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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!

 

19 Jan Class Act: Computers, Internet Courses for Elderly

Between the light speed pace of technology advancement and super busy grandchildren seniors, recognising the need to learn in order to stay connected with family and friends, find themselves overwhelmed and lost where computers and internet is concerned. Sure, there are online tutorials available on sites such as YouTube, but how does one get online in the first place? Furthermore, how on earth does one turn the computer on???

For many tech savvy individuals, especially the younger generation, these types of questions may seem too simple and elementary to address. However, in Tahlequah OK classes are offered and specifically tailored to the elderly with little to no experience with computers who wish to learn the basics: from merely knowing what a mouse is to typing up a letter in Microsoft Word to setting up a social media account. Classes are taught by instructors who are able to break down the information in manageable snippets, in some cases offering a more one-on-one approach. Some instructors are seniors themselves looking to help their fellow age mates develop their online chops.

InTouchLink can also be an educational resource for seniors looking to broaden their electronic horizons. Customized with the needs of the aged in mind, users can easily operate basic computer functions from email and web browsing to webcam conversations. Managing one’s social tasks is also a cinch with calendar and photo album possibilities. InTouchLink’s design also addresses the unique challenges of the older adult with enlarged icons and an uncluttered, clean appearance.

It is never too late to learn about computer technology, and InTouchLink is there to help! Sign up today for a free trial, and see just how fun and safe the “e-world” can be.

18 Jan Staying at Home Longer with Sensor Technology

How would you feel if your smartphone or computer could immediately receive an instantaneous notification that your elderly loved one had fallen down or was in distress in their own home? Two Albertan cities are currently participating in a pilot project involving the installation of cameras and sensors in homebound seniors’ homes, providing round-the-clock support to the seniors without losing their independence.

For Grand Prairie resident Ben Krzysik, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair, and Parkinson’s patient Penny Landry monitoring care is necessary and an increasing regularity as they get older and their respective diseases progress. For caregivers this constant vigilance can be challenging however, the project also takes into account the impact on the caregivers. The sensors and cameras can transit an immediate message to either smartphones or emails of family members, caregivers or other approved contacts. This means that family members living far away – across the nation even- are able to be updated in “real-time” on their elder loved ones status.

Maintaining one’s independence and quality of life are key elements behind the InTouchLink software. Simple email, webcam & web browsing capability, calendar and photo album management all allow for an easy-to-use computer experience for senior users. Staying “in touch” is now the easiest thing in the world – merely a click away! Start today by going online and signing up for a free trial.

17 Jan Slowly But Surely

The next time you find yourself exasperated about the length of time a senior citizen takes to perform a task and wondering about their mental acuity, think again. Current studies have shown quite the contrary: the fact that an elder requires more time to respond or complete a task can actually demonstrate a healthy cognitive acuity.

Scientists conducted studies wherein both university students and 60plus adults were given a set of tasks to perform. Results reflected that, though the elderly participants generally had longer response times, they proved to be just as accurate as their younger counterparts. Even when an increase of speed was a determining factor, the accuracy of the aged did not seem to be affected. It was concluded that it was not a decreased mental aptitude that created the delayed response times, but rather the individual's diligence to ensure tasks were completed correctly.

Whether slower or more accustomed to operating at a quicker pace, InTouchLink can be a great asset to any elder user. Its easy-to-use design allows for a fun and safe online experience. InTouchLink software designers have made the program foolproof when it comes to accessing email, engaging in webcam conversations with friends and loved ones, browsing the web, maintaining a calendar – even managing photo albums. Users who reside in seniors communities that currently subscribe to InTouchLink, also have the added capability to check daily menus, activity schedules and communities news!

Keeping up with the grandchildren need not be an overwhelming chore! By signing up today for a free trial, you can experience first-hand the ease and comfort of staying “in touch” at your own pace.

16 Jan Partnering Up for Age-Related Brain Health

Last year a leading Toronto geriatric research organization, the Baycrest Centre, and 45plus multimedia entity ZoomerMedia joined forces in a content and co-branding partnership to develop projects and initiatives to appeal and tap into the 50plus market. One of their projects was revealed at the 2011 Zoomer Show in October: a cognitive screening test to determine the early signs of dementia and Alzheimers, in an effort to eliminate the current trend in delayed diagnosis and treatment. By providing a more proactive approach to detecting brain disease, the partnered duo hope individuals suffering from brain diseases can improve their odds for a better quality of life.

