2010 Festival of Trees

Nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than decorating the Christmas tree. And the SimplyHome crew is doing just that! We are kicking this season off by decorating a tree at Hendersonville’s Life Care Center. The Center is allowing us to decorate how ever we want, and of course, we are trying to tie in a little technology with old fashion tradition. Our theme this year is “Keeping Families Connected.” We are using telephone cables to link pictures of our families. Please check out the pictures of our tree and if you have a chance to go by the Life Center to enjoy it, please do! We are honored to take part in this tradition and look forward to the joy it will bring to many residents there! Merry Christmas!

How to pay the cost of growing old

Ensure access to a caregiver for you or your loved one

Today’s longer-lived society means almost everyone will eventually need a caregiver or become one. Yet Robert L. Kane, M.D., director of the Center on Aging at the University of Minnesota and author of The Good Caregiver (to be published in March), says few prepare to handle such a responsibility until they need to. “The business of growing old is just that, a business, and a costly one,” he says. His advice:

 

 

Make money last. Finding a happy medium between budgeting realistically and getting the best care money can buy can be difficult — especially since it’s hard to estimate how long the need for long-term care may last. Look into public programs such as Medicaid and see if your loved one qualifies.

Accept guidance. If you have questions about long-term care insurance, estate planning, advance directives and similar matters, consult a lawyer and/or financial planner, who can help you discover what’s best for your loved one.

Listen and engage. Keep your loved one involved to ensure his approval.

By CHRISTINE J. KIM • November 7, 2010, USA WEEKEND Magazine

500M will use smartphone health apps worldwide by 2015

There will be 1.4 billion people with smartphones worldwide by 2015, and 500 million of them will be using mobile health applications, according to a new study from German analysis firm research2guidance. Smartphones will be the catalyst to bring mobile healthcare out of the “trial phase,” the Berlin-based company says.

“Our findings indicate that the long-expected mobile revolution in healthcare is set to happen. Both healthcare providers and consumers are embracing smartphones as a means to improving healthcare,” Ralf-Gordon Jahns, the company’s head of research, says in a press release posted on the research2guidance blog.

Today, major smartphone app stores carry about 17,000 health-related apps, and 74 percent of them require payment. Consumers are driving most of the market as they look for ways to manage their own health, but 43 percent of apps are targeted at healthcare professionals, mostly in the form of continuing medical education, remote monitoring and healthcare management, the study says.

As the market evolves, expect to see more apps supported by healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and advertising, research2guidance forecasts. “With the growing sophistication level of m-health applications, only 14 percent of the total market revenue in the next five years will come from application download revenue” Senior Research Analyst Egle Mikalajunaite says. Instead, 76 percent of total revenue related to m-health apps will stem from “related services and products such as sensors,” Mikalajunaite adds.

By Neil Versel

Come Ask Allen!

SimplyHome’s President and CEO, Allen Ray, is ready to answer any questions you might have about technology and aging in place. Join him and our Director of Sales, Ian Sanders, today at this years Assistive Technology Expo to learn more.

 

November 17 – 19, 2010

North Raleigh Hilton

If you would like to receive mailings about the 2010 NC AT Expo, please use the contact form on the right side of the page.

What:  The Assistive Technology Expo is an exciting three-day event designed to increase awareness and provide current information on assistive technology.  Conference offerings include an exhibit hall (on 11/18/10 only) featuring over 60 vendors exhibiting the latest in assistive technology products and services, 40 concurrent sessions, a poster session and a Keynote address.

In addition, a pre-conference session will be offered on November 17 from 9:00-4:00 on Accessible Instructional Media:  Using Bookshare to Meet Your Students’ Needs.  The morning session will focus on assistive technologies.  We’ll look at what’s out there and how to align the technologies with students’ needs.  The afternoon session will focus on the Bookshare website as a source of free accessible instructional media (AIM).  Particpants will learn what Bookshare offers, how to sign up, how to download books, how to read the books, and where to get support.

Who: Each year between 550-700 registered participants from across the country attend the NC AT Expo and approximately 1300 attend the free Exhibit Hall.  Participants include: persons with disabilities, family members, teachers, therapists, Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living staff, rehabilitation counselors, employers, engineers, college professors, medical staff, college and university students, and authorized state purchasers.

