4 Simple Cell Phones for Seniors

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives. Most people couldn’t imagine life without their devices. Our phones allow us to remain connected to the world. The benefits of owning a cell phone extend far beyond convenience. For the elderly, it can literally be life-saving. Not only do cell phones provide a way for seniors to communicate with friends and family, but they also offer safety and security. Many phones today, designed specifically for the elderly, include attributes to assist with the unique needs of aged people. Here, we will look at the top  cell phones for seniors.

Jitterbug  

This is the most popular and well-known phone for seniors. It is simple to use. Jitterbug has flip phone and smart phone models. Ease of use is probably the best characteristic of these products. They have very large numbers and simple “yes-no” navigation. The speaker volume is quite loud for those experiencing hearing loss. Verbal instructions for voicemail set up are useful. Overall, jitterbug devices are extremely easy to use mobile phones. They also come with some optional features.

  • Urgent care – This service allows the phone owner to connect with medical professionals at any time. Doctors and nurses are available to give medical advice and can even prescribe medication over the phone.
  • Caregiver app – This application allows caregivers and family members to login and check on their loved one. GPS tracking shows the precise location of the phone.
  • Five-star emergency call – There is a large “five-star” button on the phone that connects directly to an emergency call system. This is not only useful for medical emergencies, but can also be used if the individual is experiencing mental or emotional issues.

The smart phone model of the Jitterbug does have Internet surfing capabilities and email. The flip phone, however, is very basic, offering texts and calls only.

 

 Snapfon ezTWO

This phone has large buttons and similar to the others, is specifically built for seniors. With a simplistic design, it is intended for making calls and sending texts only. It does not offer Internet access. Additional options include:

  • Speaking keyboard – A great feature for those with low vision.
  • SOS emergency – Pressing and holding down the large button on the back of the phone sends a text to designated contacts. It also sets off an alarm, which can be disabled if you prefer.

 

Doro Phone Easy 626

Doro at Mobile World Congress 2015 Barcelona

This is another flip phone designed with simplicity in mind. It features large, raised buttons and high-volume speakers. Some of the additional features include:

  • Hearing aid compatible
  • Emergency call -By pressing one button, a call is automatically placed to the contact of your choice.

While this phone lacks some of the “bells and whistles”, it is a durable, uncomplicated to use mobile phone. Future models are planned to include remote options. This will allow loved ones to make changes to the phone settings from a distance. So, if the phone owner is unable to set up the phone or change things, someone else can do it remotely.

 

Cricket LG True

This is a basic, no-frills flip phone. Fewer features can be a beneficial quality if a person is easily overwhelmed by technology or too many options. There is not much to become confused about with this phone.  The low cost is the primary reason this device is popular among seniors. The phone itself is very inexpensive and Cricket offers several extremely low cost plans. Cricket has a number of phones, including smartphones. The LG True is the only  Cricket phone recommended for seniors. However, their plans are cheap, so if you know an elderly person who wants a fancier phone, this company might be a good choice.

All  of these phones are “pay-as-you-go” plans, with no contracts or cancellation fees. it’s important to note that each phone has its own carrier and network. This means, you cannot add one of these phones to a current plan with your own carrier like Verizon or AT&T for example.The actual phones are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to the average cost of a smart phone. If you are seeking a smart phone for an elderly person, all the major   manufacturers have wonderful accessibility features. The phones listed above have some great video tutorials on YouTube. Watch videos  below for more information:

Hearing Aids Technology – 2017 Top 3 Innovations

Hearing Aids TechnologyMany elderly people experience varying degrees of hearing loss. While traditional hearing aids have offered some assistance, they have many faults and have left users unsatisfied or unwilling to continue use. Leading hearing aid companies are working to create innovative solutions. Here are the top three innovations in hearing aids for 2017.