The screening test itself is an online self-assessment tool wherein aging users’ thinking skills are tested – all in the comfort of their own home.  Designed from Baycrest’s cutting edge knowledge base on cognitive science, the test examines a user in the same areas of attention, problem-solving and memory in the same way a clinician would examine a patient. A first-time product for Cogniciti Inc. (Baycrest and MaRS’ for-profit company), the tool has a market launch set for June 2012.


Activities such as online games and brainteasers can aid in maintaining and building one’s mental acuity and fitness. InTouchLink provides a safe and fun computer experience for seniors with little to no computer knowledge who are seeking a simple “back to basics” introduction to current communication technology. Whether Grandma/Grandpa wish to webcam and email with loved ones, keep track of appointments & events or even play online games, InTouchLink is an ideal, practical and easy-to-use choice.


Interested in partaking in the online cognitive screening test? Why not try InTouchLink to access the internet and see for yourself how simple it is to navigate around. It’s never too late to stay “in touch” – sign up for a free trial!

13 Jan Centenarians Getting Social with Social Media

When centenarian Betty Love Goodykoontz was born in 1910, the world and how people communicated with each other was very different. She has been witness to tremendous change in almost mindboggling proportion: from horse and buggy and telegraph to high speed trains and instantaneous email and cell phones. Rather than be intimidated by all the changes and technological advancements, the retired schoolteacher has joined the growing ranks of aging adults in learning about computers and how they can be used to maintain a connection with the world around them – specifically via social media.


With the population aging, it is no surprise that the aging demographic is the fastest growing sector among social networks. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, there was a growth of 100% reported for users 65 and older between April 2009 and May 2010 – translating in a bump from 13 to 26 percent! In the face of this trend, seniors centers and communities across the United States are offering computer classes that focus on not only the general operation of computer basics but the usage and management of social media to stay connected and engaged with family and friends as well.


InTouchLink can play a key role in helping the elderly to reach their goals in this area. Webcam, simple email, enlarged iconography and print, and calendar are just a few of the exciting easy-to-use possibilities that are provided for users to allow them a safe and enjoyable online experience. Social media and accessing it is a breeze when logging on as an InTouchLink subscriber. Now, staying connected or merely looking up the weather report is literally a few clicks away!


As Betty and her contemporaries proved, one is never too old to learn about computers and the opportunities being online provide! Make the first step today towards being “in touch” with loved ones and sign up for a free trial!

12 Jan Striving Olympic Gold in Health for Seniors

In a campaign to promote and encourage practise of a more active, healthier lifestyle The Council of Aging Olympics in Somerville MA are providing opportunities for seniors to participate in weekly activities. Chair Yoga & Zumba Gold classes, day trips and bingos are some of the offerings available for the duration of the event which runs from January to August, with an award ceremony scheduled in September.


By keeping the elderly out of nursing homes and proactively supported in the community, the Council on Aging’s Outreach Director, Lisa Heysion, hopes individuals will be motivated to attend two or three times a week and experience the health benefits of regular exercise and engagement. Participants are awarded medals based on the frequency of their involvement, which provides an added incentive and sense of accomplishment.


It is well known that comprehensive health benefits, both mental and physical, are the key to total wellbeing and longevity. At InTouchLink, we understand the importance of providing our elder loved ones with the opportunity(s) to attain such wellbeing and longevity. With our easy-to-use software designed specifically for seniors, features like enlarged text and iconography, allow for users to navigate both online and the system itself with ease. Email, webcam, photo album and calendar options help keep one connected and updated with family and their community. Even online gaming and other brain stimulation activities are simply accessible!


Whether a pro or a first time user, any elder will be able to learn and enjoy the benefits of the InTouchLink software. To see just how InTouchLink works and take a major step towards positive improvement in mental health and wellbeing, sign up today for a free trial!

 

11 Jan Bridging the Gap Between Generations with Computers

For many seniors , upon receiving digital devices and computers for Christmas gifts, technology can seem very daunting and confusing. The best asset in learning how they work…can be the grandchildren or youth within the community. Such is what Pamela Norr realised after repeatedly trying to help her elderly parents to use a computer: her own teenage children were the most knowledgeable in the gadgetry and its functioning.

Elders all over increasingly face the change in times when they discover their phone calls and letters are intermittently or rarely timely returned by younger loved ones. Instead they are confronted with the high-speed "click & type" of current day communication. However, these same elders grew up in a different era and are not as familiar to what is now common place. For example: emails, social media and webcam.


InTouchLink provides a solution to this dilemma. With easy-to-use functioning for everyday activities like email, internet browsing, webcam, calendars and photo albums, the elderly and disabled have everything available to them in order to stay connected. This service is available to individuals as well as assisted living/seniors communities.


Sign up today for a free trial, and see how the InTouchLink difference can help keep you “in touch”!