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Do seniors need smartphones?

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It seems that the older generation loves to reminisce on the times when we didn’t have screens to stare at constantly. Smartphones can cause car accidents, people walk into streets, and people are consumed in their own little bubbles.

But technology can also be seen as a way to connect. Pew Research states that 82% of smartphone-owning seniors describe their phone as freeing. Only 64% of those ages 18-29 have the same sentiment. Even fewer elderly smartphone owners (18%) describe their phone as “a leash” compared to double (36%) of those under age 30.

Why is it that the elderly and young people view this technology so differently? Is it important for seniors to start using and embracing this technology even if it may seem overwhelming or difficult to use?

How do we use our smartphones?

This isn’t about necessarily “how to use a smartphone”, we want to discuss the role smartphones play in our lives. Pew Research Center found that younger adults use their phones for a wide range of purposed such as to relieve boredom and to avoid those around them. Older Americans mainly use their phones for basic features like calls, email, and texting.

The reason is likely that older Americans are less likely to be online. Also, only 27% of those ages 65 and older have a smartphone compared to 85% of 18-19 year olds.

Another reason seniors tend to use just the basic functions of their phones is due to medical conditions like poor eyesight or hearing that make it difficult to use other features. Pew also stated that many older Americans are skeptical of the benefits of having a smartphone.

But that doesn’t mean all seniors are Luddites. Their study showed that in 2014, half of seniors using the internet were on Facebook.

Why use a smartphone?

Yes, the smartphone has been to blame for young people not connecting with those around them, but the smartphone has many beneficial features that are not as news-worthy as a teen walking into the street while playing on their phone.

These beneficial features include:

  • Video calls
  • Camera
  • Access to real-time news (Twitter, news apps)
  • Mobile banking and payments
  • Maps and navigation (Google Maps)

 

What will get more seniors to use smartphones?

One answer is education.

Smartphones don’t come with user manuals, and even if they did it would still be overwhelming and confusing to use the device especially if it’s your first time.

Getting educators into nursing homes or senior centers, hosting community smartphone sessions at the library are great ways to show seniors the benefits of learning to use one.

Once they’re able to see that they can Skype their kids and relatives, and are able to figure out how to use it, they may want to jump on board.

But don’t pressure them. They’ve lived nearly their entire lives without one, and many will put their foot down about getting one. The next best solution is to get them a senior-friendly phone. There are some available with large buttons and screens that display big numbers for easier visibility.


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Top apps for seniors

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If you’re a tech-savvy senior, or maybe you want to get your loved one an iPad or smartphone to start using, you’ll want to download some of these helpful apps for seniors.

It really is true that there’s an app for everything. Upon beginning our search into iTunes and the Google Play Store (the main app centers for Apple and Android phones) we noticed apps for detecting falls, medicine, games, health, food, and more.

It’s not surprising that some enterprising app developers decided to hit upon the senior market.

Here are some of the best apps out there for seniors.

Pillboxie (iPad and iPhone)
This app will help you remember which medicine to take and when. It seems simple enough to use, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you took something any longer. $1.99

EyeReader (iPhone)
This app turns your phone’s camera into a magnifying glass. Useful for when you’re at a restaurant our need to read some fine print. $1.99

Lumosity
Lumosity offers games to help enhance your memory and attention. Play some games and feel good doing it! Free

Flipboard
If you love reading and discovering new articles, you’ll get addicted to Flipboard. You can create different topics or follow certain publications so you’re always on top of the latest news. Free

Skype
Stay in touch with friends and family through video! You may need to make an account, but after that the app is simple enough to use. Free

Word with Friends
This is a fun game based on Scrabble that allows you to play against friends in real time. Free

Facebook
Keep up with your family and friends with the Facebook app. You will need to set up a profile if you don’t already have one. A family member will be able to help you.

