Categories
Uncategorized

Tips For Caring For Ourselves While Caring For The Elderly During The COVID 19 Pandemic

With the situation and timeline surrounding the Corona Virus still uncertain, we need to do our part to ensure those we love and the most vulnerable feel safe, cared for and loved.
How to care for the elderly and most vulnerable is already at our fingertips, and just a click away.

Many people enjoy and even prefer quiet mornings, breakfasts alone with just them and their newspapers. They thrive being in their own spaces, with just themselves and their thoughts. But some are the opposite. They prefer “good mornings” from their loved ones and meetings on their way in and out of the kitchen. The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought the world to a silent standstill. With social isolation and physical distancing the recommended way to live out our day-to-day for the unforeseen future, many are left living in total and complete isolation and feeling the negative effects that come with it.

Humans are naturally social beings and this has been a difficult adjustment for individuals across the board. Isolation from the people and things we love can bring about or enhance pre-existing feelings of sadness, depression and loneliness.
Anxiety has been on the rise for years and the Coronavirus has only enhanced it. People are missing their families and friends, school, jobs and even important life events such as weddings, births and graduations. For the average individual, the realization that these important days that they have been looking forward to all their lives are just not happening is soul crushing and brings about feelings of hopelessness.

For an elderly individual the effects can be even more devastating. We already know how lack of social and physical interaction, isolation and seclusion can bring on heart troubles, weaken the immune system and increase cognitive decline. Coupled with old age, pre-existing conditions, mobility issues and lack of care a person migrates into the “vulnerable” category, which could lead to sickness and even death. The longer the isolation period and with COVID-19 so unpredictable and no clear end in sight, the effects of isolation will continue to get worse with time. Feelings of hopelessness will grow, motivation and confidence will decline and seniors will find it harder to function day to day and do things they love.

But there are ways you and I can overcome this challenging period and fight the effects of isolation, all while still social distancing safely. All while taking advantage of what we already have at our fingertips.

1. Getting outdoors and riding our bikes or going for walks with those in our households, gardening and doing exercises such as Yoga and Pilates are all proven ways to increase the release of endorphins (our natural “feel-good” hormones) and lower anxiety and feelings of panic and stress. Physical exercise coupled with hobbies is a great way to beat the feelings of isolation, stay healthy and boost your immune system.

However, for the elderly, things are different. With limited mobility, physical support and being higher-risk at this time, they may be more apprehensive or fearful of going outside as well as find it harder and more dangerous. Their natural resources are limited along with their movement. But to help with that we can find many exercise videos, information and resources online. A Lot can be done from their own home with the best smartphones such as Androids and Apple Iphones and Ipads and tablets. These especially are great for seniors as they are large in size, the buttons are easy to visualize and the images are large and clear.
To get the benefits of fresh air or Vitamin D they should regularly sit on their balconies or in their yards and be sure to crack open their windows! Fresh air keeps their living spaces breathable.

2. But even the most physically fit person needs to exercise their brains! Cognitive health, education and memory are all going to be effected with the change in times. Loss of daily routine, good healthy habits and education for some, will put people in a “funk” so to speak. Reading, journaling, card games, Sudoku, drawing and playing music or singing are all ways to exercise your brain.

For decades we have known the many benefits of cognitive brain exercises such as Math, music theory and practice and art, but there is an increased benefit found within the senior citizen community. Again, many of their games and activities can be found online. The benefits of playing online is that you can often simulate praying with or against another player, the visual is enlarged for those with poor eyesight and audio is controllable for those hard of hearing or who are sensitive to loud noises. The variety of online games offered can be found in one place and span in genre, decade or level of difficulty.

3. Meditating is a powerful way to stay calm and grounded. Balancing your mind, body and soul is a key factor in overcoming stress and anxiety. Just taking the time to check in with yourself, express gratitude for all the positive things in your life can change your outlook for the remainder of the day. Optimal times to meditate are not just when experiencing stress, but first thing in the morning and just before you go to sleep.

This is one of the simplest exercises as little to no outside resources are needed, it can be done anywhere and at any time and solo! Anyone and everyone should do it! But again, there are online resources to help get you started!

4. Diet is equally important to exercise. Stress eating is common and there is no need to munch on chocolate or cookies. It is important to treat yourself once in a while, but try and stick to as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible, whole grains and lean meats and poultry. The momentary rush and high you get from eating sweets, processed fatty foods and sugary drinks will cause you to peak and crash and fast. The unsatisfied and guilty feelings you are left with will only make you feel worse. The sugar high and crash will make you feel worse.

Seniors can use online videos to learn new exciting recipes, but also order their meals to be delivered safely right to their doors. They can order anything from fast food to fresh fruits and veggies. Both prepared and unprepared. They can save restaurants, grocery stores and even recipess they like and set reminders to order more products or even reminders to consume them! Aside from the current situation surrounding COVID-19 the world has moved online and with the internet anything is possible. Note: The best smartphones and tablets for seniors recommended are Samsung Galaxy, based on its performance, user-friendly system and size of screen.

recipes

5. Speaking with family, friends, students, colleagues and co-workers via any of the dozens of social media platforms and messenger apps is an important part of feeling connected. Some of the most popular platforms for this are Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, Instagram, WhatsApp and TikTok. There are even more that we could name.

zoom

This is possibly the biggest benefit to the internet. It is so easy to feel alone, get in a rut and stay there while falling deeper and deeper. Seniors having the power to not only send messages and place calls to loved ones, but be connected in a way that it can be reciprocated is a major development in the way we combat feelings of isolation and depression. It is a two-way street and being able to check up on those who matter most to you have extraordinary and unknown effects. Caring for seniors during the COVID 19 pandemic by placing a 5 minute phone call could turn their frowns upside down and change the way they approach the day and feel about the current state of the world.

