Are Most Seniors Missing Out on Social Security Checks Because of the Internet?
CNN published an article recently on “Why one in five U.S. adults doesn’t use the Internet”. (CNN April 16, 2012). According to Ann Gahran, almost 48% of our seniors do not go online because they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them.
Before you roll your eyes, here are some observations. If you visit your local Best Buy store, you will encounter young men and women in blue t-shirts. They are totally techie using words that are so foreign to you that makes you feel a little stupid if you were to open your mouth to ask a question like: what is a gigabyte? You don’t even know what to ask with so many options and so many techie terms.
It takes time to learn a new skill. Most seniors are already having lots of challenges each day to take on another one. Nearly 60% of U.S. adults who have never completed high school don’t use the Internet according to the article. Maybe some of them do not read well and with all those scientific and technical terms to learn when they are over 65 and having to face other challenges could be a nerve wrecking experience.
Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions has worked with thousands of seniors and caregivers and has seen this group of seniors suffer. Their social security check no longer arrives in the mail or their Medicare bill and adjustments don’t get delivered to their home now.
They are all online. Almost half of our seniors do not go online. Could this be ignorance on the part of our government? Perhaps there is a mismanagement and indifference to the older population. To top it off, most live alone without help!
Some even have problems putting food on their table. Getting a computer and broadband Internet access and learning to do online bill paying would be the last thing on their mind.
On the other side of the coin, Nielsen reported in 2009, there are about 10% active Internet users among seniors especially women. That shows there is a percentage of the older populations who are using the Internet. This category is among the professionals, educated and higher income group seniors. They use the Internet for email, social media, travel and leisure, and checking on the latest news and weather.
Most are just doing the leisure and social benefits of Internet. When it comes to financial matters and paying bills they are still a little skeptical about the online world. Security questions come to mind.
Nielsen reports shows 88.5% of the online users among the 65 years and older are using it for personal email, 68.6% for viewing and printing maps and 60.1% for checking the weather.
Where are the bill paying and bank statement categories? Of course there are seniors who use online banking and checking personal health care records. It consist only less than 50% of the online users.
What are we to do with the other 50%?
Should we still give options to seniors on how they receive their social security checks, Medicare and Medicaid benefits and banking in the mail?
Diana Beam believes it is important to give them a choice. Many of our seniors are having some disabilities and some are in need of extensive medical care. They would not remember all the passwords and usernames required to access all the social security and medical information online.
Could you imagine having to share those passwords and usernames with their family members? How many are there to remember for each account and institution?
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you have an aging relative who is suffering because of the online world?
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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