Monday, May 29, 2017

The Advantages of Echo Show

     
     The advantages of Echo Show are so numerous you will never know how you have lived without it.  You may not know what it is because it hasn't hit the market yet.  Slated to be released on June 28th, but you can preorder now before they are sold out.  If you have an Echo, Echo dot, or even a Google home then you know how convenient they are for doing just about everything from setting an alarm to listening to music. Let's not forget about Siri for apple products and Cortana for MicroSoft products.  Furthermore, if you use messenger or face time to make video calls, you know that app and feature is pretty handy.  Well marry the two ideas and the advantages of the Echo Show brings all these options together with simple voice commands without pulling out your device.




     So let's get started.  Echo and are you familiar with it's many features.  I got one for Christmas when they were on sale.  The Echo dot.  I have experimented with it and I love it.  So far my favorite part of having it has been setting an alarm after I lay down.  Mine is located in my bedroom as I am away from home working for the time being.  So I just say Alexa, her light comes on so I know she is listening, and I say set alarm for 6:30 am.  She says, alarm set for 6:30 am.  That reassures me she has the right time.  Then I tell her to play Thundering Rainstorm and she will find it and I can listen to the rain put me to sleep.  When it's time to wake, I can tell her to let me snooze for 15 more minutes, or ask her for the weather and news.  I can have her turn the lights on or off the heat up or down, and I can even get her to order me a driver to work.  So simple you will use her all day long.  I can even use her to make phone calls with anyone with an echo device or just the app.  For a list of Alexa's many skill go here.  More skills are added everyday.

     Many of you know how convenient Facebook messenger has become for our survival.  Many do not realize that you can hit the video icon and see each other while you talk.  Just like Skype without the technical pain.  This is great if you are away from family to share holidays and be a part of the experience.  Also messenger and face time allows you to make a phone call if your cellphone is cut off as long as you have wifi.  Furthermore, free wifi is almost everywhere if you are close to a store or the city.  Even if your not and staying at home with family, there is probably internet hooked up.  In stressful financial times that is usually the last thing to get cut off.  Why, you can watch TV, surf the net, and make phone calls via messenger as long as you have a device and the internet.

     So if you are totally unfamiliar with either of these concepts you should have a better understanding of how apps and devices can simplify your life.  For those of you that do use these devices one or the other, well together they are the bomb.  From these concepts Amazon has married the two and created the Echo Show.  Why does that matter if you already use the other apps.  Well you have to get the device and turn it on if its an iPad, tablet, or cell phone.  They are also only as good as their last charge.  You have to physically enable the devices too.  Well your not lazy.  However, there is nothing better than setting an alarm clock if you have already went to bed and forgot the task, or turning on a light with your voice in the middle of the night.  The Echo Show is always plugged in and ready to go.




     Let's look at some of the advantages in having this device.  You can call your family from your bed or chair or the floor if you have had an accident or you do not feel right using Echo Show's Alexa calling feature.  If you are older there is a real security in having a device like that in earshot of you.  If you hear someone trying to break in, you could have your family on the Echo Show watching everything and alerting the police if you can't physically get to your phone or are hiding.  I think this is genius, this product.  There is also a drop in feature on the new Echo Show that allows you to drop in and call and see your family member as an opt in without them having to answer the phone.  That's right, if your not dressed or don't look your best you can decide with each call if the caller can see you or not.  But with the drop in feature, you can allow your children or a close friend to check in on you to make sure you are okay without you even answering the call.  What about times when your family member may need a sitter to stay with them while your away.  You can have the confidence in knowing you can drop in at any moment and check in on them.  All of the many things that the Echo can do, the Echo show can do better.


Dividing Line clip art

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mesothelioma - Am I at Risk

     Mesothelioma, what is it and am I at risk.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is mostly found in the pleural lining of the lungs.  It can also be found in the lining around the abdomen and heart. Those diagnosed with testicular Mesothelioma account for only less than 1% of the patient population.  The inhalation of Asbestos gave rise to the incurable disease that we are now facing in our aging population.

     You may ask yourself, well am I at risk ?  You have very good cause to be concerned if you are a new baby boomer.  This is because earlier years of asbestos exposure has a 20 to 50 year latency period before cancer symptoms begin to appear.  Even when these symptoms do appear most people are already in stage III of the disease.  These symptoms mimic many others that appear with respiratory and cardiac disorders, and do not become apparent until usually after the tumors have spread, grown, and causes pain in the patient.