Adjustment
one of the issues people encounter with hearing aids is the lack of adjustment options. Most hearing aids are designed for one fixed environment. Specific hearing aids also work best for people in different stages of hearing loss. This means individuals often need to upgrade or purchase new hearing aids as they are hearing loss progresses. Users may also find themselves buying different hearing aids for various environmental situations. This becomes costly and is sometimes simply impossible for people to manage. Luckily, a company called Unitron recently developed hearing aids that are adjustable to any environment and change with the user’s needs.

Size
RIC (receiver in canal) hearing aids are generally known to be the most effective. However, they are too large for users with smaller ear canals. This forced many people to choose ITE (in the ear) hearing aids. Now, manufacturers have developed tiny RIC devices so everyone can experience the highest quality of sound regardless of their ear canal size.

Sound Focus
hearing aids typically cancel background noise to focus on a single voice for one-on-one conversations. This is great. However, it makes group conversations difficult for those with hearing loss. When focusing on one voice, others in the group are canceled out as background noise. Oticon has created a solution. Their new hearing aids focus on groups while canceling out background noise. The ability to determine the difference between background sound and group voices is a much-needed innovation.

The hearing aids industry is constantly working to improve their products to deliver solutions for those with hearing loss. This is particularly useful for seniors because so many suffer from hearing loss.

Inspired Living at Kenner – Featured Community

Inspired LivingOur featured community for september is Inspired Living at Kenner. This newly built community is located in Kenner Louisiana, just 11 miles from New Orleans. It’s great location is only one of the amazing characteristics of this community. The innovation, amenities, and attention to detail are what really make this community stand out.

 

Inspired Living at Kenner is equipped to house seniors along different stages of the elder care continuum. Whether your loved one is independent, or needs various types of assistance, this community offers something for everyone.

 

Types of housing

  • Assisted living
  • Memory care

 

Amenities

This community has a wide range of amenities, including a swimming pool, putting green, and dog park. Activities and devotional opportunities are provided on and off-site. Transportation is also available for those needing assistance getting off-site. Residents are encouraged to socialize in common areas.

 

Innovation

This high-tech community offers the latest in senior housing technology. The most important being a real time tracking system. The RTLS by Skynet Healthcare Tech effectively tracks residents and provides the highest level of safety and security for everyone.

 

Visit  the official Inspired Living Kenner page for more information.

 

 

Visually Impaired Seniors Benefit from Innovative Electronic Glasses

Many people living in senior housing communities are visually impaired. Macular Degeneration and other eye disorders heavily impact aging individuals. There are a number of Low vision aids that make life a little easier, but nothing is quite as advanced as the E-sight glasses. This innovative product provides a new level of independence for the visually impaired.

How they work
These glasses are called “electronic glasses.” Two small digital screens rest in front of the eyes. A tiny camera between the eyes captures video and feeds it into the screens. The user can magnify the image up to 23 times, change the contrast and color.

Unique characteristics
E- sight is the first device of its kind. Because it is wearable, the user can walk around with the glasses on for assistance in nearly every aspect of life. They are great for distance viewing. For example, reading street signs and navigating while on a walk. They can also be used for close viewing, like reading a book and watching television.

Intended users
Anyone with severe vision loss may be a candidate for these glasses. It is recommended to contact the company for a demonstration before purchasing. Because vision loss is so unique to each person, not everyone will benefit from this type of device. There are a few different models and the price ranges from $10,000-$15,000. The newest version is smaller and less expensive. However, most aging people find the older version easier to use because the controls are larger and simplified. These glasses would not be great for an elderly person with dementia or other mental impairments. They are not simple to use and will take time for anyone to master.

See the video below for more information

 

Seniors Stay Connected through Video Conferencing

Seniors Videoconferencing services like Skype help seniors stay connected to friends and family. In today’s fast-paced environment, it is sometimes difficult to stay in touch with those we love. Video conferencing allows people to see each other. This provides a deeper level of communication than what is available on a traditional telephone call. We know how important it is for elderly people to nurture social connections. Imagine a grandparent having a video call with her grandchild who lives hundreds of miles away. This child shares a picture he drew just for his grandma and gets to show it to her in real time. Compare that to a traditional phone call where the child simply tells grandma he drew her a picture. The difference in these two types of communication is staggering. Video conferencing has a significant positive impact on the mental and emotional lives of aging adults by strengthening social bonds.