“We are in this together” isn’t just a saying, it is a state of being. But the older you are the harder this may be. Knowing that you are missing weddings, birthdays and anniversaries and depending on their situation, that you may not be present for the next one, can leave seniors feeling more depressed than ever. Luckily we have seen the younger generations step it up in more ways than one. Sending their love over the internet, through a window, standing 6 feet away, through song and just a friendly hello!

marriage

Bringing people together is what Sirona.tv is all about. Our program brings patients together with their doctors, mothers and fathers together with their children, grandparents together with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and seniors together with the world.

children

We developed a program that does all the above and much more.Sirona.tv is easily accessible on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, Ipads and tablets. We see the benefits of these activities and want to help, especially during COVID-19.
For more information on how Sirona.tv can help you and your loved ones you can contact us below.
We would love to hear how you are beating the feelings of loneliness and feeling more connected than ever. How are you caring for the elderly and vulnerable?

elderly

Sirona.tv – Keeping people together, while they are staying apart!

Categories
Uncategorized

How Technology Can Be the Difference Maker in a Senior’s Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic

A comparison of the Grandpad and Sirona.TV; two elderly-friendly devices designed to improve the lives of seniors.

As the Covid-19 epidemic is forcing more and more individuals to self-isolate, seniors are put in a particularly difficult situation. While the majority of seniors stay connected with their family and friends through face-to-face interaction and keep their brains stimulated by getting out of the house, many seniors are now having to adapt to living alone at home or alone in their nursing home bedroom. For the majority of the population, technology is a key tool for improving the quality of life at home and maintaining social connections, however, for many seniors it is difficult to keep up in a world of rapidly advancing technology. Thankfully there exists a variety of senior-friendly devices that can greatly improve the quality of life of seniors who are forced to stay socially isolated at home during the Coronavirus global pandemic.

This article introduces and compares two devices designed for seniors, the Grandpad and the Sirona.TV . The Grandpad is a tablet for seniors that also includes a companion app along with the standard features of a tablet in a senior-friendly format. The Sirona.TV is a television add-on that includes a variety of smart device features such as a virtual assistant, safety and health monitoring, and a companion app for connecting with friends and family. Both devices greatly improve the lives of the elderly, however, which one is more suitable depends on the senior.

Features and Applications

Both the Grandpad and Sirona.TV include a variety of commonly used smart device features and applications such as voice and video calling, a photo album, a music player, and brain games that help to keep the mind sharp and active. The Grandpad also includes a 4G LTE connection enabling seniors to take their tablet wherever they go and use it as a cellphone. Family members can also take photos and easily share them with their elderly loved one with the included Grandpad companion app.

The Sirona.TV features a virtual assistant that can help seniors with daily tasks like playing music, checking the weather or answering questions and setting reminders. Sirona.tv also doubles as an in-home remote health and safety monitoring device With the Sirona.TV health kit, seniors can monitor their vitals, get medication reminders, and view exercise videos that are custom-tailored to their personal needs. Some models of the Sirona.TV even feature a personal emergency response system so that caretakers can be notified remotely of any emergency or accidents that may occur when a senior is at home alone. The Sirona.TV is a particularly useful safety device during the current Corona virus pandemic as it acts as a replacement for many in-home care services so that seniors can stay safely socially isolated at home.

The Grandpad, a tablet for seniors

Accessibility

A major frustration that seniors have with today’s technology is that it can be overly complicated to learn and use. The Grandpad and Sirona.TV both solve this problem by featuring easily maneuverable menus, large fonts, and senior-friendly accessible control schemes.

Upon booting up the Grandpad, seniors are met with a menu featuring large application icons and easily readable text fonts. The Grandpad features an 8-inch touch screen display, allowing for easy navigation across applications and an enjoyable viewing experience. The device can be conveniently set up and managed remotely by the caretaker of a senior so that the senior does not need to deal with the hassle of entering the contact information of their loved ones or uploading photos to the photo album application. With the use of the companion app, the family and friends of a senior can connect their Facebook accounts so that a senior does not need to go searching online to find pictures of their loved ones. Rather, they receive a seamless stream of photos and videos that come directly from their loved ones.

Video chat on any TV you want with the Sirona.TV

The Sirona.TV features many of the same applications as the Grandpad, but in a television format. If a tablet is difficult to use or has too small of a screen for a senior in your life, then Sirona.TV is a great option for those who want to use common smartphone and tablet applications but on larger screen format that is intuitive and easy to operate. The Sirona.TV can be operated by any television remote, so seniors can keep using whatever remote that they are familiar with. If pushing the small buttons of a remote is difficult, the Sirona TV also features voice command functionality. With just the use of their voice, a senior can send a text, play music, check the weather, or even get their vitals monitored.

Cost

The Grandpad can be purchased both brand new or used for a one-time payment of $250 or $75 at ConsumerCellular.com. The Grandpad monthly service fees include unlimited data usage, video calling, and ad-free music streaming runs at $40 per month.

The Sirona.TV has an introductory price of $149.00 and a monthly fee of $14.99, however, it is currently on sale at Sirona.TV for $129.00 and includes the first 3 months of service and shipping costs for free.

