Identity theft is a growing problem throughout the United States.
Unfortunately, it is a particular issue for the aging population. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 36% of those over the age of 50 will be a victim of identity theft. This percentage increases with age, with elderly adults over the age of 75 being at the highest risk of suffering this type of theft. As a family caregiver, it is important that you recognize the risk of identity theft and can help your parent to make good decisions and exhibit behaviors that will help to prevent identity theft and protect their finances, personal information, and even access to healthcare as they get older.
Utilizing the internet is one of the riskiest behaviors when it comes to identity theft. While the internet can offer a wide variety of fantastic benefits and resources for seniors, if not used carefully, it can put your parents’ personal information at risk. It is important to help them understand not only how to use the internet safely, but how to recognize when they may have made a mistake that could put them at risk so that you can take steps to reduce this risk and protect them.
Use these online tips to help prevent identity theft for your aging parent:
- Ensure that their social media accounts are kept private and that only friends and family that they have close contact with are permitted access to them.
- Make sure that your parent never posts any personal information about themselves, including pictures or scans that might include images of checks, credit cards, or other personal information.
- Ensure that your parent recognizes the difference between a secured and encrypted site and one that is not. Make sure that they never input personal or financial information into an unsecured site.
- Discourage your parent from ever clicking on a link in an email, even if it looks like it has come from someone they know. Criminals have ways of sending emails that look as though they come from people on a contact list, and these links can contain viruses as well as spyware that can gather information and utilize it fraudulently. If they want to visit a site that is hyperlinked in an email, they should input the site manually into a search bar.
- If your parent suffers from cognitive functioning decline or memory loss, consider making sure that their use of the internet is supervised either by you or an elder care provider to make sure that it is secure.
Discourage your parent from ever inputting financial information into an unsolicited form online.
Fraudulent pop-up windows can be used to collect personal and financial information by looking as though they are from legitimate companies or organizations. Make sure your parent understands that these actual companies and organizations would never use an unsolicited pop-up to gather this information and that anytime they see such a form, they should close it immediately.
If you have been looking for ways to improve your aging parent’s quality of life and support a better lifestyle as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on the schedule that is right for them, ensuring that they get the level of care that they need while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine.
This means providing individualized services tailored to your parent as an individual that address their needs while also encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as healthy, safe, comfortable, and independent as possible as they age in place. These services can include safe and reliable transportation, running errands, assistance with personal care tasks, mobility support, meal preparation, companionship, and more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Pacifica CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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