Author:InTouch

02 Feb TV with a “Clear” Picture

One of the most exciting and innovative products showcased at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was something that holds tremendous practical potential: the Transparent Smart Window, a transparent LCD touchscreen which can also act as a window.

Though it is uncertain whether this precise product in its current reincarnation will be available on the market, the potential applications for this technology are very promising. As a window, users can see the world outside or operate the blinds function thereby turning the screen opaque – the same manner one would close actual blinds. On the other hand, the touchscreen as LCD display provides a multimedia platform for backgrounds, widgets, movie players –even apps for social media.

Further applications for this technology could lead to heads up displays (HUD) and car windshields. Drivers would be able to have operation utility options literally right at their fingertips: back-up camera(s), image/light enhancement, speed, warnings, etc. Imagine what this kind of technology could do for elder care and engagement!

In the mean time, InTouchLink could play an important role in improving the quality of life for the elderly or those constrained at home. The software’s easy-to-use design and layout facilitates a safe and fun online experience – no computer experience is required! Popular computers functions including email, web browsing, webcam, calendar management and photo album utility can be very effortlessly used by anyone – even by those with little to no prior computer experience!

InTouchLink can bring the world to any senior at home or away. Now staying “in touch” is so convenient and quick – all by the click of a mouse. Sign up today for a free trial and let current technology bring you closer to loved ones and your community!

 

01 Feb Legion Helps to Give Seniors a Leg Up

Residents and staff of the Lakeview Manor in Beaverton ON were happy to receive a generous donation of exercise equipment from their local Royal Canadian Legion branch. Using proceeds garnered from their annual poppy drive fundraiser, the Beaverton Legion proved just how important of a role community partnerships can play in the welfare and development of local communities, particularly in high needs sectors such as elder care.

One of the donations was a restorator bicycle which will help Lakeview Manor residents develop and maintain muscle strength and cardiovascular health. Low-impact exercise machines and workouts like the bicycle are ideal for the aging body and facilitate a positive experience of regular exercise. With equipment donations and other therapy programs, Lakeview Manor hopes to sustain a healthy, active quality of life for its residents.

Calendar, webcam, email, photo album utility are some of the innovative ways the InTouchLink software can be an effective tool for seniors in staying connected and actively engaged in their communities. The easy-to-use design and iconography allows for a safe and enjoyable online experience to elderly users with little to no computer knowledge.

A better quality of life is just a click away! See for yourself just how simple it can be to stay “in touch” by signing up for a free trial today!
 

31 Jan Better to be Safer than Sorry

It is a great achievement and a source of empowerment when older adults embrace computer technology and take advantage of the interactive benefits it can provide. With one quick click, grandparents can connect to far-away grandchildren and other loved ones. As wonderfully convenient the online experience can be for seniors, internet security is important to address and consider.

As easy and quick it may be to communicate, shop or research online, the opportunities to unwittingly expose oneself to identity theft and fraud can be just as swift and costly. With internet usage on the rise, especially among the middle and older age populations, online crime numbers are growing exponentially in correlation (According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, identity theft numbers are the highest!). Though cyber crimes affect all age ranges, the most affected tend to be the ones most new and the least educated about the perils of online activity: the elderly. Criminals have become so sophisticated in their ploys from shifting their operations from classic phone scams to targeting their elder victims online, using their victims’ naïveté of the technology against themselves.

Phishers, scammers, stalkers, malicious spyware & adware – it is imperative seniors learn about these dangers and how to protect themselves from them. There are many anti-spyware/internet security software programs on the market, depending on price point, operating system, etc. Simply ask a knowledgeable store staff member, or even a family member/friend. Also, check in your community as there are usually workshops or community classes that offer instruction to senior surfers.

InTouchLink users need not worry about their security. With easy-to-use functioning and operation, those who have little to no knowledge about computers can surf, read the news, check the weather, webcam with loved ones, and email in a safe and fun online environment. Sign up today for a free trial, and experience the many benefits and options InTouchLink can provide!

30 Jan A Man’s Best Friend = A Senior’s Best Trainer?

A number of health issues arise and progress for the elderly as they age: illness, decreasing mobility, depression, dementia. Though many programs and facilities work hard to address and develop innovative methods to engage seniors in maintaining healthy and active lifestyles, what if there is one effective method available that is literally under one’s nose? Fido.

Countless senior citizens who currently have or have had canine friends know firsthand the mental and physical health benefits dog ownership can provide. Even those older adults who may not own their own pet but have access to a dog also enjoy the same benefits. Walking is a very low impact way to attain fitness and with needs of an animal to exercise regularly, it provides a “built-in” motivator to keep an elder moving and active. Communing with an animal allows for communication with the five senses therefore facilitating a more complete, multi-levelled experience of engagement.