Both the Grandpad and Sirona.TV can greatly improve the lives of seniors and keep them safe and connected socially. Especially when they are forced to self-isolate during the Covid-19 global pandemic. However, it is important to evaluate the needs of the senior in your life and decide which device is most suitable for them. If a senior in your life needs a smart phone, click here to see our comparison of the Jitterbug Smart2, a smart phone for seniors, the Grandpad ,and Sirona.TV. To read more about why a television is the preferred smart device format for seniors over tablets, click here.

If you are interested in purchasing a device specifically for remote health monitoring, Tytohome is also another great device. The TytoHome Kit can be used by families and seniors or senior’s loved ones to quickly connect with a doctor and complete physical examination from the comfort of one’s own home. Similar to the Sirona.TV Health kit, with the TytoHome Kit seniors can also regularly keep up to date with their health by measuring vitals.

For seniors living at home alone, the Sirona.TV is the better option as along with social connectivity, games, family and other apps it also provides remote health monitoring and a variety of other smart device functions. The TytoHome Kit is more suited for younger families who need to do virtual health check at home with their doctors in real time in order to avoid visiting a doctor’s office. The GrandPad is best for seniors who are mobile and want access to their applications no matter where they travel to.

Categories
Uncategorized

Remote care & Telehealth solution for seniors during the Covid-19 pandemic

How TytoHome compares with the Sirona.tv?

Covid-19 is hitting seniors the hardest. For example, in the United States, 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 are among adults aged 65 and older. This is clear from a recent CDC report published on March 31, 2020

“This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged greater-than or equal to85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65-84 years.”

For this reason, health ministers and governments are instructing elderly people to remain home, have groceries and medications delivered, and avoid social contact even with family and friends. It is important to not that self-isolation disproportionately affects elderly individuals whose only social contact is often out of the home at communal locations such as at senior daycares, community centers, and places of worship. Urgent solutions are required to mitigate the mental and physical health consequences this isolation presents. The elderly who do not have close family or friends and rely on the support of the volunteer workers or social care are also placed at additional risk as care workers can be unknowingly asymptotic carries of the corona virus.

Technologies can be utilized to provide social support networks and a sense of belonging for individuals that are struggling with social isolation. Expect disparities in access to or literacy in digital resources. Interventions should involve more frequent contact with health-care professionals, significant others, close family and friends, voluntary organisations and community outreach workers providing peer support. Beyond this, cognitive behavioral therapies should be delivered by digitally to decrease loneliness and improve mental well being.

Telehealth Solution Comparison: TytoHome vs Sirona.tv Health
There are several remote care health solutions, each of them created to solve a specific need in society. For this reason, each of these solutions have their own strengths, weaknesses, and areas where they work best.

This article analyses two telehealth solutions– TytoHome Remote Exam Kit from TytoCare and Safety Lab’s Sirona.tv.

TytoCare’s TytoHome Kit includes a handheld exam device and app that lets families and individuals perform guided medical exams remotely with a healthcare provider, anytime, anywhere. With TytoHome, users can receive a diagnosis, a treatment plan, and a prescription if needed, all from the comfort of their home.

TytoHome Device

The TytoHome Kit enables families to easily and quickly connect with a doctor, and complete a physical examination, all from the comfort of their own home.

Safety Labs’ Sirona.tv Health Kit is a TV add on which connects to a senior’s TV to enable seniors to collect vitals on a regular basis and to have a real time examination with a healthcare provider at anytime from home.

Sirona.tv Set top box and Sensor Devices

The Sirona.tv is a telehealth solution that enables health care providers to remotely examine seniors and allows seniors to use their existing television to collect vitals on a regular basis. In addition to remote health monitoring, the Sirona.tv keeps seniors active and engaged by helping them to stay in touch with their loved ones, enjoy games, provide them with important health information and by providing them with sense of companionship with the Sirona.TV virtual assistant.

Remote Examination using a TV
Collecting vitals hands-free
Senior guided by Health Companion – Sirona
  TytoHome Kit
Sirona.tv
Tech Requirements Smartphone or tablet and a Wi-Fi internet connection Wi-Fi Internet Connection
Ideal Use Case Families with children. 2 People are required when child or a senior is to be examined. Seniors 75+ living alone at home/td>
Typical User Adults, 18-65 years of age who are comfortable using mobile apps. Device must be paired with the TytoCare Phone App. 75+ Senior, complex care, comorbidity patients. Devices are pre-paired. New & replacement devices are pre-paired before sent to the home
Who is it available to Healthcare organizations and consumers Healthcare organizations and consumers
Doctors Visit/Telehealth Uses TytoCare App on a Smart phone Uses Built in handsfree Telehealth solution over Senior’s TV
What is included in the Kit
  • TytoHome device with exam camera, thermometer and rechargeable battery
  • Other
  • Otoscope adapter for ear exams
  • Stethoscope adapter for heart and lung exams
  • Tongue depressor
  • Anchor Set top
  • Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Oximeter
  • Weight Scale
  • Other
  • Remote Control
  • Adapters & Cables
What Can be examined Digital sounds of the heart and lungs, high-quality digital images and video of the ears, throat, and skin and measures heart rate and body temperature. TytoHome Kit does not include a Blood Pressure exam. Oxygen, Blood Pressure, Temperature, Glucose Level And Physical examination using a two-way high definition video conferencing.
Type of Examination Real time examination Real time and store & forward for Oxygen, Temperature, Blood pressure, Glucose, Weight
Where Available Through health systems and providers and Best Buy Online stores including at www.sirona.tv
Kit Cost TytoHome Remote Exam Kit $299 Sirona.tv – Connect $129-149
Sirona.tv- Health – $199-249
Monthly or other costs $59 for physical exam with a physician. $59 for physical exam with a physician + $14.99-$19.99/month service charges
Use Away from home: Easy to carry can be used anywhere Easy to carry. Require an HDMI TV.
Website www.tytocare.com www.sirona.tv
Video Introduction https://youtu.be/xqSb-l7U2Ro https://youtu.be/5hWdUDOrvtg
Other Features Sirona voice companion Medication Reminders Video Chats and Phone calls Games Health Videos, Weather

