Social media safety for the aged


Most articles about social media safety focus on kids and teenagers. You’ll find plenty of warnings about:

  • Luring and grooming
  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting and
  • Privacy settings

But what about the elderly?

We have now reached the point where many elderly people using social media are facing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Can these people protect themselves? People with cognitive difficulties may engage in inappropriate behaviour without even knowing they’re doing it.

I’m fortunate in this regard as my parents are not computer users. However you may have elderly parents who use social media. Do you know what to do if you suspect one of your parents is posting inappropriate photos of themselves? What if they defame someone? What would you do if one of your parents calls a politician a two-faced half-wit who wouldn’t know the truth if he tripped over it?

If you have power of attorney does it cover social media? How would you get their social media accounts shut down?

We’re moving into unknown territory here, and it may take the legal system a while to catch up. In the meantime, prepare yourself for a roller-coaster journey with your aging parents’ online behaviour.

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