August 15th, 2013
More people are using the internet every day and many of these people are now using social networking sites regularly. While younger adults and teenagers are more likely to use social media than older adults, the growth in social media use for older internet users has skyrocketed in recent years. According to PewInternet, People ages 65 and older have roughly tripled their presence on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in the last four years. In 2009 only 13% were using social networking sites but now 43% are connecting with friends and family on social media.
Elderly adults’ increased internet and social media use has led to many interesting studies. Since many elderly adults are increasingly isolated and struggle with depression and loneliness, social media and internet use can help them stay connected to their friends and family. A study published by Shelia Cotton, a sociologist at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, found that older adults who were active on the internet experienced a 30% decrease of depressive symptoms. At a panel at last year’s Annual Scientific Meeting on Aging, Dr. Laura Carstensen, the director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, explained how these social networking sites are proving to be an entrance into technology for older adults. They can instantly be connected with friends and family without being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the internet. We hope more studies like these continue to come out and that social media continues to enrich and extend the lives and happiness of older adults.
July 26th, 2013
As we age, staying active has many benefits on both physical and mental health. It can increase energy, improve memory and manage symptoms.
Medical News Today recently published an article about the stroke-lowering benefits of regular physical activity.
Johns Hopkins posted an article about how mental decline in older adults who live independently can be delayed if they get regular physical activity.
If you or your loved ones need help coming up with appropriate exercise routines, check out our exercise guide for seniors.
You can also review another blog post on both mental and physical activities that can help you live longer and with a higher quality of life.
June 28th, 2013
By now, almost everyone has heard of twitter. However, many people don’t understand how it works or how to get the most out of it. A comprehensive survey found that 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter, but only 7% use it. Compare that with Facebook where 88% have heard of it and 41% have a profile.
This may be because people are unaware that you can use and enjoy Twitter without ever sending a tweet. In fact, around 53% of Twitter users never post any updates. There are many interesting people, companies and organizations that you can follow on Twitter to get information and see discussions.
In order to get started, you must first create an account. Once you do that, you can begin to ‘follow’ certain people and organizations. ‘Following’ someone on Twitter means that you will see when they post something. However, they will not have access to any personal information as you will just be observing what they say. When you log in, you will see all of the recent tweets of the people you are following.
Here are a few Twitter accounts that you can follow:
- Follow the CDC health Twitter (@CDC_eHealth) to get valuable information and updates on health and medications.
- Follow the AARP home & Family Twitter (@AARPFamily) to get information for caregivers, advice for the elderly and fun stories.
- Follow MNT Seniors News (@mnt_seniors) to get the latest seniors and aging news published daily.
Here is a blog with 7 eldercare tweets to follow.
June 21st, 2013
The world of social media is constantly growing and evolving, with more and more people using it every day. According to statisticbrain.com, there are over 1.2 Billion facebook users worldwide and an average of 190 million tweets a day.
While younger generations still dominate the social media landscape, older users are becoming more and more prevalent. According to a report released by Pew Internet, 2012 was the 3rd consecutive year that baby boomers have used social media in higher numbers and 44% of adults ages 60-90 said they periodically use social networking.
As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day.
Social media use can benefit seniors by keeping them connected to friends and loved ones as well as discussing things like health issues or current ailments.
This article outlines 11 reasons why seniors should care about social media.
Social media may also contribute to mental health. Janelle Wohltmann, a researcher and grad student at the University of Arizona’s Department of Psychology, found that social media can build cognitive performance in seniors too. In a recent study, she found that seniors using social media did 25% better on memory tests than seniors who stayed away from sites like Facebook altogether.
Despite the benefits social media can have, it is still important to remain cautious on the internet. You should not share when you are going on vacation or share too much personal information. To see more tips on how to protect your privacy online, click here.