      Early testing can make ones prognosis more favorable.  Those individuals that know they have been exposed to asbestos need to be tested.  Furthermore, those individuals that worked around shipyards in cities with large seaports such as Seattle and San Francisco, as well as auto shop repairmen, and even occupants of older homes should discuss with their doctor any concerns or testing that is available.  3,000 new cases are diagnosed every year with 4 times more men than woman.  Caucasians make up most of that number.

     Symptoms are usually not noticeable until around stage III of the disease.  Symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, weight loss, pain around tumor, edema or fluid buildup, and bowel obstruction.  Even though there is no cure for Mesothelioma, there are certain therapies available that will relieve symptoms.

     If your doctor feels you have Mesothelioma he or she will order x-rays or a series of scans along with blood test.  If results appear to suggest disease presence the doctor will want to get a biopsy to definitively confirm diagnosis.

    Treatment of Mesothelioma involves a multi modal therapy approach.  Multi modal therapy is a combination of cancer treatment involving at least 2 or more therapies.  Therapies available are curable surgery or palliative surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  Curable surgery will be available for those with a less advanced stage of cancer and basically younger individuals without multiple anomalies.  Palliative surgery goals are for relief of suffering and symptoms.  More doctor are having greater success with trimodal therapies which of course involves all three treatments.  Clinical trials are underway experimenting with gene therapy which may lead to a longer survival outcome.

     If you are diagnosed with Mesothelioma there is a $30 billion dollar trust that has been put aside by the companies that exposed workers and families to this deadly disease.  You can find out more at National Mesothelioma Claims Center.  If you are a veteran their are even more options available for you at Veterans Mesothelioma Benefits Center.  Unfortunately over 30% of the people that have developed this disease are veterans due to the fact asbestos was widely used in their insulation products.

For more information please go to:
MesotheliomaHelp.org and get your hand guide and learn more about this dangerous disease and your option for physically and financially dealing with it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Best Cars for Older Drivers




Older people face unique challenges when it comes to driving. While they may not lose their ability to drive altogether, mature drivers may begin to develop limitations that can significantly affect their driving capabilities.

Most people may not consider that certain kinds of cars better suit the needs of mature drivers. Bigger vehicles like SUVs, vans, and trucks aren’t ideal for older drivers because they’re more difficult to enter and exit. A car’s features may also have an impact on a person’s driving ability.

There are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right vehicle for a mature driver.

Factors Affecting Driving Ability
Certain consequences of aging can have a profound impact a person’s ability to drive. Some of these consequences may affect:
  • Height. It’s common knowledge that people become shorter as they grow older. This is because the cartilage in the spine wears down over time, causing the spine to lose some of its length. Health conditions such as osteoporosis may also play a role in this process. This can affect an older person’s ability to get in and out of their vehicle. 
  • Visibility. As people get older, they often lose some degree of visibility and may begin to lose their sight altogether. Diminishing or full loss of visibility can have a significant effect on depth perception, which is important when driving. Therefore, most states require more frequent eye tests for older drivers. 
  • Hearing. Older drivers may have a harder time hearing so automatic braking, collision systems, and rear cameras can help them avoid accidents. 
  • Mental health. Certain mental health conditions such as epilepsy and the onset of Alzheimer’s may inhibit a person’s ability to drive.
Fortunately, the percentage of accidents by older drivers has decreased in recent years, partially due to the new and improved automobile features which help protect mature drivers on the road.

Accommodations for Older Drivers
Many modern cars include important features that address the unique challenges mature drivers must overcome when driving. Some of these may come standard for many vehicles, while others can be purchased via upgrades. They might include:
  • Adjustable seats and mirrors 
  • Adjustable gas and brake pedals 
  • Rear and side cameras to assist with reversing and turning 
  • Additional convex side mirrors 
  • Vocal alarms 
  • Hands-free radio and controls 
  • Automatic braking 
  • Collision prevention systems

