12 WAYS TO HELP AN ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVER

One in 10 Americans over age 65 years and almost half of those over age 85 years have Alzheimer’s disease or a related type of dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, involves a gradual breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Affected persons lose the ability to interpret information and send messages to their bodies to behave in certain ways. Over time they experience mental, emotional, behavioral and physical changes, necessitating increasing amounts of….

PROBATE BASICS

Probate is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from the decedent to his or her heirs either by accepting the validity of their last will and testament or by following the Kentucky laws of intestacy.  For a will to be valid, it must be “self-proven” or proven as valid in court by at least one of the witnesses.  A valid will can also be holographic: written entirely in the handwriting of the decedent, signed, and dated.

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CONTAINER GARDENING

Gardens are great, but they require a lot of time, labor and money. They also require land space and good soil. Container gardening skirts all these obstacles, offering reduced time, effort and costs, and can be enjoyed in an apartment or other home lacking a yard. Vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers on a balcony, patio or walkway.

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Google Hangouts is the Jetson phone plus plus. It can be used on a PC, laptop or phone; it just requires an email address or phone number. Up to 10 people can be on a call at once. Texting is available, and a user can switch to show their desktop, a document or play a video. For long-distance relationships, it’s a great way to schedule a time to get everyone together for a fun, interactive experience that’s the next best thing to meeting in person. ZuberFamZoom! was developed by grandparents for grandparents. It lets you play games, do puzzles, draw and doodle, read stories and help with homework in real time.


There are numerous video calling methods to bridge long distance. Skype is the most widely known. It can be used for voice, video and text within the United States; you can also connect with people in other countries. Voxer allows you to send pre-recorded messages. Spaxtel, Viber and PennyTalk are low-cost alternatives for making international calls.

No one needs to be told the younger generations are attached to their technology. It used to just be computers, but now it’s smart phones. These days, if you want to stay in contact with your grandchildren – and sometimes even your children – you’d be wise to learn a few basic methods of keeping in touch in the digital age. A study released in 2012 by Microsoft and AARP called “Connecting Generations” found teens and their parents and grandparents are communicating more because of social media and other online tools. If you’re not already riding the digital communication train, you might want to hop on board.


The secret is connectivity. It’s not a matter of the grandchildren not wanting to stay in touch or not having the time – it’s all about the method. The most foolproof tech- nique is to have a smart phone just as they do. If you don’t have a smart phone and don’t want one, you could use a PC, laptop or tablet.


Texting won’t be going away anytime soon, but it does evolve. Brush up on hip lingo by searching online for texting acronyms. When in doubt, do this first rather than guess what a random three-letter combination means. In addition to acronyms, pictures called emoticons are now very popular. Be sure to Google these as well. Don’t send an eggplant unless you know what it means.

TECHNOLOGY PRIMER FOR GRANDPARENTS

WhatsApp is the name of a messaging app download for PC, laptops and both Android and iPhones. It lets you send pictures and do live video calling, and you can lower your SMS rate plan because you won’t need as many texts. You can also keep in touch with loved ones abroad for no additional cost. Facetime is a similar messaging app, but it only works with iPhones, iPads and iPods. Rounds is similar to WhatsApp and Facetime but adds live webcam hangouts, games and activities such as chess, checkers and backgammon and drawing. Cool kids ages 12 and up dubbed Facebook “not cool” several years ago, yet many still use it. Facebook now offers live video messaging.


Instagram is a photo-sharing site. The photos are a form of communication and storytelling. Chances are at least one of your grandchildren has an Instagram. Following it can offer insights into their lives and thoughts. Twitter is like a marriage between Facebook and a blog but is limited to 140 characters a post. Your grandchildren probably have a twitter you should follow. They’d get a kick out of following your twitter account.



ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela S. Hoover is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by Angela S. Hoover