 

Problems and Solutions

  • Low vision – Some seniors struggle with low vision problems. This can make video conferencing difficult and less beneficial. Luckily, there are systems that hook straight to an hd television. This allows people to experience their video calls directly on the tv. This is a wonderful solution for elderly people that suffer from vision loss.
  • Hearing loss –  Those with hearing loss may struggle with verbal communication during a conference call. Headphones are available which are specifically designed for those with hearing impairment. The volume can be turned up very high without disturbing others in the room, and many of them offer a noise cancellation feature.
  • Complicated technology –  Many people believe that video conferencing is too complex for older people. However, this is generally not the case. There are a number of solutions that simplify the process. Usually, if a tech-savvy individual handles the initial configuration and set up, the elderly person can easily learn how to use it.

 

Video conferencing is proving to be an asset for senior citizens. Senior care communities might consider creating a video conference calling area, similar to a phone booth of the past; this would be a shared space where residents could speak to and see their loved ones.

3 Medication Management Apps Helping Seniors Live Independently

 

Seniors Live IndependentlyOlder adults are embracing technology and gaining significant benefit from the use of mobile devices. Smart phones and tablets are proving themselves extremely valuable in the lives of elderly people. They allow seniors to engage on social media platforms and stay connected with friends and family. There are also a number of apps and games to help keep the mind active, which plays an important role in retaining cognitive abilities. Now, there are even apps to help seniors manage their medications. This is crucial, as most elderly people are on several medications. It is easy to accidentally miss a dose or even overdose when a person has multiple medications to take at varying times throughout the day. The apps discussed in this article are designed to help solve this issue. The top three medication management apps for seniors are  as follows:

 

  1. MedCoach –  This is a free app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. The app offers a list of medications and a user-friendly interface to set up reminders. It also connects to your pharmacy for simple refill orders. Caregivers particularly appreciate this. It is used by some tech-savvy seniors as well.
  2. MediSafe – This is another medication reminder app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. It features loud alarm style reminders, refill options, and it is easy to use. One of the unique characteristics of this app is the ability to share information. Medication data can be shared among family members, and progress reports can be generated for physicians.
  3. Pillboxie – This is a user-friendly app perfect for seniors or caregivers. It is available for the iPhone and iPad. The cost is only $.99. It provides on-screen visual cues with images of pill bottles. Users can set alarms and reminders for each medication. It does not require a data connection, so you will not miss a reminder due to lack of data service.

 

These are just three of the many apps that assist elderly people in their daily activities. We should not underestimate an older adult’s ability to use and understand modern technology. Just like anything new in life, it simply takes a little time to learn. Seniors and caregivers can both benefit from using these types of medication management apps.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired Living at Alpharetta – Featured Community

Once again, Inspired Living has raised the bar for senior housing. This brand-new community in Alpharetta, Georgia features state-of-the-art technology and first-class amenities. Alpharetta is a town located just 26 miles from Atlanta. The immaculately landscaped grounds are a sight to behold.

Types of housing

  • Independent living
  • Memory care
  • Assisted living

As a resident’s health and circumstances change, they move to the appropriate housing environment without having to leave the community. This allows residents to remain in familiar surroundings and keep those crucial social bonds made within the community.

Some of our favorite features include a swimming pool with Tiki bar, a pond, beautiful walking paths, and chef prepared meals. The truly intriguing characteristics of this property are the high-tech systems that improve the lives of residents. These are particularly useful in memory care, as they provide premium security and safety for everyone. These technologies include:

A true sense of community

Inspired living at Alpharetta makes community a priority. They provide on and off-site activities for residents. The engaging, friendly atmosphere encourages individuals to socialize and foster relationships. This is a lovely community that deserves to be our first “featured community.”

