Carolina Ace Hardware Opens New “Independent Living” Aisle

We visited the Ace Hardware store in Hendersonville, NC, yesterday for the introduction of their new “Independent Living” aisle….aisle #32! The owners of Ace Hardware decided to try something new by filling the aisle with devices that allow individuals to modify their existing home so they can live in it as long as possible. The aisle has anything from walking canes, grab bars, and medical alert systems. Be sure to keep Ace Hardware in mind when you have a need.

Ace Hardware Hendersonville History:

What once was a dream, 15 years in the making, has finally become a reality. With the opening of the new Ace Hardware in Hendersonville 3 years ago those dreams were fulfilled. Greg and Sheila Paul have been in the hardware business for almost 30 years. They have always wanted to live in the mountains and after vacationing in Hendersonville, they fell in love with the small town values, vibrant downtown, low crime rate, and mild four seasons. Hendersonville also happened to be the #1 available market for Ace Hardware in all of Western North Carolina. The new store opened it’s doors on March 28, 2008. The concept of the store was to give legendary customer service to the community. In fact, the Paul’s want to astound the customer with appreciation for their business and friendliness. Through hard work and a dedicated staff, Ace Hardware Hendersonville really is the place to shop. Drop by and say “Hello” to folks that truly care and who want to help make your life easier.

Aerobic Exercise May Improve Memory In Seniors

by Michelle Trudeau

NPR – February 21, 2011

There’s a very small structure deep in the center of our brains called the hippocampus. It’s smaller than your pinkie, but it plays an absolutely essential role in learning and memory. The hippocampus encodes new information so that we can recall it later. Without a hippocampus, we would be unable to form new memories; we’d only be able to remember the old ones.

An elderly couple holds hands while walking along a Berlin street. A recent study showed that walking grows the region of the brain that archives memories.
Enlarge Patrick Sinkel/AFP via Getty Images

An elderly couple holds hands while walking along a Berlin street. A recent study showed that walking grows the region of the brain that archives memories. As part of normal aging, the hippocampus shrinks. And this shrinkage speeds up as we grow older, foreshadowing memory problems and dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Read More

Technology Aids Aging In Place

We recently had the opportunity to talk with one of our customers and learn how our technology enabled her mother to stay at home. We were so touched by her story that we wanted to share it with all of you. We were reminded that it is not the equipment that is of value, but the outcomes that it allows families to have. Here is Donna Hughes’ story…

“Technology enabled Mother to live the last weeks of her life in her home, where she wanted desperately to be.”  Donna Hughes of Asheville, North Carolina, is talking about her 81 ½ years old mother who was fiercely independent and did not want to end up living in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Her mother had a history of falls and she knew the alert system her mother had was not going to be enough if she wanted to remain living in her own home. “I wanted some security as to how she was doing on a daily basis, if I was unable to check in on her personally.”

In the last few years, a series of technological developments have given parents and their adult children some new options.  Devices and web based solutions are now available that allow caregivers to keep an unobtrusive, high-tech eye on their family members, ensuring they’re safe, healthy and well cared for, exactly what Hughes was looking for.

The system Hughes chose is a sophisticated in-home monitoring system made by SimplyHome that uses discrete sensors and specific rules to generate notifications to a family member or caregiver via text message, email, or phone call.   “I appreciated the technology at night, when I would learn if she had left her bed for a pre-determined period of time and not returned.  This was comforting knowing that she had not fallen.” Hughes mother was also prone to getting blood clots, so she had a chair sensor set on 2 hour intervals.  The system would alert her via text message if her mother remained in her chair for more than 2 hours.

Today, 37 North Carolina counties have more people age 60 and older than those 17 and younger. In 2030, it is projected that 71 counties will have more people age 60 and older than those 17 and younger.  The cost of care in nursing homes and assisted living has been and continues to be high. Based on the MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs for 2010, the national average yearly rate to live in a nursing home cost $83,585.  The national average annual rate to live in an assisted living facility is $39,516.  Hughes found that she could support her mother at home as primary caregiver and by using technology for $959.40 a year.