Where: For hotel registration call the North Raleigh Hilton at 919-872-2323 or click here.  Use the code ATX to get the conference rate. Deadline for hotel registrations is October 17, 2010.

The participants of the 2009 NC AT Expo rated the conference as 4.336 out of 5 (Excellent)

What our Participants say about the NC AT Expo:
“Awesome!”
“This was my first time to attend and I learned so much! Great sessions!”
“I wish this day would never end!”
“Great diversity of workshops.  I could always find something applicable to me.”
“What a great conference.  I look forward to next year.”

What our Exhibitors say about the NC AT Expo:
“Best conference I attended this year!”
“The Expo was WONDERFUL!!”
“Great show!!”
“Everything seemed to run very smoothly and it was well attended.  It was much     busier this year.  LOVED it being open to the public for free.”
“Great Expo this year! Had lots of traffic at my booth.”

Holidays and Aging: Some Tips

From UC San Diego Geriatric Specialists

By Debra Kain

The joys, charms, chaos and confusion of family life during the holidays can be very positive or highly stressful, with older family members who are frail or ill particularly susceptible to negative consequences if emotional, mental or physical health needs are not taken into account.

Specialists in senior medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine offer some simple tips to help ensure that elderly family members with underlying health issues enjoy the season.

  1. Holidays provoke memories, which can be especially powerful in the later years of life.  “Leading authorities have observed that memory and ‘life review’ are important parts of the aging process,” said Barry Lebowitz, Ph.D., deputy director of UCSD’s Stein Institute for Research on Aging.  “Older people whose memories are impaired may have difficulty remembering recent events, but they are often able to share stories and observations from the past.  These shared memories are important for the young as well –children enjoy hearing about how it was ‘when your parents were your age…”.  He suggests using picture albums, family videos and music, even theme songs from old radio or TV programs, to help stimulate this sharing process.
  2. Plan ahead.  If an older family member tires easily or is vulnerable to over-stimulation, limit the activities or length of time he or she is included.  Try to budget in a nap time, if necessary. Consider designating a “quiet room” where the older individual can take a break from the noise and confusion of a large family gathering, in order to avoid the irritability or exhaustion that may result from over-stimulation.  “Assign someone to be the day’s companion to the older person, to make sure the individual is comfortable,” said Daniel Sewell, M.D., director of the Senior Behavior Health Unit at the UCSD Medical Center, adding that such guidelines are good for young children as well as adults with mental impairments.
  3. If a holiday get-together is in the home of a person with memory impairment or behavioral problems, don’t rearrange the furniture.  This could be a source of confusion and anxiety.  If the gathering is in a new place, remove slippery throw rugs and other items that could present barriers to an individual who has difficulty walking.
  4. Avoid comments that might inadvertently embarrass someone who might be experiencing short-term memory problems.  For example, if an older individual forgets a recent conversation, refrain from saying “don’t you remember?”
  5. In addition to memories, older individuals need something to anticipate. Add something new to the holiday celebration, or volunteer time as a family to help others.  Enjoy activities that are free, such as taking a drive to look at holiday decorations, or a walk through the mall to window-shop.
  6. Involve everyone in the holiday meal preparation, breaking down tasks to include the youngest and oldest family members.  “Older adults with physical limitations can still be included in kitchen activities by asking them to do a simple, helpful task, like greasing cooking pans, peeling vegetables, folding napkins or arranging flowers,” said Sewell.
  7. Social connectedness is especially important at holiday times.  “Reaching out to older relatives and friends who are alone is something all of us should do,” said Lebowitz. “Loneliness is a difficult emotion for anyone.  Recent research with older people has documented that loneliness is associated with major depression and with suicidal thoughts and impulses.”
  8. “Holiday blues” are feelings of profound sadness that can be provoked by all the activities of the holiday season.  Seasonal blues can have a particular impact in the lives of older people, according to Lebowitz.  “In some people, the ‘holiday blues’ represent the exacerbation of an ongoing depressive illness,” he said. “Depression is a dangerous and life-threatening illness in older people. Tragically, suicide rates increase with age, specifically for older men. Depression is not a normal part of aging and should never be ignored or written off.”*
  9. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression is a similar illness that can be provoked by reductions in sunlight during the short days of winter.  It is important for people confined indoors, especially those at risk for winter depression, to make time for activities that will increase exposure to daylight, according to Lebowitz.
  10. Physicians remind family members to adhere to the regular schedule of a senior’s medications in the hustle and bustle of the holiday.  Also pay attention to alcohol consumption during holiday parties and family gatherings, since alcohol can provoke inappropriate behavior or interfere with medications, according to Sewell.