If families are looking for a social connectivity only solution and not health, then GrandPad is a good solution to look at. This article introduces and compares Grandpad and the Sirona.TV the two devices designed for seniors. The Grandpad is a tablet for seniors. The Sirona.TV is a television add-on that includes a variety of smart device features such as a virtual assistant, safety and health monitoring, and a companion app for connecting with friends and family. Both devices greatly improve the lives of the elderly, however, which one is more suitable depends on the senior.

Conclusion – TytoHome Kit and accompanied services is an ideal remote diagnosis solution for families with young children and senior adults. For children and senior adults two people are ideal for a remote emanation. Sirona.tv is a solution for seniors who live alone, who need maintain physical isolation while maintaining social connectivity with the family, friends and rest of the world!

During this pandemic to help seniors maintain isolation but continue to be cared and socially connected we believe Sirona.tv is a better solution than TytoHome Kit.

Categories
Uncategorized

How technology can help seniors stay healthy and social during the COVID-19 crisis

Tech ideas on you can care for your mom or dad remotely. Technology is crucial in helping seniors combat social isolation.

In the midst of this global pandemic, societies large and small are being asked to socially isolate to help curb the impact of COVID-19.  The novel coronavirus which was first discovered in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 has since reached all corners of the globe and as of March 29, there have been 634,835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29,957 deaths. 

According to research from the World Health Organization (WHO) each person with coronavirus will go on to infect between two and two-and-a-half other people on average. On top of that, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. To help prevent the spread and infection, especially for seniors or those with compromised immune systems, the WHO has asked governments around the world to implement social isolation practices. These practices include only leaving home for essential services like groceries and keeping two meters of distance between people when out. Even visiting the homes of friends or loved ones is frowned upon because COVID-19 can present asymptomatically. 

Seniors at risk

8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older

Among adults with confirmed COVID-19 reported in the US:

  • Estimated percent requiring hospitalization
    • 31-70% of adults 85 years old and older
    • 31-59% of adults 65-84 years old

In an article for Vox, Sean Leng, a geriatrician and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explains why seniors are more at-risk for COVID-19. “Immune function is not as robust as it is in younger people, studies over the years have shown that immune functions go down rather quickly after age 75 or 80.”

The problem isolation causes seniors

More than that, is how society is treating seniors during this time. Measures like social distancing and quarantines remain the most effective tactics for shielding the most vulnerable during this outbreak. But robust social networks and interactions improve health for older adults. We are in the midst of a difficult situation for seniors that need protection from COVID-19 but also experience better health through socialization. 

Through the use of technology, the fear of isolation can be mitigated by connecting older adults to their social networks through apps like video calling software or even online gaming.

The measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 can also affect care for chronic illnesses among seniors, particularly as the people like nurses providing the care start to keep their distance. Age tends to bring more chronic illnesses, which in turn demand more frequent health interventions or ongoing treatment in house. However, services are being stretched thin as both nurses and clients are at risk for contracting the deadly disease through house visits.One answer to this concern has been telehealth services. According to Statista, telehealth patients have grown from 0.35 million in 2013 to approximately 7 million as of 2018.

There is different technology out there to help seniors stay connected and keep up their physical health. What is the right solution for you and your loved ones?

Technology as an essential tool

Social isolation has been made easier with software and technology that allows people to work from home, video call friends and family, get a good workout, or even listen to an audiobook. 

For younger generations well-versed in technology, the change has been an easy one. But what about seniors aged 75 and up? How are they dealing with feelings of isolation or health in these confusing times?

More than ever before technology is crucial to our way of life, in fact, moving forward it demonstrates how this pandemic is changing how people should think in the new world.

Different options for the socially isolate senior

There is a variety of easy-to-use technology for seniors in social isolation. 

Grandpad Tablet

A tablet designed with seniors in mind, Grandpad Tablet for seniors is considered one of the best tablets for elderly. It allows them ­­­to connect with their loved ones through the free Grandpad companion app and web portal. Grandpad is designed as a private family network, that allows family members to upload photos and adjust settings. It is connected through iPhone, Android, iPad, or desktop computer. It removes the clutter bringing only the essential apps and services to Grandpad users.

Google Home and Amazon Alexa

The Google Home or Amazon Alexafor seniors give hands-free help in any room. From checking the weather, to creating lists and managing your calendar. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology from Google and Amazon allows users access to nearly everything on the Internet without the added stress of typing it out or scouring the web. Seniors can also get peace of mind by programming their AI assistant to set medication alerts.

Medical alert apps

Medical alert apps like iMedAlert or Philips Lifeline are great additions to any smartphone. They perform like other medical alert systems (often cheaper), sending out a call for distress with the push of a button. On top of that, iMedAlert also texts medical data to first responders and acts as an alarm. However, one issue noted with medical alert applications is the adverse feelings seniors still feel towards complicated, touch-sensitive smart phone technology. 