For more information visit Inspired Living at Alpharetta

 

Inspired Living

Images from  “A Place for Mom”

Wellness Tech – Integrated Fitness Systems in Senior Care

Fitness Systems in Senior CareAn integrated fitness system generally refers to a piece of equipment that provides personalized activity tracking. While these devices have been popular among average americans for the past few years, the eldercare industry is just now beginning to recognize the benefits of these systems. Few senior care communities currently have this technology, but it is an innovation we will likely see more frequently in the future as leaders acknowledge the value of this technology. Let’s look at the present options and their potential uses in elder care.

Wearables

Wearables are the most popular type of fitness tracker available on the market today. They are generally small electronic devices that track and record activity. Fitbits and Apple watches are common examples of wearable fitness trackers. They are often sleek and attractive to blend with the user’s attire. A few useful characteristics of these devices include:

  • Heart rate monitor – These devices can measure and record heart rate. Because they are wearable, they provide a constant monitoring system.
  • Sleep monitor – Sleep cycles are crucial for the elderly. Tracking the quality and quantity of sleep documents vital information for diagnosing and detecting physical and mental-health problems.
  • Activity tracking – The ability to observe activity levels in elderly people is significant because we can detect decreased levels of activity, which may indicate a health problem. Early detection is the key for overcoming many health issues. This could truly be a life-saving technology when used in this way.
  • Calorie tracking – Measuring the number of calories burned due to activity can be extremely worthwhile for those trying to lose weight or people with specific nutritional/calorie intake requirements.

Fitness Equipment

Another type of integrated fitness system being used in senior care is exercise equipment that records activity. The machinery is generally networked and can record a host of important data. This is particularly useful for those receiving physical therapies or people on a specific exercise program. The ability to track progress not only encourages the participant, it also provides valuable information to doctors and caregivers.

It is easy to see how these systems benefit elderly people. We hope community operators will recognize the value in this technology and will   implement it when possible. Some People in the industry believe  This type of tech is cost prohibitive. Hopefully, as with most technology, the cost will drop dramatically over time so that more communities can make this  innovation a reality for residents.

Why is Technology Important in Senior Housing ?

 

Senior Care technology

As our first post, it seems appropriate to discuss the purpose of this blog. Why is technology in senior living an issue that deserves your attention? Here, we will answer that very question so leaders in the industry can respond to the needs of their residents with a better understanding of the essential role technology plays in senior care. Technology is an increasingly important factor in all industries and in our personal lives. While some people are reluctant to embrace change, others realize the need for upgrades and improvements. The broad goal of new technology is to make things more effective and efficient. So, how does this impact senior care services?

Quality of care

Providing a higher quality of care not only improves the lives of residents, it also increases demand and occupancy rates. New technologies offer opportunities for immense improvements in care giving. These innovations span across all sectors of elder care. Senior communities implementing new systems are obtaining tremendous positive results.

Safety

The issue of safety is always a concern in eldercare communities. Community operators are attentive to the well-being of residents, as well as the employees and caregivers. New high-tech systems advance overall safety. A great example of this is a real time location system” (RTLS). These devices have become crucial in providing the absolute highest level of safety.

Savings

While implementing new technologies and systems typically has an initial upfront cost; it often saves money in the long term. When your systems are more reliable, running more efficiently and effectively, you will naturally cut costs. Unnecessary spending deteriorates the quality of care and therefore, defeats the purpose of your community.

Lead the industry

The senior living industry is competitive, no question about that. In order to stay in the game, communities must offer the finest care. If you plan to be in the forefront of this industry, you must provide superior services. Technology is the key to accomplishing this goal. Families seeking top-quality care for their loved ones expect modern tech to be utilized.

Now that you understand the significance of technology in senior housing communities, we hope you will pursue the knowledge and information to make your elder care community stand out from the crowd.