June 7th, 2013
There are still many reports from the BBB and Attorney General about fraudulent telemarketing phone calls. LifeStation does not engage in telemarketing of this kind. You will never receive a recorded call from LifeStation as all of our customer service calls are made by live LifeStation representatives. If you receive a recorded call or a call from someone claiming they are LifeStation, ask for a call back number or call LifeStation Customer Service at 877.833.2020.
Due to the continued fraudulent telemarketing phone calls and other scams, we have compiled various resources that can aid you in spotting a scam or fraud and dealing with it.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a page that links to a number of articles on how to spot and avoid scams.
They also have a list of the top 10 scams of 2012 so you can see some examples of scams from the past year.
The FBI has a webpage dedicated to helping senior citizens avoid fraud.
The National Crime Prevention Council also provides tips on keeping older citizens from becoming victims of fraud and identity theft.
AgingCare.com provides an article about protecting elderly parents from identity theft.
See LifeStation’s previous blog posts on internet safety for seniors and senior fraud protection.
May 22nd, 2013
A few days ago someone shared a great video on LifeStation’s Facebook page. Published by Suncoast Service Dogs, Inc., the video shows Gracie, a service dog being trained to operate LifeStation equipment. Gracie successfully operates a Wall Mounted Alert Button as well as the main table-top LifeStation Console. Thanks for sharing such an amazing story!
See the video here.
May 15th, 2013
Travelling by plane with elderly parents can be difficult and stressful. Due to the new regulations and security measures we now face when travelling, preparation is vital. We have compiled a couple of resources that can help make your travels easier.
Agingcare.com takes an in-depth look at traveling with the elderly. They talk about the many things you can do to plan ahead such as requesting special services, preparing the necessary documents and planning for security checkpoints.
The New York Times featured an article that goes into detail about booking flights, getting to the airport and checking in your elderly loved ones.
Caregiving Solutions explores traveling with the elderly and disabled. This resource focuses on issues such as medical clearance and certain medical devices that may impact your travels.
The AARP has a blog that provides tips for when your elderly loved ones travel alone. They put an emphasis on preparation and reserving the proper assistance.
If your loved ones are travelling for an extended period of time they can bring their LifeStation Medical Alert System with them. Just call LifeStation Customer Service so we know where you will be.
May 6th, 2013
LifeStation has recently learned of widespread fraudulent telemarketing phone calls. See reports of the fraudulent telemarketing phone calls here, here and here. The calls target seniors and claim to be offering medical alert services similar to LifeStation. Some LifeStation customers have received these calls. During some of these calls telemarketers will offer you a free medical alert system or incorrectly suggest that your medical alert system has been cancelled.
LifeStation does not engage in telemarketing of this kind, nor do our partners or distributors. You will never receive a recorded call (sometimes called a “robo-call”) or computerized call from LifeStation. All of our customer service calls are made by live LifeStation representatives.
If you are not sure about a call that you receive from a medical alert company, do not provide any personal information and ask for a call-back number.
April 30th, 2013
A recent article from the Washington Post explores an extremely effective care-management system company called Health Quality Partners. Care-management systems use medical information to create care programs tailored to the individual. These care programs involve regular contact and interaction between the caregivers and patients.
Health Quality Partners focuses on making the patients comfortable by visiting the patients in their homes. They feel there is a huge value in regular, personal visits with patients for a few reasons.
1. The patients feel much more comfortable in their own home.
The patients are not in a hospital talking to a doctor, but talking with a friend in their own home. This makes them more likely to open up to the caregiver, share information and ask questions.
2. There is much more value in visiting the patient in person as opposed to simply ‘checking in’ over the phone.
Most care-management systems rely on nurses sitting in call centers, checking up on patients over the phone. Health Quality Partners puts an emphasis on behavior and living environment. The personal interaction helps the caregiver better understand the patient’s needs and habits, which allows them to keep the patient healthier.
An independent analysis concluded that Health Quality Partners reduced hospitalization by 33% and cut Medicare costs by 22%. The effectiveness of the program paired with the cost savings could revolutionize the way care-management systems work.