When Fifi is asleep, the InTouchLink software can act as another engagement tool for the elderly. Designed with an easy-to-use concept in mind, essential communication tools like email, webcam and web browsing are made accessible and simply. Even tracking one’s appointments and community events via the software’s calendar option can literally be at your elderly loved one’s fingertips. Sending and receiving photos of the grandchildren and/or the family pet? Not a problem with the photo album capability!

The opportunities to stay connected with family, friends and the community are endless with InTouchLink. Why not sign up today for a free trial and see for yourself just how easy it is to be “in touch”!

27 Jan Living to Work: Seniors Choosing to Work Beyond Retirement

Days filled with golf, hobbies, and taking it easy would seem something to aspire to during one’s career span. However, for some seniors retirement is just not an attractive lifestyle option – at least not yet.

According to recent surveys job satisfaction numbers appear to increase with older age, increasing to 97% with the 70plus age group of participants. The benefits of maintaining activity in one’s career lie with a few factors: job satisfaction grows with age, stress levels drop with seniority. And, of course, there is the financial advantage of waiting until full retirement age before claiming pensions. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that nearly half of seniors chose to forego approximately 25% to 33% of additional inflation-adjusted benefits due to their premature applications for their Social Security (i.e. before 63 years of age).

The other side of the equation for elder workers remaining in the workforce is one that reflects a key senior health factor: keeping active. For 93 year old University of Pittsburgh emeritus professor Edward Gerjuoy, working and spending time around the younger generation of astronomy and physics students that he teaches helps him to stay “youthful” and allows him to feel he can still play a strong contributive role in society and his community.

A fundamental mode for the elderly to attain a sense of accomplishment and empowerment into well into their golden years is through open and frequent communication and engagement with the world around them. Whether it is merely to email distant family members or checking the daily weather and local news, InTouchLink can be an ideal resource for seniors looking to use current technology to bring the world to them. The InTouchLink software is specially designed with the unique needs of the elder user in mind to allow for an easy-to-use, safe and fun computer experience. Webcam conversations with the grandchildren, tracking appointments and events, even reading the news is simply available at a click of a mouse.

Sign up for a free trial today and experience firsthand the benefits of being “in touch”!
 

26 Jan Something Your Wallet Can Smile About

When Charlottetown PEI couple Bob and Donna DesRoches received their 2012 tax notice, they never imagined that they would be facing a raise more than what their pensioned income could afford. With the cost of owning a home ever on the rise, elderly homeowners especially are having to tighten their already-tight financial belts.

For many seniors who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible, the cost of homeownership is coming at odds  – and in the Desroches’ case, surpassing – the limited budgets defined by their pensions. Instead of basing taxation on the consumer price index, the DesRoches are supporting a freeze tax for seniors – something the provincial government is reluctant to pursue. Currently, should elders find themselves in a position unable to pay their taxes their only option, according to PEI Finance Minister Wes Sheridan, is to seek deferral of payments – which would be in effect until the sale of the house.

The InTouchLink software on the other hand can provide some relief to your pocketbook. Simple email, webcam option and web browsing are some of the great features available for elderly users, allowing for a fun, safe and easy-to-use online experience. Have very little to no experience with computers? No problem! In fact, why not see just how easy and cost effective InTouchLink can be by signing up today for a free trial!

25 Jan Staying Engaged: Recreational Therapy for the Elderly

Countless senior Canadians across the country live under-stimulated, isolated lives in their homes. As a result, their families watch in hopelessness and despair as their elder loved ones deteriorate. Yet, hope is on the horizon. In Alberta, services such as Ray of Sunshine bring recreational therapy into seniors’ homes and empower them to lead active, engaged lifestyles.

How does one accomplish healthy changes and recuperate from events such as strokes and infirmity? For seniors who especially wish to remain at home rather than move into a long-term care facility, the answer lies in providing recreational therapy in the comfort of one’s own surroundings. Ray of Sunshine therapist Marla Kurtz uses engagement techniques specifically tailored to the interests and aptitudes of each client. For example; 90 year old former custom home builder Nathan Goldman is one of her clients. Before working with Ms. Kurtz, he was quick to irritation, did not complete tasks and his family worried that his mental acuity was deteriorating. After a personal prescription of jigsaw puzzles, word searches and chair fitness, Mr. Goldman has a more positive, optimistic disposition and an improved physical range of motion.

Studies continually show that when the elderly maintain an active lifestyle even into old age aging can significantly slow down along with mental decline.  With the easy-to-use design of the InTouchLink software, elder users can benefit from current day technology to stay connected with family and friends. Email, web surfing and calendar management are some of the tools available to help an elderly loved one maintain the living standard of activity needed for overall health.

The road to optimum health can be a long, hard road for seniors however, with practise and sound guidance from trained and dedicated professionals like Ms. Kurtz that goal can be attained quicker than expected. Let InTouchLink help you find your way to fitness and be actively involved to your community – sign up today for a free trial!

24 Jan Mind Games: Stress Management for the Aged

For many age groups ill-managed stress is a leading factor in the development of failing health and chronic disease. While the young tend to be more resilient in coping with it, the senior population face a more challenging struggle.

The common misconception is that retirees have nothing to stress about. Though workplace stress may not be a consideration for most of the aged, other elements can contribute to threatening an elder’s mental and physical health. Seniors face a plethora of changes as they age including: decreasing physical capabilities and the ability to do daily tasks self-sufficiently, downsizing from the family home into either a smaller apartment/condo/gated community or a long-term care facility, children and grandchildren growing up and moving away.

As one gets older, it becomes more difficult to adjust to (even accept) change thus potentially causing insurmountable tension. One way experts say seniors can alleviate stress and cope with situations is practising “positive thinking”. Granted it is not easy to do however, with regular practise the ability to overcome can become habit. Try laughing out loud every day, greeting oneself each morning or even listening to music you enjoy are some of the ways to divert one’s attention from negative to positive.

And, if none of those are appealing, feel free to reach out to a friend or loved one. Simply expressing oneself to a sympathetic listening ear can do wonders in improving mood and general mental health. The InTouchLink software can be an effective tool in staying connected to one’s support system – whether it is family, friends or the immediate community. With an “easy-to-use” design, an elder user can email, surf the web, check appointments or start a webcam conversation by merely the click of the mouse!

Positive thinking is a fantastic way for the elderly to achieve self-empowerment and overall good health. With the right tools available, keeping “in touch” can be truly a lifesaver. Sign up today for a free trial and experience firsthand how simple it is!

 

23 Jan Go, Go Gadget! Assistive Technology for Seniors

As we zoom into yet another year in the twenty-first century while facing the inevitability of the aging population of baby boomers, technology is playing an increasing key role in senior care and health. Though assistive technology does not eliminate the need for a human caregiver, it can be a helpful tool in assisting the elderly who wish to remain living at home and forego a care facility.

2012 promises to be a year of innovation and cutting edge utility where technology is concerned. A number of exciting electronic products are available to provide convenience and safety to seniors. Opening jars, managing one’s calendar, medication reminders, taking the garbage out, heart rate/blood sugar level monitoring -even acting as a constant companion – are some of the features offered. Some robotic items are programmed with location/communication devices such as GPS and video camera, a link to which is provided to the caregiver(s) who can be notified immediately should an emergency arise or additional aide is required. With a growing number of the aging public choosing homecare, assistive technology is a practical resource for individuals to stay home longer thereby providing peace of mind –both for the individual themselves and their loved ones – and a better well-rounded quality of life.

If robotic companions are currently beyond your scope, the InTouchLink software could be the ideal solution to keeping elderly loved ones connected to their communities, their families and friends. Everyday functions such as email and web browsing are designed with an easy-to-use concept in mind. Enlarged icons and a clean layout also provide ease in navigating around the software.

The days of being a computer whiz are over! Now, seniors with little to no computer knowledge can learn and benefit from today’s technology. Sign up today for a free trial!

20 Jan Up to the Challenge: Life-Long Learning for Seniors

Remember the 1993 movie Grumpy Old Men wherein the late Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon played two cantankerous elderly feuding rivals, each set stubbornly in his own ways? The film played on the “can’t-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks” idiom, and for many people this concept is a common held belief. On the other hand, recent studies are setting out to prove quite the opposite.

One such study headed by lead researcher Elizabeth Stine-Morrow of the University of Illinois focuses on testing elderly participants with tasks to improve their cognitive skills (i.e. judgement, reasoning) and found a correlation between improvement of mental acuity and a growing positive change in personality towards openness. As participants were given more challenging exercises to perform, their ability to be receptive to new experiences increased.

Studies like these prove that age does not necessarily halt a person’s ability to grow and progress, and that with consistent cognitive stimulation and engagement through games, exercises or other activities, seniors can continue to live a rewarding, fulfilling life. InTouchLink’s software for seniors is designed to help facilitate this need. With an easy-to-use design, sending emails to loved ones, setting up webcam conversations or even browsing the web are no longer daunting tasks for the elderly seeking to learn computer basics and keep in touch with family and friends.  

See for yourself the numerous possibilities in improving the quality of life for seniors that InTouchLink can provide – as well as peace of mind. Take a step in the right direction by signing up today for a free trial!