Best Cars for Older Drivers
The best kinds of cars for older drivers are smaller sedans or crossover vehicles. Mature drivers can enter and exit these kinds of cars more easily than an SUV or van. Even so, older drivers may prefer an SUV or van, so we’ve taken care to include one of each on our list.
  • Kia Soul. The Kia Soul combines the roominess of an SUV with the compactness of a sedan for a reasonable price. Foldable backseats provide even more room for storage. Its large doors and seats provide extra accessibility for older drivers. The upgraded version of the Soul also incorporates modern features such as hands-free Bluetooth. A heated steering wheel and Sirius satellite radio are just a couple of the Soul’s extra bells and whistles.
  • Eighth Generation Honda Accord. The Honda Accord has become a household name. The Honda Accord has always been a reliable vehicle that can stay on the road for a couple of decades or longer, and the eighth generation is no exception. Different models of the Honda Accord in this generation include different features, including navigation systems, hands-free Bluetooth, cruise control, increased stability control, and keyless entry.
  • Third Generation Toyota Avalon. Much like the Accord, the Toyota Avalon has made a name for itself as a reliable vehicle. Using audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, older drivers can control the radio without having to take their eyes off the road. The Limited version of the Avalon also includes a seat cushion length adjuster, helping shorter older drivers gain more control over the position of their seat.
  • Fourth Generation Subaru Forester. For those looking for a smaller SUV, any of the fourth generation Foresters are a great option. The wide windshield offers maximum visibility and reduces blind spots. All-wheel drive gives drivers better control of the car and added traction. Newer models also include enhanced safety features as part of Subaru’s EyeSight, such as lane departure and collision alarms. The Forester is fuel-efficient and quiet, which makes it perfect for those who are hard of hearing.
  • Honda Odyssey. For older drivers who need a minivan to cart around the grandkids, the Honda Odyssey is an excellent choice. With wide doors, roomy seats, and low floors, the Odyssey makes for a highly accessible and comfortable daily driver. Mature drivers can get in and out of the van easily without having to balance on a step. The Odyssey is also fuel efficient, making it perfect for older drivers on a fixed income.
  • Volvo XC60. The Volvo XC60 is a crossover vehicle, which is the perfect option for those looking for something bigger than a car but smaller than an SUV. Standard features of the XC60 include automatic braking and collision response systems. When the Volvo approaches another vehicle too closely or quickly, an alarm will sound. If the driver doesn’t respond to the alarm, the Volvo will stop itself. This Volvo model is a little pricier than some of the other cars included on our list, but the extra safety features are definitely worth the money.
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Easily the priciest vehicle on our list, the Mercedes E-Class comes loaded with valuable features for older drivers. The key standard feature of the E-Class is the Attention Assist. This technology incorporates sensors that can pick up on signs of drowsy driving. When this happens, an alarm will sound and a light on the dashboard resembling a coffee cup will turn on. The Mercedes E-Class comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s definitely a stylish set of wheels that will protect older drivers who are particularly prone to falling asleep at the wheel.
Every driver’s needs are individual, and different people will require different features based on the health problems they have, as well as their personal preference in vehicles. The cars featured on our list would suit drivers of any age but are especially convenient for mature drivers who have experienced limitations in their driving abilities.



                  CatholicMatch.com -Senior Success

Friday, January 13, 2017

Still Rocking: Aging Baby Boomers Who Are Redefining the Rock Star Image

Staying active is important for people of all ages – especially seniors. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see your favorite musicians from your childhood still rocking and rolling 40, 50, or even 60 years later. Retirement simply isn’t in the cards for these energetic seniors.
While many of the today’s aging musicians started in their teens and 20s, famous rock stars no longer have to be young to be sex symbols. Musicians from bands such as the Rolling Stones, Beatles, and Beach Boys are still entertaining audiences all over the world as they approach their 80s and 90s. 

Read on to learn more about 10 Baby Boomers who are ditching retirement and still doing what they love after all these years.
Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger. Although he sang that he “can’t get no satisfaction,” Mick Jagger apparently gets some satisfaction from entertaining fans. This 73-year-old co-founder of the Rolling Stones started his music career in 1962. Nearly 55 years later, Jagger is still going strong, with no plans to stop anytime soon. In fact, he recently fathered his eighth child, so this English rock star will be busy for years to come.

Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney is widely known as one of the members of the Beatles. This 74-year-old is known as one of the most successful composers of all time. His song “Yesterday” has been covered more than 2,000 times. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice and has received many other honors during his 60-year music career. He continues to tour and is known for performing three-hour-long concerts.

Bob Dylan. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, Bob Dylan is known for his folk songs about social and political issues. Now 75 years old, Dylan has been an influential force in the music industry for more than five decades. He also dabbles in art, having released seven books of drawings and paintings. He recently won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature and continues to tour.

Brian Wilson. Brian Wilson is widely known as one of the most influential and creative musicians in music due to his unique ways of composing and recording songs. This 74-year-old was best known as one of the founders of the rock group the Beach Boys, which was formed in 1961. Even though the band has broken up several times, Wilson continues to write songs and perform with several remaining members of the band. 
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin. Also now 74 years old, Aretha Franklin was just 14 years old when she released her first single. The only female on this list, Franklin started out singing gospel songs and, by the end of the 1960s, she became known as the Queen of Soul. One of the best-selling artists of all time, Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards over the course of her singing career. She has also received several honorary degrees.  She continues to perform live and even sang at the White House in 2015. 