Jitterbug Smart2

Advertised as “the simplest smartphone ever,” the Jitterbug Smart 2 gives users a simple, list-based menu, easily readable 5’5” screen, and access to the 5Star Urgent Response button. It’s a smartphone for seniors that have difficulty with all the clutter and screen sensitivity associated with this technolog

Sirona.TV

Sirona.TV combines the best features of these products to create a system that allows seniors and their loved ones achieve peace of mind in this unsure time. 

The anchor includes an 8-megapixel camera, and 6 microphones with a 15-foot range, HDMI port and simple to use remote control. It allows users to phone, or video chat with family and friends, store a photo album, check the weather with a simple “Hey Sirona, how is the weather” and most importantly monitor their health. 

With the Sirona.TV telehealth feature, seniors living in social isolation can monitor their health with a blood pressure cuff that connects to the anchor, keep up with exercise with videos targeted to their specific needs. Seniors can also stay in touch with family through video or phone call software and share precious photos through the photo album feature. Sirona.TV is a value-add system, technology that allows seniors the social and health security they need during this crisis. 

Sirona.TV is geared towards seniors aged 75 and up with its easy interface, with large graphics making it easy-to-use, and streamlined information to help reduce the social divide.

It’s important now more than ever to stay active – mentally, emotionally and physically. With technology like Sirona.TV stay connected and stay safe.

Categories
Uncategorized

COVID-19: Mitigating Loneliness and Anxiety in Seniors

With senior-friendly technology, there is no need for a senior to risk breaking social distancing.

It is important for  clinicians pay close attention to the mental health of the elderly as a growing number of state and regional directives to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, there are more than 50 million Americans aged 65 years and older. Physical distancing during this public health crisis is essential in preventing the spread of the virus, but it can come at a high cost to seniors’ mental health and well-being, resulting in loneliness, anxiety, depression, and cognitive problems.

There are now more than 84,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States; and the CDC reports that about 80% of deaths associated with the disease have been in those 65 years of age or older1.Senior citizens have been at the highest risk rate for serious disease and death.. While the negative symptoms and danger of Covid-19 are quite clear, the global pandemic also puts the mental health and overall physical fitness of seniors at risk. 

As more and more countries begin to lock themselves down and set up quarantines, individuals both young and old are forced into practicing social distancing and physical isolation. With close to a third of US seniors already living alone at home and the recent increased need for social distancing5, the risk of negative physical and mental health effects from social isolation for seniors has never been higher. Technology plays a key role in fighting the dangers of social isolation by offering a variety of avenues for individuals to be connected socially both locally and around the world, as well as providing other mental and physical benefits. While younger generations have taken to increasing their screen time and are using technology to adapt to the changing circumstances2, seniors who typically encounter more barriers when using modern technology 3,4 are finding it more difficult to adapt. However, there are a variety of technology-based options and senior-friendly devices available now that can help elderly individuals get through the Covid-19 global pandemic. Here are some ways that technology can help seniors deal with social and physical isolation.

A technology that has recently boomed due to the recent global increase of social distancing and remote work is video calling 6. It seems nowadays that every mainstream social media messaging service such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype offer video calling functionality. However, for seniors, accessing these applications through devices like a computer, tablet or smartphone can be a challenge and a downright frustrating process. Senior-friendly devices such as the Jitterbug 2, a smartphone for seniors, helps elderly individuals to overcome technological barriers by providing an accessible and affordable smartphone solution to phone calling and video calling. For seniors who prefer a larger screen when video calling family and friends, the Sirona.TV, a smart TV for seniors, also offers video calling functionality and is a great at-home option.

TV video calling from home with Sirona.TV

Social media in general is also a great way for seniors to connect with loved ones from a distance and has been increasing in popularity among the elderly7. Personally, my grandmother loves being able to look up photos of distant friends and chat with them through Facebook. While seniors may be hesitant to share their own information by posting on social media, platforms like Twitter are also great ways to keep up to date with the latest news and receive different public services announcements both locally and at a national level.

While social media and video meetings areexcellent ways for seniors to stay in touch with those close to them, there are likely times when their family and friends are unavailable to chat, especially with more individuals needing to start working remotely from home. However, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have proven to not only great help seniors with their daily tasks but also to promote independence and to provide a sense of companionship for seniors 8, 9. While the more popular virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Home are designed for more general audiences, the Sirona.TV features its own elderly-friendly virtual companion which is like Alexa for Seniors.

Another negative effect of practicing social distancing for seniors that are is that they are far less physically active. Whether it be meeting with friends at a coffee shop or taking a walk through a local park, it is currently being advised more and more around the world that people should not participate in any non-essential activities 10,11. Seniors, in particular, are greatly encouraged to practice social distancing as they have more comprisable immune systems. However, by practicing social distancing seniors are far less likely to get the daily exercise that is crucial for keeping their body and brains active.

Senior’s stay healthy by following easy to follow exercise videos on Sirona.tv

However, there are ways for seniors to still stay active at home. The National Institute on Aging has an extensive exercise video series called Go4Life that is tailored for seniors. The Sirona.TV also comes equipped with senior-focused at home diet and exercise videos as well as a health monitoring system.

Senior remain engaged when play online games using Sirona.tv

There are also a variety of video games that can help seniors get a sweat on at home like the recently popular Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch.

Even if they are not fitness related, video games in general are a great option for keeping the brain active during the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent study found that video games can be a beneficial source for cognitive stimulation and can improve the cognitive functions such as attention span & memory and the overall cognitive control in seniors12. However, setting up the latest video game system or trying to find brain games in the app store on a smartphone may be a frustrating process for a Senior. The Grandpad, a table for seniors, and the Sirona.TV can help with this dilemma as they both feature built-in games that stimulate the brain. 

During these trying times, whether it be staying active mentally, physically or socially, it is important to use every tool available to keep up with daily habits and stay active. This notion applies particularly to Seniors as staying active can slow down the process of mental decline that is natural with aging. With today’s senior-focused technology there is no reason that a senior cannot keep up with their normal daily routines, even when needing to practice social distancing. With information surrounding Covid-19 continually changing at a rapid pace and much uncertainty in the air about the future, it is best to play it safe. Individuals, both young and old, should do their best to stay at home. Thankfully technology makes this major life adjustment quite a bit easier.

Categories
Uncategorized

How has IoT brought on an Evolution in Senior Care at Home?

Why IOT based solutions such as Sriona.tv can provide full senior care services as compared to tablet for seniors such as Grandpad and smartphones for seniors such as Jitterbug Smart 2

Fundamental to IoT is the instant collaboration that happens between these smart devices. The beauty behind having a network of interconnected devices is that they can all work together to provide real solutions that are much greater than the sum of their parts.

Pre-IoT systems set Limitations on Care, Health & Safety

IoT based safety systems have adapted to the needs of modern customers. As users, we’re more sophisticated and more connected today than we have ever been before, and traditional security systems just can’t deliver the necessary control, mobility, and accuracy that we need to feel safe. For instance, pre-IoT connectivity solutions such as Grandpad a Tablet for seniors and Jitterbug Smart 2 a smartphone for seniors. These devices provide basic touch interfaces to the seniors to help with navigation. Also, IoT based home security systems automatically called authorities when anything irregular occurred and had huge false alarm rates, which resulted in many users preferring to leave their systems off rather than dealing with its problems. In personal safety, pre-IoT safety systems used telephone lines and call centres to respond to emergency situations, and their range often limited users to their home or yard.

IoT systems: better connected and enables better control over our Care Health & Safety

IoT based smart products are always connected and constantly communicating with each other. They regularly exchange information using wired and wireless networks, which helps make our lives easier and safer.

IoT based systems provide new mode of interfacing with the seniors. For example Sirona.tv provide seniors with a television and remote control and Amazon Alexa’s like voice interfaces. These easy to use interfaces provide Seniors a companionship not possible with tablets or smartphones.

IOT based systems provide advanced services not possible with tablets and smart phones  such as, medication reminders, panic alert, remote patient monitoring.

When IoT based smart home security systems are used to care for our loved one, it’s akin to having our favourite reliable friend dutifully watching over our our loved ones in our absence. Except it’s actually way better than that, because unlike our well-meaning friend or neighbour, smart health and care systems are always present to provide company and are always ready to instantly interveneon the first signs of danger or need.

Smart products, like Nest Lab’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, sounds an alert when it detects high levels of CO, and then warns us of the location of the danger. It’s no wonder that Google acquired Nest Labs for a whooping $3.2 billion! Other companies like Canary offer connected smart home security systems that are now a part of a growing trend: using IoT technology to create safety solutions to protect what’s most valuable to us.

From Security to Personal Care

The key features of smart technology are that they’re always connected, they learn to adapt to our lifestyles, and they can be remotely managed. When these capabilities are applied to personal care, we can be assured that there’s a whole network working with to care and protect the health and safety of our loved ones.

Sirona is an always present companion for Seniors on Sirona.tv

Nest and Canary’s home security technology can be monitored and managed via our smart phones. Similarly, Safety Labs’s Sirona.tv,  provides continuous monitoring and safety for the elderly by keeping them connected to their loved ones at all times. Medical alert systems have come a long way from the older telephone operator-based models that required individuals who were injured or in danger to go through call centre representatives to help alert family members, neighbours, or emergency response services (e.g. 911).

IoT based health and medical alert systems like Sriona.tv proactively send updates and or alerts directly to designated family members, friends, or emergency services such as 911, depending on the situation. This bypasses the middleman, which saves valuable time and instantly provides users with the most appropriate support for their situations. IoT is a great asset in other areas, as well. 

Categories
Uncategorized

How Seniors Can Stay Socially and Physically Engaged with Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With senior-friendly technology, there is no need for a senior to risk breaking social distancing.

Since the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, Senior citizens have been at the highest risk rate for serious disease and death. In the United States, individuals over 65 account for 80% of coronavirus related deaths. While the negative symptoms and danger of COVID-19 are quite clear, the global pandemic also puts the mental health and overall physical fitness of seniors at risk. 

As more and more countries begin to lock themselves down and set up quarantines, individuals both young and old are forced into practising social distancing and physical isolation. With close to a third of US seniors already living alone at home and the recent increased need for social distancing, the risk of negative physical and mental health effects from social isolation for seniors has never been higher. Technology plays a key role in fighting the dangers of social isolation by offering a variety of avenues for individuals to be connected socially both locally and around the world, as well as providing other mental and physical benefits. While younger generations have taken to increasing their screen time and are using technology to adapt to the changing circumstances, seniors who typically encounter more barriers when using modern technology are finding it more difficult to adapt. However, there are a variety of technology-based options and senior-friendly devices available now that can help elderly individuals get through the COVID-19 global pandemic. Here are some ways that technology can help seniors deal with social and physical isolation.

