Tech News and Info for Boomers & Seniors

From the Jitterbug – best cell phones for senior citizens to the easy to use Canon AND iPhone digital camera to the most useful iphone apps for the Sandwich Generation and beyond!

HOLIDAY SMILES AND THIS

It was a busy holiday week last week. I decided to do just sweet greetings for all of us boomers and seniors, multigenerational caregivers and grandparents yesterday and save THIS for today. What is THIS? A ZUS. A what?

Boomers seniors REALTORS can make good use of the ZUS smart phone charger and car finder

TIS THE SEASON

A ZUS is an intriguing little gadget that is actually quite handy in two different ways.

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I would like to receive this high-tech and handy gidget in order to test it out and do a review. At first I thought, “no time.” But then they explained it to me and I thought, “I need to make the time for this. It does sound like it could be very useful for boomers and seniors.” I said yes, they sent it out, I got tied up with babysitting grandkids, and then got a lalapalooza of a cold, which kept me pretty quiet for a while. It could have been much worse though. I was blessed with a doctor who gave me an antibiotic. A friend waited to go in, and kept very VERY busy, and ended up with pneumonia. And this bug is definitely making the rounds of the country. So if you get sick, DEFINITELY take it easy this year!

TEST DRIVING THE ZUS

I’m now happily healthy and have enjoyed test-driving (literally) this little tool that can be just as handy for boomers and seniors as for millenials – and everyone in between.

What is it? It’s a ZUS Car Finder and Smart Car Charger. It fits inside your cigarette lighter – better known in my car as the cell phone charger holder. And that’s exactly what a ZUS is. It can actually charge TWO cell phones at the same time. That would have come in VERY handy when I was driving grandkids to and from school, that’s for sure. One for my cell phone and one for my oldest grandchild’s. I will definitely make sure I have that handy in the future when we go out together. That way one of us doesn’t wind up with a dead battery on our cell phone.

ZUS HAS A GREAT APP!

Not only that. If you have an iPhone, it also comes with a special iPhone App (it also works on the Samsung Galaxy S5.) Keep the app turned on, and it can help you find your car. I don’t often go out to large parking lots nowadays so to start with, I test drove the app at my house in the driveway and around my home. It did get me right up to the car. That seemed pretty cool. I did notice that it, like my map navigational apps, does use my battery a little bit faster. So I turned the iPhone app off one day to save my battery when it was getting low. The next day, forgetting to turn it back on, I went to the Westfield Galleria at Roseville CA to get a very cute baby a very cute baby outfit from Gymboree. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. I haven’t give it yet. 😉 

I stayed much longer than I planned and by the time I came out, the lot was full and I wasn’t totally sure where I’d parked. I was so mad at myself for forgetting to turn the ZUS on. I could have had it say this:

Kaye Swain real estate agent likes Zeus for Westfield Galleria At Roseville Sacramento CA

 

Or this


Kaye Swain Roseville CA blogger boomers seniors REALTOR sharing ZUS 621 feetOr this

Kaye Swain Roseville CA blogger boomers seniors REALTOR sharing ZUS 150 feet reversed

 

Yes, the arrow is pointing in the direction you should head. Here is another shot I took. I was standing in the exact same spot as right above – BUT I had turned to go in the other direction. It’s so smart, it could even register that! (You’ll notice it says 20 hours – it does a great job of holding it in the memory. The battery itself is made to last a few weeks. Very cool for traveling.)

Kaye Swain Roseville CA blogger boomers seniors REALTOR sharing ZUS 150 feet .jpg

And then it hit me! I REALLY liked this little ZUS! It would have saved me walking an extra row or two! At that point, I remembered the time I met my folks in Las Vegas when they traveled there for business. I had rented a white car. We went over to some ginormous mall in Vegas (I rarely go there so have no clue what the name was 😉 ), parked, and went in. A few hours later, we came out and discovered that almost every car at that mall was, you guessed it, a white car! That sweet ZUS would have come in VERY VERY handy that day.

ZUS REMINDS YOU

Another intriguing thing. When you are using the ZUS for parking, it will ask you if you want to set a reminder. If you don’t, it’s easy to ignore it. If you do, just click it and it will beep you when you need to be back at the car. If you park in timed parking spaces often, that could be quite handy.