Chuck Berry. The oldest person on this list, Chuck Berry is still performing at the ripe old age of 90. Well-known for his hit “Johnny B. Goode,” this singer, songwriter, and guitarist was one of the pioneers of rock and roll music and also one of the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was ranked fifth on a list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He has plans to release a new album in 2017.

Paul Simon. Paul Simon, age 75, is well-known as one half of the rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, which he founded in 1964. The duo had several hits, including the famous “Mrs. Robinson.” Despite their success, the duo split up in 1970 and Simon began his solo career. His most popular album was Graceland, which sold 14 million copies. He is known as one of the greatest songwriters and guitarists. The 14-time Grammy winner has composed music for Broadway and various films. He continues to perform his music.

Neil Diamond. Neil Diamond has a music career spanning six decades. He originally wanted to become a doctor, but chose songwriting instead and became very successful at it. This 75-year-old has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, making him one of the most successful singers. Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and has 11 #1 singles to his name. He continues to perform for fans all over the world.

Neil Young. Neil Young started his music career at age 15. He performed in several groups before joining Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. Young, age 71, is known for his electric guitar work and personal and politically-fueled lyrics. He has won several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Born in Canada, he has lived in California since the 1960s. He continues to perform at various events.

Rod Stewart. Known for his raspy voice, Rod Stewart has had an impressive solo career for more than 40 years. He started out with The Jeff Beck Group and then Faces. This British songwriter has sold 100 million albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He has received numerous awards and was even knighted by the Queen in June 2016. Stewart, who turns 72 in January, continues to make music and tour. 
Aging doesn’t mean sitting in a rocking chair. For these rockers, age is just a number. People are living longer than ever, and, instead of sitting at home, these musicians are still going strong in their 70s and 80s. Whenever you’re feeling down, listen to some music from one of these hit-makers and gain a renewed sense of energy and wellbeing. 






Health Benefits of Jewelry Making

There are some hobbies that are not only fun but rewarding as well. Jewelry making falls into that category. Making your own jewelry allows you to unleash your creativity. You can personalize your creation however you like. With jewelry so expensive – hundreds and even thousands of dollars – making your own jewelry allows you to save money.
Did you know that jewelry making offers health benefits as well? Jewelry making is a great hobby for people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors. It helps your mind because, in many ways, it is like putting together a puzzle. You have beads of many different colors, shapes, and designs, with the goal of pairing several of them and turning them into wearable art. This is no small feat, as jewelry making is much more than placing beads on a string. 

How else can jewelry making positively affect your health? Read on to learn more about this beneficial hobby.

various silver and gold beads

Psychological Benefits
A study published in the International Journal of Aging & Human Development showed that jewelry making offered many psychological benefits for the participants. Many participants received compliments on their works of art, which made 24% of them happier and more self-confident. They reported high levels of satisfaction with their work and felt more relaxed. Working with beads and strings allowed the participants to relieve stress and forget about the stresses of everyday life. 
In another group, 24% of the participants felt a sense of accomplishment. They enjoyed mastering a new skill while making something of their own. 
Physical Benefits 
Working with beads can also improve your physical health. Because it eliminates stress, it helps reduce the risk of a heart attack and other conditions caused by stress. Jewelry making also increases energy levels, while reducing blood pressure. Instead of taking pills and medications to cure high blood pressure and a lack of energy, try beading, instead. It’s a fun way to stay healthy!
Cognitive Benefits
Jewelry making is especially beneficial for the very young and very old. Working with beads develops many useful skills for preschoolers, while seniors can benefit from the activity as well. Once they hit retirement, seniors often don’t challenge their brains as much, which can lead to cognitive disorders down the road. By participating in bead jewelry making, they keep their brains active. 
Jewelry making also develops creativity and imagination in people of all ages. Those who participate in this activity are able to create a piece of jewelry with their own unique designs. 

