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08 Feb Lean On Me: The Role of Family in Elder Care

Canadian home care service provider We Care Home Health Services recently conducted a study to ascertain how prepared Canadians are financially and emotionally in caring for their elderly loved ones in the face of the increasingly aging population. With numbers estimated to grow twofold within the next 23 years, elder health care will be a considerable concern for the younger familial caregivers.

Family members who find themselves in the caregiving role operate very much as an “invisible health care system”, according to Nurse and Director of Health and Wellness, Sue Kelly. In the same study, approximately one third of family caregivers who had participated had expressed feeling overwhelmed emotionally and financially in their role. While trying to manage tasks such as shuttling a loved one to appointments or handling the special needs of a chronically ill senior citizen, most caregivers struggle to meet their role’s needs while working full-time and trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Balancing independence and health support (mental, physical, etc.) provide a consistent challenge for both the elderly and their family members. Using current technology and an innovative easy-to-use design, the InTouchLink software offers senior users and their caregivers communication and engagement tools that are literally just a click away. Each party can organize and stay connected with simple email, web browsing, personal calendar and webcam options. Even loved ones living far away can log in remotely to update themselves on the well-being of their elders!

Let InTouchLink play an essential role in your life, and sign up today for a free trial!

03 Feb Dreams Do Come True!

Ever wanted to ride a float in a parade, float high in the sky in a hot air balloon, or spend a portion of your summer holiday in an 18 wheeler? For seniors who find themselves harbouring secret (and not so secret) dreams, charitable organizations like the Twilight Foundation can offer those elder dreamers opportunities to make their wishes a reality.

Funded with the generous donations from community individuals and businesses, these organizations dedicate their resources solely to coordinate and manifest the logistics behind realising wish requests. Unlike sick children charities, the elderly applicants need not have to be ill to apply. For some applicants merely having someone help with everyday chores and tasks, rides to health appointments or receiving a new set of dentures is enough to make a tremendous positive impact on their lives. According to former NFL player and founder of Wish of a Lifetime Jeremy Bloom, the premise behind these mandates is to serve the senior citizen community and give back to those who have played contributive roles in society.

 Another way family and friends can show appreciation for the elders in their lives is the gift of communication and entertainment. With the InTouchLink software users can reach out to and be up-to-date with the world and community around them. InTouchLink can also be an effective tool in senior engagement through easy-to-use options such as email, web browsing and webcam. Other exciting options (personal calendar, photo album) allow active seniors to maintain and organize their social events and commitments.

It is never too late to dream and live your dreams. Let InTouchLink help you and/or elderly loved ones find happiness and fulfillment, and sign up today for a free trial!
 

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!