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Ways to Make Online Shopping Safe for the Elderly

• Written by @Lifeline24

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This article was contributed by Shannon Lochwood

Online shopping has grown in popularity because it is convenient and easy to order the products we need. But older generation who may not be as familiar with the technology used to shop online oftentimes run into issues like scams or unreliable websites. This makes online shopping a little more dangerous for older people. Fortunately, elderly people can also enjoy online shopping if they are careful and have the assistance they need. Here are some of the benefits online shopping has for the elderly as well as some ways to make it safer for them.

Benefits of Online Shopping for the Elderly

1. Independence

One of the most important benefits of online shopping is the independence it provides for elderly people. This is especially true for adults who have mobility issues, such as those who use walkers or wheelchairs. Elderly people with mobility issues have a difficult time navigating shops and finding transportation, but online shopping provides a solution to both of these barriers. With online shopping, elderly people can order the products they need and receive them without relying on anyone else. This helps elderly people feel like they're still able to participate in the world without asking for help, which can improve their mood.

2. Saved Time

Shopping online saves us time that would otherwise be spent travelling to a store and finding the product. But it isn't uncommon for elderly people to take more time shopping than younger people. This means that online shopping may save your elderly relatives even more time than it would save you. With online shopping, elderly people have more time to spend with loved ones or running errands.

3. Saving Money Online

Online shopping is also generally cheaper than shopping at physical shops tends to be. This is because many of the typical costs it takes to maintain a brick-and-mortar shop are unnecessary for eCommerce businesses. For example, an online retailer doesn't need to pay for a shopfront to be lit during business hours. And those savings are usually passed on to the consumer as an incentive for shopping online.

Additionally, many of the discounts older people have become accustomed to when shopping are available online. Chances are, many of the shops that your elderly relatives regularly shop at also have an online store that offers them the same discount. They'll also be saving money by buying less fuel for their car.

Ways to Make Online Shopping Safe for the Elderly

1. Familiarise Yourself with Technology

The easiest way to make online shopping safer for your elderly relatives is to be familiar with online shopping yourself. More specifically, you should be familiar with your relative's online shopping habits so that you can ensure they are acting safely. Ask your relative what they usually shop for online and where they buy their products from. If they're entirely new to online shopping, then show them a few online stories that you know are safe. Remind elderly members of your family to never follow any suspicious links or give up any personal information online. Spam emails can be dangerous for elderly people who struggle to differentiate a genuine service from a scam. Encourage them to ignore just about everything that gets marked as spam.

2. Research Retailers Before Making a Purchase

Elderly people sometimes struggle to differentiate sketchy websites from reputable ones, making online shopping potentially dangerous. If an elderly relative wants to order a product from an online retailer that you don't recognise, do some quick research on them. Make sure that they are a website that you would feel safe purchasing a product from. Look for a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate somewhere on the checkout page of the website. An SSL encrypts personal information from both sides of an online transaction, making it incredibly difficult to hack into.

3. Look for Safe Shipping & Delivery Options

One of the many pitfalls of online shopping is overpriced shipping options that inflate the cost of online shopping without providing much value. While people who shop online frequently may be aware of this, it can still catch less experienced online shoppers off guard. Elderly users need to be especially careful that they understand the shipping options available to them and select the most efficient choice. Some shipping options charge a constant shipping rate for any package under a certain weight. This avoids elderly shoppers from overpaying for shipping and delivery.

4. Keep Your Passwords Protected

Many of the accounts we use online have access to sensitive information like credit card numbers and bank account numbers. If someone with bad intentions were to get their hands on this information, they could do some serious financial damage. This is why it is paramount to protect the passwords associated with any account that has access to sensitive information. Do not let your elderly relatives use a single password for every account. Instead, encourage them to keep a written log of their passwords in case they forget them. This way their accounts are all safe and they have easy access to their passwords - just be sure they keep this log somewhere safe.

Safety in the Home

It's not only whilst online shopping that your elderly loved ones need to stay safe. Their physical wellbeing is just as important. A personal alarm from Lifeline24 provides extra peace of mind around the home. In the event of a fall, they simply press the button on their pendant alarm; if they opt for our fall detector plan, an alarm will be raised automatically.

Choosing Lifeline24 means benefitting from 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year, provided by our TSA-Accredited Response Team.

To find out more about the Lifeline24 alarm service, read our detailed guide, or get in touch with our helpful customer service team on 0800 999 0400Buy your personal alarm online today.

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