TV video calling from home with Sirona.TV

A technology that has recently boomed due to the recent global increase of social distancing and remote work is video calling. It seems nowadays that every mainstream social media messaging service such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype offer video calling functionality. However, for seniors, accessing these applications through devices like a computer, tablet or smartphone can be a challenge and a downright frustrating process. Senior-friendly devices such as the Jitterbug 2, a smartphone for seniors, helps elderly individuals to overcome technological barriers by providing an accessible and affordable smartphone solution to phone calling and video calling. For seniors who prefer a larger screen when video calling family and friends, the Sirona.tv, a smart TV for seniors, also offers video calling functionality and is a great at-home option.

Social media in general is also a great way for seniors to connect with loved ones from a distance and has been increasing in popularity among the elderly. Personally, my grandmother loves being able to look up photos of distant friends and chat with them through Facebook. While seniors may be hesitant to share their own information by posting on social media, platforms like Twitter are also great ways to keep up to date with the latest news and receive different public services announcements both locally and at a national level.

While video calling and social media are great ways for seniors to connect with those close to them, there are likely times when their family and friends are unavailable to chat, especially with more individuals needing to start working remotely from home. However, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have proven to not only help seniors with their daily tasks but also to promote independence and to provide a sense of companionship for seniors. While the more popular virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Home are designed for more general audiences, the Sirona.tv features its own elderly-friendly virtual companion which is like Alexa for Seniors.

Another apparent negative effect for seniors that are practising social distancing is that they are far less physically active. Whether it be meeting with friends at a coffee shop or taking a walk through a local park, it is currently being advised more and more around the world that people should not participate in any non-essential activities. Seniors, in particular, are greatly encouraged to practice social distancing as they have more compressible immune systems. However, by practicing social distancing seniors are far less likely to get the daily exercise that is crucial for keeping their body and brains active.

However, there are ways for seniors to still stay active at home. The National Institute on Aging has an extensive exercise video series called Go4Life that is tailored for seniors. The Sirona.TV also comes equipped with senior-focused at home diet and exercise videos as well as a health monitoring system.

Senior is exercising along with Sirona.tv

There are also a variety of video games that can help seniors get a sweat on at home like the recently popular Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. Even if they are not fitness related, video games in general are a great option for keeping the brain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study found that video games can be a beneficial source for cognitive stimulation and can improve the cognitive functions such as attention span & memory and the overall cognitive control in seniors.

Senior playing games using Sirona.tv

However, setting up the latest video game system or trying to find brain games in the app store on a smartphone may be a frustrating process for a Senior. The Grandpad, a table for seniors, and the Sirona.TV can help with this dilemma as they both feature built-in games that stimulate the brain. 

During these trying times, whether it be staying active mentally, physically or socially, it is important to use every tool available to keep up with daily habits and stay active. This notion applies particularly to Seniors as staying active can slow down the process of mental decline that is natural with aging. With today’s senior-focused technology there is no reason that a senior cannot keep up with their normal daily routines, even when needing to practice social distancing. With information surrounding COVID-19 continually changing at a rapid pace and much uncertainty in the air about the future, it is best to play it safe. Individuals, both young and old, should do their best to stay at home. Thankfully technology makes this major life adjustment quite a bit easier.

Categories
Uncategorized

What to Look for When Selecting a Technology Product for a Senior

It can sometimes be a complicated task developing a piece of technology that will be suitable for people of all ages. With the technology industry growing at such a rapid pace, sometimes older people have a tough time keeping up with the growing advancements. Technology has a lot to offer everyone, including senior citizens, but there are important things to keep in mind when that technology is used by people increasing in age. When selecting technology for a senior, the product has to be tailored in a way that will work for them, even despite the restrictions caused by the aging process.

The Technology Has to Keep in Mind the Decline of Sight/Hearing in Seniors

When people reach around 40 years of age and forward, they start to have a harder time focusing in on smaller words that are up close. This is known as presbyopia. Because of this, devices that use screens need to have ever increasingly larger fonts so that people will be able to read efficiently as they age. Many devices have specific options where the font size can be adjusted. In addition, colour vision is also affected by age. So, if a technology product is designed that places a large emphasis on deciphering between colours, there should ideally be optional ways to use that piece of technology without requiring any colour-coded symbols or information. In the same way, if the device being used is heavily reliant on video visual and audio information, then providing subtitles on the screen is a good idea. It’s safe to say that looking for a technology product that has the option to increase font size, change the color of objects or text on screen, increase or decrease volume, and comes with a big screen are ideal things to keep in mind when selecting one.

The Technology Should Be Designed Around Limited Motor Functions in Seniors

Another part of the natural ageing process is the decline in overall motor control and manual dexterity. If a software program requires very fast and precise clicks of a mouse, then older people will have a harder time using it. Having a touch-screen interface is a good alternative to traditional mouse clicking because in most cases, app-based programs provide simplicity and ease of use that many seniors prefer. One study found that the buttons that are on a touch-screen should ideally be around 9.6 mm on a diagonal positioning for optimal use. In addition to the decline of regular motor functions, many older people simply have never had the opportunity or desire to learn or understand all of the latest technology on the market. The overwhelming amount of information even in something like selecting the right computer to purchase can be daunting for anyone, let alone someone that’s never even sat behind a monitor.

Use of Technology for Older People

Because of the sometimes-steep learning curve in understanding a new piece of technology, occasionally, older people get frustrated and end up barely using them, if even at all. But, if they perceive there to be a clear advantage to using that piece of technology, then they won’t be as intimidated in learning how to use it. Helping an older person understand how certain technology can benefit them will help them realize that the learning curve will be worth it.