Weather Channel App
Check the weather for the day and the week ahead so you always know what to wear before you head outside. It’s especially useful here in Florida so you know the likelihood it will rain, since it can rain at any moment. Free

Mint
This personal finance app helps you see all of your financial information at a glance. Keep track of where you’re spending the most money and how well your accounts are doing. Free

NPR
The NPR One app lets you stream and listen to all your favorite NPR shows. Free

Voice Reading
This Android app will read text to you from the internet, messages, and emails. Very helpful for when you can’t read the small font on the screen. Free

Looking to learn how to use an Android phone? Here is a video on the Samsung Galaxy series of phones to help beginners get familiar with certain features.


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Keeping an eye on elderly family members during hurricane season

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The Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1st and won’t finish until November 30. Already we’ve seen multiple hurricanes and tropical storms hit the eastern cost of the United States including Hurricane Alex (category 1), Tropical Storm Bonnie, Topical Storm Colin, and Hurricane Hermine (category 1).

As residents of Florida whether it’s all year or just part-time, we understand the risks of living here. Florida is one of the lowest-lying states! Just Like Family and many of our nurses and patients are located in Collier, Lee, and Charlotte Counties, with many people located just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.

We see many retirees living here that don’t have a well-planned out strategy for what to do when the next storm hits. If you have a loved one in “Hurricane Alley” as many like to call this southeastern part of the US, be sure to write down some of these tips in order to help prepare them for any upcoming storms.

Supplies you need

The last thing you want to have to do is run out to Publix or Home Depot to pick up supplies right when a storm is announced. Everyone else in the town is doing the same and it is likely that popular items like bottled water, batteries, and ply wood could get sold out.

Stock up on these non-perishable items and have them on hand for emergencies.

These include items like:

  • Batteries
  • Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • First aid kit
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Canned food (ready to eat)
  • Energy bars, trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rain gear

The US Coast Guard has an in-depth list of items you can have on-hand in case of a storm.

Other ways to Prepare

Rather than worry about having to buy plywood and drill it onto the outside of your windows, invest in some storm shutters. These are especially helpful for the elderly as they are much easier to deploy when needed.

Have an emergency contact that lives nearby. If your loved one lives in Florida and you live in another state, you’ll want to have a contact you can trust that is willing to help your loved one during a storm. You’ll want to make sure that they have your phone number and all other contact information, and vice versa.

Create a plan in the case of a true emergency. If the time comes to evacuate, you will want to know exactly where they should be going. Do they need to go to a nearby shelter? Can someone pick them up and drive with them to a safe city outside of the path of the storm? These are all things you should discuss before the time comes. The last thing you need is to have to make last-minute decisions during an emergency.

Get your loved one a cell phone. If they don’t have one already, and prefer to use a landline, you should purchase a cheap elderly-friendly phone like the Jitterbug. They should have one just in case of anything.


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In-Home Care vs. Nursing Home: When do you need these services?

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The elder care industry is growing rapidly, especially as the Baby Boomer generation starts to get into their older years. With the care of older parents and relatives falling to young people and those in their middle ages, it can be tough to decide how best to care for them.

Some parents have been able to stock away money to provide for their own care. Others have beneficial care policies which may cover their elderly care needs. But it seems that the majority are relying on their relatives and children to provide care as they age.

The US has seen a surge in elderly care and memory care facilities. Memory care refers to helping those with dementia or Alzheimers who live within the facility.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2012, there were 1.4 million people in nursing homes nationally.

If you’re considering all of your options in terms of the care of your aging relative or parent, you’re likely thinking about the pros and cons of nursing homes. We’re going to go over some of the benefits and disadvantages of utilizing one of these services.

When You Need A Nursing Home

Round the Clock Assistance
If your loved one is finding it hard to do basic tasks, and seems to constantly need some assistance, 24 hour help may be necessary. Nursing homes can aid with bathing, eating, dressing, administering medicine, and more.

Specialized Care
If your loved one suffers from a specialized disease such as dementia, Alzheimers or something else that needs extra care, then a nursing home may help in this case. Your loved on may need additional care to help with the symptoms and issues that occur with these diseases.

Socialization
Nursing homes involve your loved one living among those their age. A nursing home can allow for socialization, outings, and other events to keep them involved in their community.

