially if they are afflicted with Alzheimer’s. If possible, the first visit of the at-home senior care provider should be made while the family caregiver is at home also. Present the professional caregiver as helping the family caregiver out, so she can complete a task like working on her tax return. It may help the client to accept this stranger into their home if the help is for the other family member.

5. The caregiver should treat the client with respect. Ask the client how they want to be addressed. Do they prefer Mrs. Smith, or do they want you to use their first name? Avoid the use of terms of endearment like Honey or Sweetie unless the person seems to be open to it—but definitely not on the first day.

6. Allow the client to make appropriate decisions. Don’t say ”I’m making cereal for your breakfast.” Rather, ask if they would like cereal or pancakes. Give them the ability to be the “boss” in their own home whenever you can.

7. Try different approaches, especially if the client has dementia. If the client is resisting doing necessary tasks, maybe a sense of humor will help, or reasoning with them, or referring to the family caregiver or even their physician. If you say the doctor wants them to take this medicine, etc, they may be more inclined to take it. Change the point of reference to something more appealing. For instance, change showering into spa day, and include polishing nails and extra time to pamper the client.

8. Take suggestions. The family of the client should suggest some activities for the caregiver to share with the client. If mom likes to bake, have a box of brownie mix available for them to make. If Dad likes sports, have the game on for them to enjoy together along with typical snacks. Make a list of activities the client enjoys doing. Then the caregiver can use the list to suggest things for them to do while they are at the home together.

9. Follow the same schedule. Make sure the at home senior care provider knows the client’s usual schedule. Maintaining the routine can prevent stress and anxiety for the senior, especially if they have dementia. On the other hand, if they like to sleep-in mornings or stay up late at night, this would be a good time to indulge either.

10. Share a smile. Last, whenever caring for someone in their home, put a smile on your face. Whether you are a professional senior caregiver or the family caregiver, look like you want to be there with them and that you enjoy their company. The positive upbeat attitude you project will start off your beginning relationship with the client in a positive way.

Hopefully, each time a caregiver comes to the home, it will be easier for the senior person to accept and even enjoy the experience. Professional senior care providers will always try to have the same caregiver come to the home, so a trusting relationship can be developed.
However, if the client doesn’t feel comfortable with a certain caregiver, don’t be afraid to ask to try someone else. If at all possible, try to determine what it is about the caregiver that they don’t like. It can be as simple as some people like a more energetic, active personality and another may prefer a more quiet, calm personality. The agency will always try to match the client with the right caregiver for them.

The more often the senior has a caregiver experience, the sooner the senior caregiver will be more comfortable with the client and the client will become more comfortable with the caregiver. In time, they could become friends, and the client will look forward to the caregiver’s visits.


Author Bio: Susan Ashby joined the Superior Senior Care team in July of 2014 as Community Relations Manager. With over 27 years of experience in geriatric health, Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Superior Senior Care and plays an integral part in connecting consumers and communities with resources for independent living.