“Older family members with special needs can get lost in the shuffle and chaos of happy family gatherings.  So, with all the hustle and bustle of the season, just remember to be sensitive and loving. And plan ahead,” Sewell said.

*According to experts at UCSD’s Stein Institute for Research on Aging, signs of depression – which are not always associated with sadness – include apathy, withdrawal, isolation, failure to thrive and agitation.  Some other clues that older adults may be depressed are unexplained weight loss or pain, headache, fatigue or insomnia, or a higher than usual use of medical services

Wii, Kinect and SimplyHome – Tech-savvy Seniors

live independently at home ASHEVILLE, N.C., Nov. 16 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — So, what do Microsoft’s new Xbox Kinect, Nintendo’s Wii and SimplyHome have in common? SimplyHome’s assistive technology is bringing its clients to the next level in independent living and underlying innuendos in Wii and Kinect may also have impacts on helping seniors and those with developmental disabilities to age in place more gracefully and independently.

For instance, a recent health care blogger wrote that since Kinect’s camera is able to follow people as they move about the room that scenarios for home physical therapy or medical rehabilitation with expert avatars or live health professionals is not out of the question. And, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also understands the potential significance here as well; its recent member newsletter gave Kinect front-page coverage.

In addition, Wii has been turning up in independent living and assisted living homes around the country as a way to keep seniors active and while at first look, many may have been reluctant, more and more are embracing technology in many senses of the word.

Enter SimplyHome – a company that offers cost-effective, innovative technological solutions to provide wellness monitoring, caregiver assistance, and in-home medical alert systems for elder care or for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities.

“Our health monitor systems are designed to be less invasive than many others on the market,” explains Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “No call to action is required of the person needing assistance which allows him or her to maintain their dignity and privacy. Technology is no longer the big elephant in the room.”

For seniors, SimplyHome provides support to help them live independently at home. So, how does it work? For example, if a senior leaves the stove on, a sensor detects a potential need. An option is available where the first alert may go to the person requiring support. If that is not a preferred choice, then the first alert is sent immediately through text message, phone call or e-mail to that person’s loved one. Additionally, there are also backup people built into a “calling tree.”

While this assistive technology cannot prevent accidents, choices or behaviors, family and caregivers are notified of actions or inactivity. The systems are unobtrusive, silent and require little or no maintenance.

And, these safety monitoring systems are not just for seniors. They also benefit disabled and developmentally-disabled persons, home health providers, assisted living communities, and long-term care facilities.

“My brother has never been happier,” says one satisfied client. “He is living with greater independence and enjoys being with his roommate and friends.”

In addition to peace of mind, this assistive technology also provides financial relief. “The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Costs,” published in October 2010, reported that the national average for the base rate at a nursing home was $83,585, annually.

So, if a family plans today, they can save tomorrow. For instance, a study of nine consumers living independently with SimplyHome technology and staff support averaged a cost savings of $42,883.85 per person per year when compared to living at an intermediate care facility.

For more information, visit: www.simply-home.com.

Media Contact:
Kristen Suttles
of SimplyHome
+1-828-684-8441
Kristen.Suttles@simplyhome-cmi.com.

NEWS SOURCE: SimplyHome
This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright © 2010 Neotrope® News Network – all rights reserved.

 

Article: WSU Student’s Sensors Help Elderly Stay in Their Homes

Student’s sensors may help elderly remain in familiar surroundings.
BY BECKY PHILLIPS
WSU TODAY
When it comes to technology-based “smart homes,” sometimes humans just won’t cooperate. “People don’t readily accept having cameras in their homes or being asked to carry tracking devices,” said Aaron Crandall, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science. “In real life situations — especially care facilities — people often forget their device or don’t want to carry it.” (read more)

Who is your Hero?

Definitions of hero: A man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength. 