When You Can Utilize Home Care

Round the Clock Assistance
That’s right! Many home care agencies (including Just Like Family) provide round the clock assistance to your loved one. Care provided by an agency is more specialized and tailored, and the nurse or caregiver will be focusing only on your loved one.

Relieving your Family
If you plan to take over the care for your loved one, you may need some assistance from time to time. Let’s say you plan a vacation or need to take a business trip. A home care agency can provide a caregiver to visit your loved one each day or stay with them 24/7. This allows you to continue with your life and know that your loved one is well taken care for.

House Keeping, Food Prep, Errands
If your loved one is under your care, but lives on their own, they may need some assistance with daily chores. Caregivers from home care agencies can help with housekeeping, food preparation, running errands, or taking your loved one to appointments.

If you’d like to hear about the benefits of in-home care for your loved one, give Just Like Family Home Care a call at 239.431.6661,


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8 Tips for Healthier Skin

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Pat dry! Rubbing skin with a towel can cause irritation.

Unless you’re addicted to skincare, you probably don’t pay too much attention to how you treat and care for your body’s largest organ. That’s right, the skin on the average adult is 22 square feet and ways around 8 pounds. It’s a huge part of our body’s that many of us don’t pay much attention to.

In this article, we want to give you some simple tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine that will help you keep your skin fresh, healthy, and glowing.

Now, but easy, I mean that these tips really are easy. There’s no huge changes needed to your lifestyle or diet. You may need to pay more attention to what you’re putting into your body, but that’s the most effort you’ll have to put in.

Let’s get started!

  1. Wear sunscreen!
    As a Florida-based company, we know the benefits or wearing sunscreen, and the dangers of being outside for too long without it. It’s super important to apply at least SPF 15 sunscreen and reapply it every 2 hours. Don’t miss those easy to forget spots like the neck, scalp, and tops of the feet.
  2. Clean your phone
    You may think this has nothing to do with skin but it really does. Your phone carries lots of bacteria around on the surface, and when you decide to make a call, now those items are now on your face. Take an anti-bacterial wipe and clean it at least once a day.
  3. Don’t pick at your skin
    As tempting as it is to pull off a zit or pop a pimple, it’s important that you refrain. Doing these things can result in long lasting scars that are difficult to remove.
  4. Turn the water temperature down
    If you love long hot showers, this may be tough for you. A hot shower will actually dry out your skin and remove oils. It’s best to take warm showers and baths instead.
  5. Don’t rub your skin
    When you dry off with a towel, how do you do it? The best way, to ensure your skin does not get irritated, is to pat yourself dry.
  6. Moisturize!
    If your skin gets any bit dry, it’s time to hydrate it with some moisturizer.
  7. Remove strong detergents and soaps
    These can irritate many peoples’ skin. It’s best to use fragrance-free soaps and laundry products that are softer on the skin.
  8. Clean makeup brushes
    When was the last time you did this? If you can’t remember, it’s time to do so. Best practice is to clean these brushes and sponges every 2-3 weeks.

If you enjoyed these tips, be sure to check out our other article on sun safety tips which include many ways you can keep yourself and your skin safe in the sun.


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Meet the Just Like Family Services

That’s right! Just Like Family is not only about home care. We’re about providing a suite of complementary services to help you or your loved ones when they need it.

Just Like Family Home Care

If you’ve read our blog before, you’re probably familiar with our Home Care service. We focus on providing the best care to you and your loved ones whether it’s to help run errands, cook, and clean or to perform medical assistance or help with plastic surgery after care. You can choose from companions to those with specialized degrees like RN or LPN.

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Concierge Transport Services

Our next service is Concierge Transport Services. This is a customized transportation option servicing Southwest Florida with the ability to travel anywhere from Miami to Tampa. For those in need of local transport, we provide one-ways and round-trips all at a fair price. There’s also no worrying about how much to tip, it’s included in our price so you won’t have to even think about it.

Our lineup of vehicles include everything from a non-emergency vehicle suited for stretchers, wheelchairs, and scooters to our luxury Mercedes sedan ready to take you to the airport for a business trip or to make your next date night extra special. Our drivers are well-known for their care and assistance and are always willing to go the extra mile for those they are transporting.

