Monthly Archives

March 2015

Knowing Social Media

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Not so long ago the term “social media” wasn’t a topic that my friends and I referred to at all.  These days if you are not in step with all of the tools of social media, you miss out on easy connections with family and friends.  It has become especially important for seniors to understand and know how to use social media.  Let’s start by introducing the social media world to those of you who have not yet ventured into social media, including the various platforms available.

First  —  that mega-social media network called “Facebook.”  Five years ago my children showed me how easy it was to connect on Facebook with old friends and make new ones.  You begin by establishing a profile, which might include your hometown, where you went to school, where you worked, etc.   Facebook has more than 1.3 million users worldwide, and  it is a great way to stay connected to others.

Do you tweet?  “Twitter” is a social networking service that allows its users to send short messages called “tweets.”  You must be creative in your messages because Twitter allows only 140 characters in each tweet.  As of December 2014, this service reported hosting 500 million users.

“Tumblr” is a micro-blogging platform that allows you to post content to a short-form blog.  Users can follow others blogs, as well as make private blogs.  As of March 2015, Tumblr hosted more than 225 million blogs.  “Flickr” is a similar service that allows you to share pictures and is widely used by photo researchers and bloggers.  You can view photos without the need to register an account, but you must have an account to upload content.

There is a chance you may not have heard of “Vine.”  Senior users are enjoying this service as it allows users to send short video clips to friends or share other posts.  “Snapchat” is another fun service for seniors.  You snap a photo or video that is only five seconds long and send it to a friend to enjoy, and then the snap disappears from their screen.

If you haven’t tried “Skype” with friends and family you are really missing out.  This is a free service that lets you see and talk with friends and family.  Skype is also used a great deal in the business world.  There are more than 100 million active users on Skype each month.  Skype has become very popular with grandparents who have grandchildren living in other states, and it’s the perfect way to keep in touch.

The latest player in the social media game is a service called “Miracast.”  You can use this on any smartphone or PC.  Miracast lets you bring whatever is on your device’s screen directly to your television.  For instance, let’s say you often check your emails on your smartphone. With Miracast, you can forward those same emails to your television for easier viewing.

For me, social media has put me in constant contact with one of my cousins in Georgia and my stepfather in New York.  Please share with me your favorite social media platform and why.

Which White Coat Are You?

By | Caregiving, Health and Wellness | No Comments

A few weeks ago, while scheduling an appointment with my primary care physician, I was asked if I would mind seeing the Nurse Practitioner because the doctor was going to be out of town on the day of my appointment.  My first response was, “No, I want to see the doctor.”  The receptionist proceeded to explain that it was my choice, but the Nurse Practitioner can do much of what doctors can do.  I took the appointment with the Nurse Practitioner, and immediately went online to find out who’s who in doctors’ offices these days.  Here’s what I learned.

Let’s start from the time you get to your doctor’s office —  who you may come in contact with – what their positions are — and their role in your visit.

  • The physician (MD) is the person in charge, with the most training and the longest white coat.  Physicians have 3 to 7 years of training after med school.
  • Physician Assistant can diagnose and prescribe lab tests, treatment and medication.  They have a master’s degree, plus 2,000 hours of patient training.  A PA’s white coat is a little shorter than a physician’s.
  • Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed advanced coursework and clinical education beyond what is required of a generalist registered nurse (RN) role. NPs can do much of what doctors do, including diagnosing and prescribing medications. They have 500-700 hours of direct patient care during nursing school.
  • Medical Student is a doctor in training who wears a hip-length white coat.  He or she can take medical history, however, any prescribing of medications or diagnostic testing needs approval from a supervising physician.
  • Registered Nurse is certified and licensed by the state.  RNs administer medicines, provide care and otherwise manage patient care.
  • Technician is in charge of performing routine tests, such as drawing blood and running EKGs.  They are certified by the state and many have an associate’s degree in clinical laboratory science.

When scheduling your next doctor’s appointment, be thorough about what your visit will entail.  This will help the scheduler in putting you with the right associate for your visit.

Seniors and Social Media

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Did you realize senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook?  I will be the first to admit, when I first joined Facebook, I had absolutely no clue what I would talk about. After all, who cared what I had to say?  After joining Facebook I not only found several old friends I thought I’d never talk to again, but I was invited to become friends with family and friends Facebook page and am now we are re connected. Not to mention, the cool points I learned with my grandsons.

I think there’s a myth that anyone over 50 is technically inept, but I don’t believe this is true.  Perhaps many seniors might not be as technically savvy as the younger generation, but I don’t think all of us are clueless when it comes to laptops, tablets smartphones etc.  Like anything else, the more you do it the better you get at it. Taking the plunge into social media is for most senior citizens the scariest part.

The social networks enable us to view videos, read blog post, share pictures and have conversations with people who we thought we’d never see nor hear from again.  To say social media has revolutionized the way families connect is an understatement.  We can use social media tools to learn more about topics that interest us.  Through social media I’ve been able to keep up with events pertaining to my upcoming family reunion this July and have met so many new family members.