Developmental Benefits
Using beads to make jewelry is a great skill for young children to develop. That’s because the practice of making jewelry promotes development in many key areas. Children improve their fine motor skills by grasping beads of various sizes. Once the bead is in the child’s hand, it must then be transferred onto the string, which involves manipulation skills. According to Occupational Therapist Kimberly Voaden, jewelry making actually strengthens muscles in the hands
Using beads also improves visual perception and memory. When so many beads are available, children must be able to scan the inventory and select the right one. Once they choose the ones they want, they must then develop a pattern and remember it.
Visual motor skills are also improved through beading. Putting the bead onto the string requires hand-eye coordination.
Using beads to make jewelry also improves problem-solving skills in children. They must figure out what type of jewelry they want to create and what pattern to use. They must also determine how many beads to put in a pattern and how long the bracelet or necklace should be, which improves math skills.
Therapeutic Benefits
Jewelry making is used as a form of therapy. It is often done in hospital settings as a way to help patients cope with their illnesses. Patients are more relaxed and able to better understand their illness. They feel less stressed about their condition and feel more in touch with themselves. Working with beads turns a negative situation into a more positive one. It gets the patients’ minds off their illness and focused on an activity that will benefit their health in so many ways. 
Social Benefits
While some people may prefer to work on their bead jewelry alone, many like to work on projects in group settings. Jewelry making is a fun experience to share with others. You can compare designs with the group and ask for advice along the way. You can also talk and share stories as you create your bracelet or necklace. This is especially beneficial for seniors, who enjoy being social but are often left home alone with no one to talk to or do things with. Young children can also develop social skills by participating in a bead jewelry class.

Getting Started
Working with beads is fairly easy to do. You can purchase kits at craft stores and almost any store that has a toy department. There are many types of beads and patterns available. You may also be able to find classes in your area.
Start with a small kit and see how you like it. Many of these kits come with instructions to help you create more advanced patterns and designs. Once you master those, you can try out different sets. You can search online for unique beads to add to your collection. Beading can help you open up a whole new world of creativity. 
It has been known for quite some time that arts and crafts promote mental, emotional and physical well-being, and jewelry making is no exception. If you want to feel better about yourself and have fun at the same time, you can – without having to hit the gym. Grab some beads and string and melt away the tension as you create a unique piece of jewelry for yourself or a loved one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Over 60's Benefits

older man captioned over 60
  Despite some obvious downsides of aging that we all must endure, there are vast benefits for people who surpass the age of 60 years old.

  Senior Citizen age varies from place to place, based on local laws,  but for the most part once you can say you are officially over 60, the discounts just start rolling in.

  This website is dedicated to reduced tuiton or even free tuition for seniors looking to get back in school/college.   Reduced education costs are just one of many benefits to senior citizens.

Things to Remember

  • Ask for senior discounts,  almost all places have them but usually do not advertise them
  • Many hotels offer a senior discount 
  • Retail stores like, Banana Republic and Kohls offer hidden senior discounts
  • Senior Discounts at many restaurants might be obvious, but they usually won't advertise it
  • Boston Market, Denny's, Applebees and Outback all have senior discounts
  • Many grocery stores have incentives for senior citizens
  • THE MOVIES (check with your local theatre)
  • Amusement parks also generally have a senior rate
  • Public transportation often offers cheaper rates for the elderly
  • Many telephone service providers offer a senior discount,  AT&T and Verizon have such offers
  • Check with AARP.ORG for many offers
  • Continued Education is proven to reduce cognitive impairment among older people.  Many colleges offer free or reduced tuition/classes for senior citizens.  
Social Security 

  For now the retirement age is 65 years old.  There are ways to recieve a reduced retirement at age 62 and the near future retirement age will probably be pushed to around 67.   Generally at age 65, one can start to collect social security benefits, which are based off of many factors including your income through your working years, cost of living factors and factors such as being a veteran or other disabilities.   To find out more go to https://www.ssa.gov/

More Senior Benefits

  Medicare RX Extra Help  Form
  
  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program   Form

  Guide to Free or Reduced Tuition for Seniors.   Find your state

  Senior Centers  (hidden benefits)   MORE INFO

Find Benefits for your State 

BenefitsCheckup.org is on of the best places to find discounts and services in your area.   



It Pays to be a Senior 

  A book all about discounts, benefits, deals and giveaways for people over 50.  



It Pays to Be a Senior (1,147 Incredible Discounts, Benefits, Sweet Deals, and Giveaways for Folks Over 50)  has very good information for seniors.  Most of the information can be found elsewhere, but the problem with that is, you would spend days searching different websites for the all the information compiled in this book.   (4/5) stars.

Do your research

Take the time to check out all the links provided and search your area to maximize the cost savings of being over 60.   It is ashamed how many resources get overlooked and how much savings are often left on the table.   Happy Hunting!



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