Knowing me, I’ll still take a photo of the letter and number of my parking area down at the Sacramento International airport! Especially since, sometimes, covered areas or multilevel parking garages may not work as well with the GPS finder (with almost any GPS finder, actually). Plus, you know me, backups are wonderful things. But I’ll also make sure I have the ZUS app turned on in the future. And yes, it does a great job of charging my cell phone as well. So I will also be packing it with me if I go traveling again. It should make unfamiliar destinations much easier for finding my car. 🙂

ZUS BY NONDA

Many thanks to the company, Nonda, for sharing this cool tool with me – to share with you. You can get more info about the ZUS Car Finder and Smart Car Charger. Just click here or here. It can definitely be a handy tool for a lot of people including boomers and seniors, not to mention busy REALTORS who sometimes forget where they parked their car at the mall because of thinking of clients’ needs – or cute baby gifts. 😉

 

 

 

Kaye Swain Roseville CA blogger real estate agent sharing Advent and Christmas smiles and encouragement for caregivers and clients everywhereCaregiver Smiles

I love Christmas traditions including fun Christmas get-togethers, online and off, with dear friends. From December 6-12, 2015, one of my fave online Christmas parties is held every year at Caregiving.com by the very sweet Denise Brown. I’ve been attending this blog party since Christmas, 2009. That was 1 1/2 years after I started blogging. Denise was one of my first caregiving friends online, along with Carol Marak of SeniorCare.com as well as Gina LaGuardia and, a bit later, Michelle Seitzer of Our Parents. All of whom are still doing a great job online and still dear friends of mine through the years. You surely have to be careful using the internet and making friends. But there are definitely sweet friendships to be made online as well as off and they are such a blessing. Doubly so for caregivers or carees who may not be able to get out much.

I’ve been blogging since 2008 but I’ve been in and out of caregiving since my early 20s. First I helped my parents when they were caring for my mom’s parents, then my dad’s parents, and a few of my dad’s other elderly relatives as well as a couple of neighbors. My parents definitely set a lovely and caring example for me over the years. Later I helped my own elderly neighbors for a few years. Then I went through a season of caring only for my kids and sweet hubby. But the caregiving season returned big time with one of my sweet long distance elderly relatives and my own parents moving nearby which was great since I could more easily help my dad who was dealing with Parkinsons Disease. A few years later, my sweet dad went home to be with the Lord, my grandtwins arrived in this world to join their big bro and big sis, and I was fully in the throes of the Sandwich Generation, helping my senior mom who was now living with me and my grandkids and enjoying it thoroughly.

Now it’s a bit quieter. My senior mom still lives with me but my grandkids are older. I still help with them a lot but not as much as in the past. Though I also help with granddogs near and far. That and my real estate business (which, when you think about it, is another great example of caring for the needs of others – their real estate needs 🙂 ). As you might guess, my real estate business includes a focus on helping boomers and seniors with all the things they may be juggling including aging in place, multigenerational needs, retirement homes, etc. 

Through it all, I keep on blogging – both here and at various real estate blogs including KayeSwain.com. I love to help others – readers, clients, family, and more -and enjoy sharing tips, tools and resources at all my blogs including here at SandwichINK along with sweet Christian encouragement. I post at least once a week, occasionally a bit more. And I’d love for you to subscribe to SandwichINK – an easy way to stay updated (see below). Or, guess what, you can also find me on Amazon for the Kindle, though there is a wee fee for that. But do take a peek, just for fun. 🙂

If you’re a regular reader, you’re probably smiling because this is almost as familiar to you as it is to me. If you’re coming from the Caregiving Progressive Holiday Blog Party WELCOME!!! And if you’re new to all of this, WELCOME as well. Any which way, I hope you’ll find interesting info, useful resources, handy tips, and fun and encouraging ideas pictures to give you a sweet smile.  So enjoy couple of cute and virtual gingerbread cookies and have a lovely Advent and Christmas time full of God’s joy and peace.

Gingerbread house cookies from Roseville CA real estate agent blogger Kaye Swain

Senior Smiles

My senior mom gets so frustrated with TV. There are only a few shows out now that she really enjoys. Fortunately some of them are in syndication like NCIS and Blue Bloods. But then again, she doesn’t understand syndication. Thus, while she appreciates them being on a lot, it really confuses her. 🙂 And now that they are splitting shows up between summer shows and regular shows – and time outs for shows til February. Oyyyyy. Very hard for elderly senior parents to follow along, that’s for sure. But thanks to her iPad, we do have a few handy tricks up our sleeves to help.

Old Time Radio for elderly seniors is a treat via Roseville CA real estate agent blogger Kaye Swain

There are several radio podcast station apps for her iPad that are free that have oldie goldie radio shows she used to love and still enjoys now like:

  • OldTime Radio
  • LuxTheater
  • Yesterday
  • Yesterradio
  • TheSaint
  • MissBrooks
  • MartinLewis
  • JackBenny
  • SpikeJones
  • SimpleRadio

I also subscribed to Hulu (the version with a few ads – to save money 🙂 ) and that has several, if not all, of some of the less oldie goldie series we both used to love:

  • Cagney and Lacey
  • Simon and Simon
  • Remington Steele
  • Ellery Queen
  • Kojak
  • Airwolf
  • Hunter
  • The Rockford Files
  • The Fall Guy
  • Ironside

All in all, there are plenty of options for her to pick from. The downside is that she has to watch on the iPad which isn’t as easy for her to use as the TV. We could hook up Roku or Chromecast to her TV but she would NEVER be able to do that on her own (we tried). Either way requires my assistance. So if I’m out and about with real estate clients or helping with grandkids, she sticks with her TV and her clicker.

I don’t know that there are ANY perfect solutions for elderly seniors, for whom technology keeps speeding past them. But I’m very grateful for good options that do work a lot. How about you? Do you have any other suggestions to share? We’d love to hear them!

Advent and Grandkid Smiles

Kaye Swain Real estate agent blogger in Roseville CA shares at Pinterest too

My grandkids and I LOVE Christmas and Advent activities and crafts. I bet yours do too. I just saw a cool list of Advent activities from Half A Hundred Acre Wood – a home schooling mama – and posted it on my Pinterest board with fun activities and craft ideas for kids and grandkids. I’m definitely looking forward to giving this a try with the grandkids later this month or next month. I just updated that board with several new Christmas ideas and some New Years fun crafts as well. Have fun! 🙂

 

Encouraging Smiles

Christian words of encouragement from Mary for Christmas via Real Estate Agent blogger Kaye Swain

 

 

Advent Devotions for Boomers and Seniors

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. In our sermon, the pastor talked about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what a great example she set for us. Can you imagine it? A young teenage girl, right in between the ages of a couple of my grandchildren, heard from God and fully trusted Him and surrendered herself to Him. After many years of walking with God, I learned about daily surrendering and I strive to do this daily (tho I’ve also told God that if, on any day I forget, He should just take it as a done deal forever! 🙂 ). But at 14-18 years old, no way! Not even in my 20s was I that faithful. She was, indeed, a sweet blessing and example to us all, including her lovely song – The Magnificat. And oh my, this Multimedia Christmas Nativity video featuring the music of Todd Agnew using her beautiful words along with scenes from “The Nativity” and “The Passion of Christ,” was so touching to my heart, and I hope it will be to yours. Very powerful! And it definitely is an encouragement to faithfully join Mary in saying, “I am the “Lord’s servant” and surrender ourselves and our lives to Him daily – no matter our age or circumstances.

The book of John does not cover this particular story but it’s still a sweet lesson for us. (And if you’d like to know more about this particular section of Scripture – Luke 1, Pastor Guzik has also taught on that chapter – just click here.)

Fun Coloring Pages for Kids and Adults

My grandkids enjoy coloring pages, that’s for sure. But many adults, including senior adults, also love coloring pages. So here are some extra coloring pages in honor of the Caregiving Progressive Holiday Blog Party, including one for the Scripture picture above.

Cute Christmas coloring pages for grandkids and senior adults via Kaye Swain Roseville CA blogger and REALTOR

 

 Roseville CA blogger REALTOR Kaye Swain sharing Christmas coloring page for grandkids and boomers and seniors

 

Christian encouragement from Kaye Swain real estate agent blogger in Roseville CA reminding that GOD IS our light

 

Mary and Baby-Christian Scripture coloring page via Kaye Swain Roseville CA

 

Happy Advent!

I’m so grateful for another passage in Luke 1 – verse 37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” or as the Living Bible paraphrase puts it, “For every promise from God shall surely come true.” Either way they both mean the same thing – God has promised never to leave us or forsake us and to bring His children safely home – His Words shall surely come true for with God NOTHING is impossible. Sweet Smiles for all of us caregivers and grandparents, boomers and seniors in the midst of dark news on the front page or on the TV daily.

Kaye

Roseville CA Real Estate Agent Blogger Caregiver visiting Caregiving Holiday-Progressive-Blog-Party3

P.S. Don’t forget to pop over to Caregiving.com and say HELLO from SandwichINK. They are having giveaways to enjoy including a $10 Amazon gift card from me, Kaye Swain of SandwichINK, to use for an adult’s Scripture verse coloring book, caregiving needs, etc. 🙂

P.P.S. Then click here to go to my current post, Fun and Uplifting Encouragement for Grandparents and Caregivers. Then have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and holiday season. And don’t forget to sign up for the free SandwichINK updates to regularly  encourage boomers and seniors, caring for elderly parents, helping with grandkids, and more, just…

 

Tips to help prevent accidental phone calls to 911Have you ever called 911 accidentally? I have and feel so bad when it happened. False calls to 911 can mean delayed care to someone else who direly needs emergency services but is delayed getting through because of those false calls.

The first time it happened was with a Blackberry I bought as it was the only phone that would work in a ground floor apartment we were living in temporarily while selling our house.

I discovered that, while the Blackberry did work well in that apartment, it was too easy to call 911 accidentally when carrying it in my jeans pockets (my favorite spot for a cell phone) or in my purse. After 6 months, I had moved and no longer needed the keen reception of the Blackberry. I borrowed a loved one’s iPhone to test drive it, fell in love, and never looked back. But would you believe it, I do still have the Blackberry for dire cell phone emergencies or to loan friends and family.

This past week, I had a whole new iPhone 911 fiasco. I had actually called 911 on purpose to ask for help with a 9 volt battery that was overheating.  The fire department’s regular office was closed and their message directed me to call 911 which I did. They helped me and re-routed my call to the fire department who gave me the advice I needed. All was well…till the next day.

As many cell phone users know, calls we make stay in the recent call list. If you aren’t careful, you can accidentally click on and call one of those numbers without meaning to. That’s what I did – only this call was more than a nuisance. It was to 911. I apologized profusely and immediately after hanging up, I deleted that 911 phone number from my recents list.

As caregivers, many of us need to call 911 more than most. But with accidents a regular occurrence on the roads, and various other issues popping up, any or all of us can call 911 at times. So my suggestion is that anytime you may call 911 (or any other number you absolutely do not want to call back for whatever reason), be sure to go into your recents folder and delete that number so you can’t hit it accidentally.

For the iPhone, go to PHONE, RECENTS, EDIT, click the red circle with the minus sign on the left.  Then click DELETE. Then be sure to click DONE so you don’t accidentally erase calls you DO want to save.

how to delete a 911 call so you dont call it again by mistake

And if you’re wondering about the 9 volt battery issue that led to my 911 call…click here for the story – it’s a vital one for all of us and especially for grandparents and parents who deal with batteries for senior parents, grandkids, etc. 🙂

LIfe is full of twists, turns, and various crises. But making sure we don’t compound the issues with accidental phone calls to 911 can keep things a tiny bit more peaceful, don’t you think?

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social

My senior mom and I both appreciate the Amazon Prime Discount Membership with all the free tv shows through their instant downloads to her iPad and my iPhone - and probably Androids as welliPads are GRAND! My senior mom keeps telling ME that now. And keeps saying, "I wish I'd taken your advice and gotten one sooner! I LOVE this." 🙂 Now that's music to a geeky Sandwich Generation baby boomer's ears, I gotta say! 🙂 

She's been especially happy this summer, with so few of her favorite shows on, since I started having her watch some interesting British police dramas on Amazon – for FREE. Because I have the Amazon Prime Discount Membership, it gives me access to a ton of free instant downloads of older (and sometimes newer) TV shows and movies. You do have to be careful, of course. Just like with cable. I tried one show with a fave actress who shall remain nameless. After 15 minutes, I turned it off, VERY disappointed at the language on that show – including from said actress. It was WAY worse than the norm, which is often bad enough! But there are plenty of other shows to enjoy and we are both having fun checking out some old favorites from days gone by. The hard part is remembering the names of fave old TV shows, so if you have any to suggest, we'd love to hear about them in the comments.

ONE BIG CAVEAT for sharing the iPad with our senior parents. If you have done so or are going to do so, do it FAST and then DO NOT UPGRADE THE IPAD TO IOS7 RIGHT AWAY. My bright and techie daughter saw a preview of it. Now mind you, she is the one that got me going on the iPhone when I didn't think I'd like it. And she is the one I still call the most for help because she really gets it. (Actually, all my kids have surpassed my tech skills when it comes to the iPhone and iPad and HOORAY for them for doing so coz I love that they can help me as I help my senior parents and loved ones! 🙂 ). After looking at the preview, she said to hold off updating for a long time as they have made MANY new changes – including to many of the familiar icons. I know that will slow me down and frustrate me. But it will REALLY frustrate my mom – and many other seniors. So best to keep things as they are for the time being – or if you haven't yet started them on an iPad, you could also wait a few months until AFTER the big change – then start teaching. Mind you, I'm not saying it won't be better overall – there's a lot of intriguing things built into it – but it will be a LOT different.

Pink things like iPad cases are a delight for many in the Sandwich Generation particularly on Pink Satuday

Learning new technology can be challenging for anyone. Learning it as an older senior is triply challenging. And throwing a HUGE monkey wrench into the process, like a major update with so many changes including the icons they look for, can take all the fun out of it for them. So I, for one, will definitely wait a LONG time before upgrading my mom. How about you? 🙂 

P.S. You can find out more about the upcoming changes here and here. 🙂

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Say it Saturday is a fun linkup for all of us boomers and seniors including grandparents writing about their grandkids

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social