When you hear the word “Hero” most everyone can think of someone they would describe using that term. Some people use it more freely. For example, when you get your best friend her favorite cup of coffee, she might call you her “Hero.” And there are others who use the term “Hero” to describe their mother, father or person they most admire. But tomorrow we are reminded of the hundreds of men and women who had exceptional courage and nobility and strength to fight for our country….America’s Heroes. November 11th is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in their lives to keep our country free.

The History Behind Veterans Day

In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a “Veterans Day” parade on November 11th to honor all of America’s veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.

So let’s remember to express our gratitude to our veterans for serving this country and protecting our lives over the years. Most of our Veterans are seniors who have not been at war for some time. This might be a good time to remind them of how special their service was to our country. If you have a family member or a friend that is a Veteran and a Hero, please share your story with us.

CEPro Recognizes SimplyHome as Best Practice For New Technology Implementation

Each year the CE Pro 100 Integrators Summit recognizes outstanding processes in the custom electronics integration industry through its Best Practice Awards program. The awards program is open to all CE Pro 100 Summit Guests and winners were announced at this years expo held in Los Angeles. This year, SimplyHome is honored to have been profiled for best practice in the category of New Technology Implementation.

SimplyHome has implemented technology supports for individuals with developmental disabilities or who are aging in place allowing people in these environments to remain living in an independent setting. In doing so, we have developed both proprietary platforms and integrated off-the-shelf solutions into our product offerings. This has been applied to residential homes, apartments, condos, and group homes. We have applied a unique approach that combines extensive health-care experience with leading technology solutions to solve management, funding, and human service problems.

Our technology is used to make staff and family caregivers more efficient and connected as they serve aging or developmentally disabled individuals. If there are potential problems in the home, then immediate notifications are sent out in the form of text message, email, or phone call. Some common events that cause concerns for families are: falls, missed medications, stove being left on, restless sleeping, and missed meals. Over time, the information that is gathered is also used to look at health trends and prevent hospital emergency admissions. Key indicators include frequent falls, quick weight gain or loss, dangerous glucose levels, or dangerous blood pressure readings. This technical information- gathered through technology supports-is invaluable when combined with health-care experience.

We have realized incredible results-especially on the cost savings and management functional areas. In performing a case study of the first eight individuals we transferred into the community from facility settings, we moved each person’s daily reimbursement rate from about $240/day to below $98/day. This has been maintained for more than five years. The technology solutions we apply have a positive ROI for customers in less than one month-when compared with 24 hour staff supports in a nursing home, assisted living, or home health setting. We always remind ourselves, however, of the most important indicator of success, which is the increased quality of life and sense of self-worth for everyone we serve. One customer said it best after moving from a facility care setting into her own home: “For the first time in my life, I can finally go outside and get my own mail instead of having it brought to me.”

SimplyHome On The GO-Come Check Us Out!

This year was SimplyHome’s first time attending the Upstate Senior Expo. We headed out early Friday morning and were set up and in place by 9:00am. We met a lot of great people and stayed busy all day! We love getting to get out in the community and connecting with people who may benefit from our services! Please contact us if you weren’t able to make it and we would love to talk with you about our product.The 2010 Assistive Technology Expo will be our next stop in Raleigh, NC, November 17-19th. I have listed more info below.

www.simply-home.com or Toll Free at (877) 684-3581

2010 Assistive Technology Expo

November 17 – 19, 2010

North Raleigh Hilton


What:  The Assistive Technology Expo is an exciting three-day event designed to increase awareness and provide current information on assistive technology.  Conference offerings include an exhibit hall (on 11/18/10 only) featuring over 60 vendors exhibiting the latest in assistive technology products and services, 40 concurrent sessions, a poster session and a Keynote address.

In addition, a pre-conference session will be offered on November 17 from 9:00-4:00 on Accessible Instructional Media:  Using Bookshare to Meet Your Students’ Needs.  The morning session will focus on assistive technologies.  We’ll look at what’s out there and how to align the technologies with students’ needs.  The afternoon session will focus on the Bookshare website as a source of free accessible instructional media (AIM).  Particpants will learn what Bookshare offers, how to sign up, how to download books, how to read the books, and where to get support.

Who: Each year between 550-700 registered participants from across the country attend the NC AT Expo and approximately 1300 attend the free Exhibit Hall.  Participants include: persons with disabilities, family members, teachers, therapists, Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living staff, rehabilitation counselors, employers, engineers, college professors, medical staff, college and university students, and authorized state purchasers.

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