Because seniors are now better able to keep up with emerging technologies, we don’t have to be considered “old and out of touch” and can hold our own in any conversation.  Social media is fun, take the plunge and if you don’t like it you can close you account.  To keep with the topic, next week I’ll provide you social media terms that can help get you started with whichever social media you choose to venture into.

6th Annual Wesley Glen/Wesley Ridge Charity Golf Classic Tees Off July 13

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Columbus, OH (March 10, 2015) – The Wesley Communities will host its 6th Annual Wesley Glen/Wesley Ridge Charity Golf Classic on Monday, July 13, 2015 at Pinnacle Golf Club, 1500 Pinnacle Club Drive, Grove City, OH 43123.

Proceeds from the event will once again benefit Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare and Wesley At Home. PGA Senior Tour player, Rod Spittle will again be in attendance. Last year players were able to purchase a golf ball and have Mr. Spittle hit for their shot.

“We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, players, volunteers, the community and Wesley Glen/Wesley Ridge residents and staff who have helped make this event not only possible, but very successful,” said Dinah Cason, Executive Director of Development. “The 2014 Charity Golf Classic netted more than $113,000 for Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare and Wesley At Home. We hope to do ever better than that in 2015.”

The event begins with player registration at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. The event is not limited to golfers. Following the tournament, guests and players will have a chance to mix and mingle as the event concludes with awards, dinner and live and silent auctions.

•  $1,000 per foursome (includes 18 holes of golf, beverages, lunch, dinner and auction)
•  $75 per person to attend only the dinner and auction
•  The Charity Golf Classic is limited to 30 teams
•  Deadline to register is Friday, July 3, 2015

For more information on securing a sponsorship or forming a team, contact Mary LeMaster (614) 396-4831 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org.

About The Wesley Communities

The Wesley Communities is an affiliate of the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church providing quality housing, health care and services for seniors in the Central Ohio area. Incorporated in 1967, The Wesley Communities continues to be a not-for-profit corporation seeking to promote a positive experience of community and wellness for residents, clients and staff. For additional information call (614) 396-4990 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org.

 

Foods That Boost Your Brain Power

By | Alzheimer's and Dementia, Health and Wellness | No Comments

Eating well is good for you mental health as well as you physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs and muscles do. The brain requires Goldilocks portions of energy: not too much, not too little. To optimize brainpower, it’s suggested we eat frequent but small meals throughout the day. The brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream, about the amount found in a banana.

You don’t have to look very far to find the foods that help feed your brain. The following list of foods to fuel the brain will give you a brain boost to keep you focused and alert far more than a double espresso.

  1. Fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, powerful and versatile nutrients that are essential for a healthy mind. About 40% of the fatty acids in brain cell membranes are DHA, one of the main omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. Eat fish at least twice a week (limit albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces a week to minimize mercury exposure).
  2. Leafy greens. Pile on the salads, stir-fries, and side dishes with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and brussel sprouts. All are filled with antioxidants like vitamin C and plant compounds called carotenoids, which are particularly powerful brain protectors. A well-rounded mix of colorful veggies should be a part of your day everyday.
  3. Avocados, oils, nuts and seeds, all contain another important antioxidant: Vitamin E. These should be included frequently at least 15 mg of E a day.
  4. Whole grains, like fiber-rich oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice, help stabilize blood glucose (sugar) levels, compared to refined carbs like white bread and sugary food. The body digests these simple sugars quickly, so you have a sudden energy spike. Aiming for 25 grams of fiber a day is recommended, fruits, vegetables, and beans are other good sources.
  5. Water- every cell in our body needs water to thrive, and brain cells are no exception. Throughout your day you should aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water. Staying hydrated is an important part of your overall health including your brain.

There are several important relationships between nutrients and brain health that are worth exploring. Having a nourishing, well-rounded diet gives our brain the best chance for avoiding disease. Schedule a meeting with a staff nutritionist to make sure you are getting all your daily nutritional needs met on a daily basis, and for tips on how you can if your not.

Social Security Questions

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As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age and begin applying for Social Security benefits, questions naturally arise regarding the amount of benefits to expect, when to expect them, how old do you have to be to apply, etc.

After some research I found the following to be the top questions asked by those who are ready to start the process of applying for Social Security Benefits.

•  How does Social Security work? Social Security is a “pay as you go” insurance plan intended to supplement any other retirement plan you have (i.e., savings, pension). There are various timing considerations when applying for social security benefits, depending on the type and amount of benefit you require at the time of your retirement.
•  Who is eligible to collect Social Security?  Who can qualify for Social Security credits? It means that anyone born in 1929 or later needs to have worked at least 10 years. If you were born before 1929, fewer years are required.
•  When should I start Social Security?  You can start as early as age 62 or as late as 70, with payments rising if you delay.  A 62 year old who’s now due $750 a month will get $1,320 a month if they wait until age 70.
•  How long does it take for benefits to start once I apply?  Once your application has been filed, you should receive a retirement benefit check in the month following their month of entitlement.  In other words Social Security pays a month behind.
•  Where do I apply for Social Security benefits?  You can apply at your local Social Security office, apply online at www.ssa.gov, or call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to a representative.
To ensure your benefits start once you retire, you should begin the process at least three months before you would like to receive your first check.  Remember that this is a process and there are people available to help make this process as easy as possible.