JLF medical van

Concierge Medical Transport

Concierge Medical Transport started after Concierge Transport. We noticed a need in the Southwest Florida area for more medical-related transportation. This includes hospital discharges, skilled nursing facility appointments, and inter-facility transfers. On October 28, 2015, a unanimous vote by the Board of Collier County Commissioners awarded Just Like Family Concierge Medical Transport a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Class 2 Advanced Life Support.

Call & Care

Our Call & Care service developed out of our desire to give you peace of mind when you’re away from your older loved ones. Our service provides and engaging, reliable calling service to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. Call & Care is a consistent connection for your loved one if you plan to be away or just want to provide them with more socialization.

 


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How can you help seniors in the community?

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Maybe you don’t have a grandparent nearby you can help out. Or maybe you understand the hardships that many seniors in our country and even our local community go through. Many are unable to drive, which prevents them from going to the store easily, or visiting the doctor, or just going out to eat or visit the library. Some do not have family members in the area and are alone for the holidays.

There are plenty of ways you can help seniors in your area though. You can volunteer to drive them to one place each week. You can spend time with them, watch tv, knit, play board games. You can donate gifts to senior charities during the holidays.

Since our Just Like Family headquarters is in southwest Florida, we are going to focus on how to help seniors in this area.

Alzheimer’s Support Network

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Support Network is to make the lives of caregivers easier and enrich the lives of patients. The Alzheimer’s Support Network exists to assist families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. Providing a compassionate and loving support system for families is our prime purpose. As a network, we connect families with each other, local resources, and wider coalitions aimed at caring for caregivers and establishing the best possible treatment for patients. As navigators we guide families through all aspect of the disease process, including providing educational programs to families and the community at large. As advocates, we strive to ease the burden of caregivers, enrich the lives of patients, and foster broader social awareness, respect and understanding of those with Alzheimer’s and their families.

JFCS of Southwest Florida

They run programs and services including mental health services, community services like financial assistance and a food pantry, and senior services like their Senior Center, outreach and support, and dementia respite support services.

As a volunteer you can be a driver, help in the Senior Center, visit adults who are isolated due to illness, age or disability, and more.

Click here to find more volunteer opportunities.

Collier Senior Resources

The Golden Gate Senior Center has plenty of volunteer opportunities:

  • Do Spanish-to-English Translations
  • Tutor / Teach Computer Skills
  • Lead Crafts and / or Art Projects
  • Play Music or Provide Entertainment
  • Be Handy, Garden, Paint, etc.
  • Lead Exercise Classes —Tai Chi or Other?
  • Help us with administrative work
  • Let Us Know Your Special Skills … We Need Help in Many Areas!

Reach out to Terry, the Volunteer Coordinator

Meals on Wheels of Lee County

They’re in need of drivers to deliver meals a few hours each week. They need more help in the spring and summer due to seasonal help moving back up north.

Harry Chapin Food Bank

Their mission is to fight hunger. Volunteers help with “product recovery, work in our fast-paced warehouse, provide administrative support, conduct their own food and fund drives, and assist with special events. The Food Bank depends upon volunteers who help us to distribute millions of pounds of food throughout Southwest Florida.”

They also cater to special interests like photography, computers, carpentry, and more.

Hope HealthCare

Our mission is to provide exceptional care and support to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey. Our vision is to create an environment in which life’s journey is cherished.

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities including:

  • Visitor &Transportation
  • Sewers & Artisans
  • Office Help & Special Events
  • Hope Chest Resale Store
  • Pet Program
  • Honor Gaurd for Veterans

Garden of Hope and Courage

The Naples Community Hospital Garden of Hope and Courage is looking for Concierge Volunteers. You will be providing patients going through clinical treatments with a respite in the garden.

Requirements

  • Outgoing personality
  • Ability to push a wheel chair
  • Coordinate patient garden tours with NCH Staff
  • Complete NCH Garden of Hope and Courage training program
  • Must also be willing to work on patient floors when not needed in the Garden of Hope and Courage

 

Do you know of an opportunity that we missed? Leave it in the comments and we will be sure to add it!