Page 25 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - February 2020 - 27-02
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Senior Times - February 2020 Enjoy the Gift
Page 25
   703 Capital Ave., SW, Battle Creek • 269-962-5191
 of Social Media
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
Introducing social media to Grandma (or Grandpa, Mom, or Dad) this Valentine’s Day is a gift that truly keeps on giving year-round. It benefits both recipient and giver.
The use of social media by seniors is growing faster than for any other age group, however, keeping up with technology may make it challenging.
It cannot be said enough that there are security risks that everyone engag- ing in social media should be aware
of. This is especially true for seniors, who are often targeted by scam artists who think that seniors can’t understand technology, or who believe seniors have more assets to steal than other peo-
ple. Identity theft, the crime of using personal information to access bank accounts and other important resources, has exploded in the past decade. Other times, people pretending to be friendly online may suggest meeting up “in real life” in order to rob or physically harm a senior.
  Why social media as a gift?
• Keeps families closer, making it
possible for many seniors to chat and keep up with their children and grand- children.
• Photo and video sharing, with social networks makes it quicker and easier than ever to share pictures and movies with loved ones and friends.
While social media can greatly enhance seniors’ lives, there are some safety precautions that should be kept in mind. Please consider using these tips to safely enjoy social media:
             Bringing New Life to Senior Living
                            “I am proud to provide the residents of Brookdale
with quality, nutritious meals, that enrich and help them maintain healthy lives. Witnessing their satisfaction
and enjoyment is why I wouldn’t want to do anything else.” Sherry Connell , Dining Service Director
Our Services
Assisted Living | Specialized Memory Care Respite | On-Site Physical & Occupational Therapy
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Assisted Living Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care 191 Lois Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49015-7933 Main 269-979-7781 | Fax 269-979-1514
BROOKDALE® is a trademark of
Brookdale Senior Living Inc., Nashville, TN, USA.
     • Community belonging grows, as it gives seniors the ability to socialize from the comfort of home.
Be cautious about putting personal information on a social media site. Personal information can include your phone number, address, Social Security number, or bank account information. Be cautious of sharing this information even with trusted family members, because it is possible for someone to pose as a close relative in order to coax this information from you.
• Peace of mind, comes from the reg- ular ability to check in with loved ones. This will also help loved ones
to feel more comfortable with the seniors preferring or needing to live in their homes with a convenient way to check-in regularly with caregivers and healthcare providers.
• Coupons and other discounts, is always a bonus. Social media is a great way to link seniors to the online offerings of retailers and service providers.
Be selective about who you “friend.” Sites such as Facebook give people the opportunity to “friend” other people. When you friend someone, you can see each other’s activity. While it’s useful to friend people you actually know, some scammers create fake pro- files and seek to friend unsuspecting people in order to get personal infor- mation about them. You are under no obligation to friend anyone.
• Brain and memory exercise, helping to keep seniors' brains young.
 Giving the gift of social media is more than signing up your senior loved ones for Facebook or showing them how to access YouTube videos; it can be part of a truly memorable family experience.
Assume that anything you post
is public. While it is possible for you
to make your account visible to only friends, it is possible for the people you share thoughts, photographs, and infor- mation with to then share those things with other people. If you don’t want strangers to know something, don’t post it on social media.
   Help your loved one, or get help with:
• Arrange online access, where need- ed, often through cable TV, or home phone companies, or a cell phone provider.
Be careful when clicking on links.
Calhoun County Senior Millage
  • Choose the right device(s) for your loved one. Popular options include computers, tablets, and smart phones. Some devices are targeted to seniors and their specific needs. Don’t hand down your old, used computer either. Get them a new one that will meet their needs going forward, possibly even a laptop or tablet for ease of portability. Don't start them off with the disadvantage of having to change again soon to updated equipment. Make it easy and they will enjoy it and use it more often. You don’t want outdated equipment and neither do they.
Many social media sites contain doz- ens of clickable links on each page. Advertisers often pay for these links, and clicking on them will direct you to other websites – some of which may be disreputable. Use caution when clicking on links on social media sites, just as you are cautious about clicking on links in emails.
  Adult Day Care
(269) 962-1750
Benefits Counseling
(517) 629-3842 - Albion (269) 966-2450 - Battle Creek (269) 781-0846 - Marshall
Community Care Options
(269) 441-0948
Dental Services
(269) 781-0952
Handy Helper Services & Bed Bug Remediation (866) 200-8877
Hearing & Vision Services
(269) 441-0930
Home Heating Assistance
(269) 965-7766
Legal Assistance
(800) 688-3951
Meal Delivered / Meal Sites
(866) 200-8877
Minor Home Repair
(877) 422-2726
Money Management
(866) 963-3253
Personal Emergency Response
(269) 441-0930
Prescription Assistance
(269) 781-0952
Ramps for Accessibility
(269) 966-2502
Senior Centers
(517) 629-3842 - Albion (269) 558-6150 - Marshall (269) 441-0948 - Battle Creek
Senior Fitness & Fun
(269) 441-0948
Senior Transportation
(800) 994-9876
                  • Set up access to desired social networks.
Report any suspected abuse, scam or fraud. Each social media site has
a policy on how to report abuse or attempted scams. Familiarize yourself with these policies and learn how to use them. If you come across questionable activity, make sure you report it to the social media site.
• Establish privacy settings and practices.
Come forward if you have been scammed. No one likes to admit that they made a mistake or that someone took advantage of them. However, iden- tity theft and financial scams are seri- ous crimes, and the people who commit them must be held accountable before they take advantage of another senior.
• Communicate with loved ones on
a regular base to form and keep the habit.
• Store the details for access codes, passwords, directions, and more in a file they can easily access so they are not frustrated when returning to the computer after several days.
If you have been scammed, or if your identity has been stolen, report it to the police. Reporting the crime is the first step toward undoing the damage done by identity thieves.
 • Most importantly, show them how. Write down instructions. Watch them try it themselves. Let them write down instructions. And if necessary, help them through it all once more until they feel comfortable and ready to enter the new world of electronic communication through social media.
While identity theft and financial scams are real concerns, social media still has a lot to offer seniors. Many friendships thought to have been long- lost have been rekindled on social media sites, and social media can help you feel close to your family, even if they’ve moved thousands of (or just 60) miles away.
All services are funded by the citizens of Calhoun County through support of the Senior Millage. Services are available to any County resident, age 60 and over. Some programs may have additional eligibility requirements.
315 West Green St. Marshall, MI 49068
 The gift of social media is truly a gift for all.
Make the most of social media by being savvy and protecting your identity.
Make the most of social media by being savvy and protecting your identity.

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