One study pointed to the interesting statistic that older folk are the biggest population group that uses tablet-based devices. If you consider everything talked about previously, this becomes no surprise. Tablets for seniors are generally fairly straightforward to use, they have the option to increase the font and app size, they can be used in a comfortable setting, and they have large screens. Smartphones for seniors aren’t as popular because they are a much smaller screen, and font size can only be increased so much.

Technology Products on the Market for Seniors

Amazon Echo

There are a number of different technology products on the market that are focused around the physical and mental dynamics of old-age.

Alexa for seniors has been a growing trend, and that comes as no surprise for several reasons:

  • It is easy to use.
  • It doesn’t require a substantial amount of manual dexterity.
  • You can use it anywhere in the house.

Grandpad Tablet is another device that keeps in mind the previously mentioned points in whatto look out for when selecting a technology product for seniors.

  • It lets seniors easily connect with family members and specialists.
  • You can order rides, play games, check the weather, browse the internet, play music, and check email.
  • It is simple to use.
Grandpad – a tablet for seniors
Jitterbug Smart 2 – A smartphone for seniors

The Jitterbug Smart 2 is a device concentrated towards seniors that also contains features focused around the aging process.

  • It has a simple interface.
  • Includes a variety of health services.
  • Safety services come included.
  • Large fonts

After doing a brief review on these products and confirming what to look for when selecting a technology product for a senior, there is one thing that they all have in common. They are all extremely easy to use. Simplicity of the technology chosen for seniors is the number one thing that appears to be the most important when considering a technology product. While not all of these pieces of technology will work for every senior in every single way, there is one technology product out there that comes miles ahead of the competition and is packed full of options. This technology product is called Sirona TV.

What is Sirona TV?

Sirona TV is a fascinating piece of technology that connects directly to a television. It provides older people with the ability to easily connect with their family, play games with their loved ones, monitor and regulate their health, keep up to date with the weather, among many other useful features. Sirona TV has taken into account all of the many facets of the ageing process and formulated a piece of technology that works great for older people. Sirona TV combines all of the elements that all of these products have, compiles it into one technology product, and gives seniors the opportunity to reap the benefits. It is an easy to use, easy to learn, cost-effective device that will increase the overall well-being of the senior that utilizes it.

Sirona.TV is easier to use the grandpad and jitterbug smart 2
Categories
Uncategorized

Smart Speaker Killer Apps for Seniors– Ask a question, Listen to Music, Check the Weather!

Although there are many smart speaker apps which make the lives of seniors easier, consumers have reaffirmed their actual use of smart speakers with three killer apps Ask a  question, listen to music and check the weather.  In addition,there are several other Apps which are popular with users today:

  • Set an Alarm
  • Set a Timer
  • Listen to the Radio
Killer Voice Apps

The above graph shows that a high percent of smart speaker users,use these apps on a daily and a monthly basis.

Seniors Wish List

Be an appealing, charming “companion”
  • Engages me in scintillating conversation; expand my mind and keep me company
  • Be someone I can talk to
  • Plays movies for me on demand
  • Reads books to me
  • Provides a daily health checkup
  • Be my friend
Keeps me engaged
  • Lets me remotely visit (video chat) my aunt
  • Provides an abstract of the day’s news
  • Talks to me in the language of my choice
Reminds me such as
  • Does Medication reminders
  • Dispenses pills and medication in the correct amounts
  • Reminds me to take a drink so I stay hydrated
  • Reminds me of my appointments
Be my “virtual assistant”
  • Answers the phone, emails and texts
  • Sends texts I tell it to send
  • Makes phone calls for me
  • Controls my lights, locks, thermostat, smoke and burglar alarms
Monitor Safety and Wellness
  • Monitors my safety
  • Calls 911 if it notices problems or when asked.
  • Enables family and friends to monitor
  • Monitors health

Conclusion

As of writing of this article (early 2020), we believe that smart speakers with the help of some killer apps have crossed being a fad. We now believe that new killer apps will be developed, and uptake of smart speakers and voice applications will increase. We also believe that usefulness of these apps will increase and will increasingly helpseniors with quality of life and ability to live healthily and independently.

Sirona.TV is Alexa for Seniors, better than tablet for seniors, is a  voice companion, created for seniors, answers senior’s questions, provides weather information and plays music. Check out sirona.tv at how sirona.tv works.

Categories
Uncategorized

Sirona.TV – A companion for 75+ seniors (like Alexa for Seniors), is easier to use than Grandpad & Jitterbug Smart 2

As our mobility and dexterity decreases with age, some of the things we can use when younger are more difficult to do as we get older. Some such things are using smart phones and tablets. For this reason, companies have designed and developed devices specially for seniors; Grandpad a tablet for seniors, Jitterbug Smart 2 a smartphone for seniors and Sirona.TV a smart TV for seniors.

For any product have a high adoption with seniors it must at least meet all these criteria – must be easy to use, must be easy to learn, must be available all the time, must be cost effective, must be friendly and engages and must not have senior device stigma.  Grandpad and Jitterbug Smart 2 both meet many but not all these criteria.  Sirona.TV was created from ground up to create the easiest possible system for seniors. Every part of the experience– the user interface using TV and remote control, Alexa for senior like voice interface and support for Apple TV remote control right out-of-the-box were created to meet all the required criteria.

For an objective comparison review comparison of these devices follow this link .