Hughes said her mother spend her whole life giving to others and never asking for much. She said it was her turn to give her mother what she asked for and deserved, to age gracefully in her own home. “Without this system, it would have been impossible for Mother to have lived out her life in her home.  It was a true comfort and blessing.”

For more information on assisted living technology visit the SimplyHome website at or call (877) 684-3581.

7th Annual SC Aging Research Day

SimplyHome is headed to Columbia SC to exhibit and attend the 7th Annual Aging Research Day at the Columbia Convention Center. Come learn how technology can provide independence and peace of mind for your loved ones.

Aging and Mobility

DATE:   Friday, February 4, 2011

TIME:    8:30 AM – 4:00 PM 

LOCATION: Columbia Conference Center
                  Columbia, SC

This event is open to all students and faculty!

There is no cost to attend or to submit an abstract; however,

you must register to attend

(See attached registration form)

The South Carolina Aging Research Network,SCARN, is a multi-institutional consortium of geriatric disciplines working together to utilize researchers’ expertise and push forward a research agenda benefiting South Carolina seniors. There are two appointed SCARN members from MUSC, University Hospital, University of South Carolina, Clemson, Palmetto Health, and the Greenville Hospital System.

The Holidays: A Time to Observe Loved Ones and Their Health

The holidays are a special time, when families and friends throughout the southeast come together in celebration. With so many families living far apart from one another, the holidays also are time when we notice changes in our loved ones, including senior parents or grandparents who are aging at home. These changes may be natural signs of healthy aging, but they may be more worrying.
For instance, Stephanie, who works in a health care setting, was recently visiting Tennessee during the holidays, and experienced these changes firsthand.

Stephanie’s grandmother is turning 90 in January, and the family intended to throw a large dinner party in her honor, with plans to invite 30-40 guests at a local establishment.

Stephanie shared that she and her family saw a handful of behavioral changes in her grandmother, including general changes in her activity levels. Her grandmother has always been a very independent person who continues to work and drive an automobile. However, it became clear that the party as originally planned had the potential to be overwhelming, and the family discussed ways to make the event less stressful. Concerned that Stephanie’s grandmother would become very tired in the evening, the family decided to change the party to mid-day brunch. In addition, the guest list was revised to include only 15-20 close family members.

The Comfort of Assistive Technology

Stephanie shared, “At a time when family members want to feel closest, holidays can often be overwhelming for seniors. Being back in North Carolina and seeing that my grandmother, although still independent, is enjoying life at a slower pace, caused me to do some research and I came upon a company – SimplyHome.”
The holidays can be an ideal time for family members to discuss a care plan for aging parents or grandparents and the assistive technology offered by SimplyHome acts as an extra pair of eyes, observing what is going on in the home on a regular basis.
“It’s comforting to know that family members are made aware by this assistive technology of any major or minor changes in their loved ones,” Stephanie says.
Stephanie identified a variety of signs family members should look for, including:

  • Personality changes
  • The manner that senior family members interact with others A greater need for rest – this may be seen in a stronger desire than normal to escape the frenetic activities of the holidays
  • Difficulty sitting or rising Lack of appetite Challenges with memory, such as having difficulty recalling a loved one’s name, not opening mail, or leaving spoiled food in the refrigerator
  •  Disinterest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Changes in weight, hygiene, mobility, speech, and/or memory

Technology Assistance at Home Benefits Seniors and Their Family Members

“Technology assistance at home can be very helpful with monitoring senior family members,” Stephanie notes. “There is a greater sense of security for both caregivers and those seeking to age in place when geriatric care management technology is incorporated. Detectors show changes in activity and subsequently send alerts, allowing caretakers to act immediately rather than hours later.”
The holidays are an ideal time to reassure aging parents or grandparents that you are there to help them through this new phase of life. A great gift to loved ones is to have a positive impact on their care. Technology assistance at home can be very beneficial in helping senior family members feel more secure and happy as they age in place.

Contact SimplyHome for more information: