senior citizens

Healthy Living Tips

Happy September with some healthy living tips for seniors, boomers and grandkids.

Kaye Swain Roseville real estate agent sharing healthy aging tips for seniors boomers

Time for a healthy eating diet update. Hooray!  It’s going fabulous! I have lost 38 pounds.  Only 10 pounds left to go on this diet. Pretty soon I am going to break down and buy some smaller size pants. Sadly, I got rid of my old jeans that were a smaller size a couple of years ago while ruthlessly decluttering. (Yet another reason not to be too extreme with weeding out too small (or large) clothes). Happily I won’t be needing my after-surgery all-elastic waist pants any more. At least, not until I have another surgery. So I’m not planning on decluttering them ever. They’ll also be practical for winter pjs or pants for sick days! In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying Lee’s Side Elastic Jeans

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent loves black side elastic jeans

…in a SMALLER size. Always a silver lining!

It’s also great having less weight to tote around through a busy day that starts with a two mile walk, then helping real estate clients, and my senior mom. Soon it will be time for a new project, door-to-door work with my real estate business sharing community news and updates with neighbors. I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and getting my exercise at the same time – talk about a win-win! What’s your fave way to exercise as part of healthy living? Are you also a multi-tasker while you do it?

Healthy Eating Tips Dessert Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

By the by. When out to dinner at Macaroni Grill with a great group of friends, we were talking diets, calories and healthy eating tips. I realized I hadn’t shared a favorite sweet treat with you! When calories don’t go over a 1400 max by the end of the day or when in need of something sweet, a favorite treat are fruit popsicles by Outshine. Fave flavors include pomegranate in the large bars (about 70-80 calories) and black cherry/strawberry kiwi/ mixed berry in the small bars (about 25 calories). No sugar or additives just real fruit / fruit juice frozen and definitely delish! A great way to enjoy a sweet treat and stay on a healthy eating diet. Delicious AND healthy living! 🙂

Grandkids and Hugs

All my grandkids are back in school now. How about yours? So far things are going fairly smoothly with a couple of bumps along the way so I’ve been doing lots of praying, phone calling, sending lots of virtual smiles and love, and even an occasional card. After all, healthy living definitely includes emotional and spiritual health! It’s definitely more challenging when your long distance grandkids are going through some struggles. You want so bad to be there and give them a big hug but you can’t. I’m grateful there are many ways to hug them virtually thanks to Instagram, Facebook, email and text messaging. All work well for us. But I’m always looking for new ideas. If you have any suggestions, do let us know in the comments or on the Facebook Page – SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation.

Words of Encouragement

Here’s this week’s Scripture picture – another virtual hug for beloved grandkids as well as a sweet encouragement for all of us as we patiently carry on with caring for our beloved seniors helping them and us with healthy aging.

Christian blogger REALTOR Kaye Swain sharing encouraging Bible verses grandkids 1200

Elderly Eye Healthy Living Tips

I have an important reminder – don’t forget to take your elderly parent AND yourself to the eye doctor every 1-2 years depending on your doctor’s recommendations. Even if neither of you are having any vision problems, it’s vital to check on some of the many eye diseases that are common to senior citizens including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, etc.

Kaye Swain Roseville caregiving blogger shares size 3 larger reading glasses

On a bright note I must say how much I appreciate the reading glasses my senior mom wears. We buy inexpensive pairs from Dollar Store, Walmart, and Amazon. I love that Amazon carries larger sizes including 3 and 3.5 that she uses. In fact, they go all the way up to 11.0 (the higher the number, though, the higher the cost). She has several pairs. That way, if she can’t remember where she left them, no worries! We always have plenty more. One less stressor in our lives, that’s for sure!

Happy Autumn

Have a lovely week and enjoy healthy living during the upcoming fall fun and foliage! 🙂


GreatCall Jitterbug Cell Phones for Senior Citizens

Jitterbug!  A fave dance of my parents’ youth. A fave cell phone for seniors that my parents love, aging in place, from GreatCall.

Jitterbug cell phones for elderly seniors Kaye Swain senior mom favorite
GreatCall gave my senior mom the biggest blessing many years ago. As long-time readers may remember, we got the Jitterbug cell phone for her several years ago. At the time, it was the primary cell phone for seniors that was available. And, as I recall, the only one that was a flip phone, which is why I bought it. You handled it much like a regular land-line phone and when you shut it, it automatically turned off. With the bar phones that were popular at the time, you had to take an extra step and push a button to turn it off. For a senior citizen who had very little techy experience, I knew that would be hard for her.

There was a bit of a learning curve with her Jitterbug but not much. Back then they were large and uber simple cell phones and that’s exactly what she needed and wanted. The O was very central at the bottom, big and easy to push. If she couldn’t figure things out, she knew she could push O, get the operator and ask for help. That was perfect as she had grown up in the era when you could call the operator directly and get a wide variety of help including getting phone numbers, being directed to the police emergency line, and even being able to request an emergency cut-in if someone was on the phone and you needed to talk to them due to an emergency. Good grief, do you realize we can rarely do that anymore! And rarely need to! I just tried on my own iPhone and merely got a message from my carrier to dial my number. Then I tried on my home line and got a message that if it was an emergency, call 9-1-1. BUT if I couldn’t get 9-1-1 AND it was a true emergency, dial O again. I didn’t, but that did give me a measure of “comfort” to know I COULD have. WOW! The times, they are a’changing!

And that’s true for GreatCall’s Jitterbug as well. As great as it worked and as much as we loved that simple Jitterbug, they updated it. In many ways, they made it much better. In a couple ways, they made it a bit harder – at least for my senior mom. They added a camera, texting, and a red button called 5 Star. This enables seniors who need emergency assistance to get it much quicker by pushing just the button. Overall, I really appreciate it. I went to their website and updated both my senior mom AND another sweet senior in my life with emergency contact information, medical and medication information, etc. Now, if they are home alone and push that button but can’t talk, GreatCall can get in touch with me or another family member to get them the help they will need. And if they can’t get any of us, GreatCall operators can call the emergency services in our area and have info to give the medical team that will help our loved ones in a time of crisis. AWESOME. One downside to it, which is more a headache for Great Call than us, is that my sweet mom occasionally hits the 5Star button accidentally. On her current phone, it’s right next to the YES button and very easy to do. Of course, we just explain what happened and they are always awesome and patient about it.

Three Jitterbug Cell Phones for Elderly Seniors Baby Boomers More

Bigger Flip Phone and Smart Phone for Seniors

GreatCall has come out with two more new senior-friendly phones with even more interesting options. I was quite excited when they offered to let me use them for a few weeks and share the information with y’all. So, of course, I said YES. When I got them, I realized that they were customizing their cell phones for a more tech-savvy group of senior citizens.

The first is quite similar to my senior mom’s but a bit bigger and with the keys in different spots. I was a bit concerned when I opened it to a menu that requires the user to have to make choices, scroll, etc. No problem for me, of course. But a MEGA stumbling block for my senior mom. No worries, though. I checked the owner’s manual and discovered that all I had to do was – you guessed it – DIAL O. Sure enough, a very cheery voice answered, transferred me to tech, and in less than 5 minutes, she had made the adjustment I needed. Then I just had to close it and wait. In less than an hour, VOILA, back to the normal screen of seeing phone numbers. I always make sure it’s in order of what she uses most. My number is first followed by her sweet sisters, etc. (Since this is a review phone, I didn’t change the order 😉 ).

Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR shares Greatcall elderly cellphone Jitterbug Flip

While chatting with the operator, I asked about the simpler Flip cell phone my senior mom has. I was concerned they would phase it out. (As nice as the new phones are, she does very well on the phone she has and might have a hard time if she had to change.) I was thrilled to hear it should be around for a very long time. It’s the least expensive, easiest, and smallest phone which is perfect for her.

BUT baby boomers are entering senior citizen status each day. Many  are used to tech or even tech-savvy (like me). For them, these new Great Call cell phones do offer some terrific options in a senior-friendly way.

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent shares GreatCall Jitterbug cell phone for elderly seniors

The updated Flip Phone has large buttons, large screens and text, a simple menu, voice dial, a powerful speaker, a magnifier with LED flashlight (I have apps for those and LOVE them!!!!) and the 5Star emergency button. All great for aging boomers and seniors. For the safety-conscious, there is a medication and refill reminder coach, a daily automated check-in call option, daily health tips, and more. And don’t forget the fun – like the built-in camera with flash, texting options (many of our grandkids prefer to text rather than call so this can mean more grandkid communication), and two brain games.

Kaye Swain shares GreatCall Jitterbug smart phones for seniors

The biggest of these sweet cell phones for seniors is the Jitterbug Smart – and as you may guess, it is indeed a smart phone for seniors! It features big print and big buttons which is nice. I’m not at that point where it’s dire, but it sure would come in handy. (I can make my buttons bigger on my iPhone but it does tend to make things look messier so for now, I’m staying smaller. 🙂 ).

Like it’s smaller brother the Flip, it offers phone, text, and camera. It has a button labeled Photo Album (the Flip just calls it My Photos). And the brain games (which includes a brain fitness newsletter).

Jitterbug Adds Brain Games to Cell Phones for Seniors

I tried to set up the Brain games but must have mistyped my password. In the process of figuring it out, I switched to my Mac which made it much easier to work with. While doing that I learned that Brainquest has 4 free games, along with more if you subscribe for a small amount per month. That might be something you want to consider and if not, you might not want to sign up at all. I would check it out with your senior parent.

GreatCall Jitterbug Smart phone for senior citizens via Kaye Swain REALTOR Roseville Sacramento CA

Here are the games for each phone:

The Jitterbug Flip cell phone includes:

  • Quick Match – improve focus by retraining your brain to focus its attention
  • Make a Pair – sharpen your memory by improving your brain’s ability to record what it sees

The Jitterbug Smart cell phone includes:

  • Divided Attention – challenge your brain to focus in on and react to particular details
  • Target Tracker – help build divided attention by tracking several moving objects
  • Hawk Eye – train your visual precision and exercise your field of view
  • Visual Sweeps – speed up visual processing to notice more of what’s around, react to it more quickly, and remember it better

According to BrainHQ’s website:
“BrainHQ is a brain-​training system built and tested by an international team of top neuroscientists and other brain experts. Unlike other brain-training programs, BrainHQ is proven to work—dozens of published papers (and counting) show real benefits from using exercises in BrainHQ. This research shows cognitive benefits (such as better memory and faster processing) as well as real-life benefits (such as safer driving and better hearing in noisy places). ​No other program has this level of proof.”

That does sound like a useful tool for many. I tried one of the games and it was interesting. But got faster and faster. I have to admit, I prefer to keep my brain active with writing, blogging, and playing with grandkids and granddogs. But my husband would have enjoyed it. He always liked beating his last score at computer games, so this would have been right up his alley. 😉

More items of interest about the Jitterbug Smart:

  • The screen on the Jitterbug Smart cell phone for seniors got dark half way through signing up for brain games. You might check that setting right from the get-go. I went to settings (not to be mistaken for Google Settings, scrolled down to display, and turned off adaptive brightness. I don’t want my phone to decide how much light I need (and I do need bright light). You’ll have to decide which you or your senior parent prefers.
  • While scrolling around in settings I spotted an option to turn on a One-Touch option. I gave it a try and what do you know. Icons like I see on my own iPhone. I prefer those, and my senior mom has gotten used to them thanks to her iPad with all her great-grandkid photos. But I think this option could be a great one for many seniors who aren’t used to the icons.
  • As you type, you’ll feel a slight vibration. Overall, I think that will be a big help for many seniors to assure them they actually did type. But for the first few touches, it made me feel like, “yikes, what did I do.” 😉
  • Make sure you keep the owner’s manual handy for the first few days. I am very tech-savvy and used to working with a variety of cell phones. I did use the manual a few times. (I give that advice with all cell phones – even my iPhone 🙂 ).
  • My Jitterbug smart phone for seniors came set up with SETTINGS – GESTURES —> Turn over to mute incoming calls AND turn over to snooze alarm clocks. That could be confusing for some senior citizens, so you might want to adjust that from the beginning.
  • This is an Android smart phone for senior citizens. If you’ve used Android successfully in the past, I’m guessing you will love this even more. I’m definitely going to tell my sweet mother-in-law about it. I think it will be much easier for her than the Android she currently has.
  • It already comes with large print and easy accessibility. BUT there is an accessibility menu under settings with even more choices for special needs.
  • Like the normal Androids, you can add services, apps, etc, including the ability to print directly from this via wifi. Very handy!
  • Be careful, and warn your senior parents – the 5Star button at the bottom does call their emergency operator. If you hit it accidentally (and where it’s located, I think that might be an easy thing to do) don’t be startled when a voice asks if you are having an emergency. As I said before, my senior mom has done that several times and we’re quite used to it (well, I am anyway 😉 ). They are ALWAYS great, patient, and helpful. And honestly, that 5Star emergency button, along with the operator O are my two favorite things about this phone, along with the GPS that it now offers. That gives me some peace of mind that, if either of my moms has an emergency, they have good resources (my m-i-l has the Splash emergency pendant). And so do I. If I am trying to call one of them and can’t get them, I can call GreatCall directly and ask THEM to contact my parent through their device. And they can! IF you set up the emergency information ahead of time AND confirm that it is all spelled correctly. That’s a lesson we learned the hard way a while back. But all worked out fine and now they’re both set up completely.

GreatCall is a GREAT CALL for Cell Phones for Seniors

So what’s the bottom line? Buying a GreatCall cell phone for elderly parents, as well as boomers and seniors, can definitely be a great call on your part! I very much appreciate both my moms having their equipment. My senior mom does still have her Philips Lifeline Fall Alert Pendant and I’m glad! I want her to have both. She never takes that pendant off. If she falls unconscious, she’ll have help. Eventually both moms will probably have that. But it only works around the house. Thanks to the GPS in the GreatCall Jitterbug smart phones for seniors as well as the Splash emergency pendant, they have extra protection if they are out and about. Or if they get lost on a walk accidentally. I highly recommend these easy to use cell phones for seniors! They’re great for our senior parents with a good variety of options to match varying technical skills. 🙂

Beverlys Pink Saturday is full of fun things for SandwichINK Real Estate Info - including the occasional pink house

Kaye Swain REALTOR in Roseville CA has Fun and so will other boomers and seniors and grandparents whether at home or out and about working at their real estate business at the Grand Social

Happy Valentines Day week. Happy Presidents Month and MLK Month and more. February definitely has a lot going on in it. I thought I’d share some cute Valentines ideas and pictures you can print and enjoy with your grandkids.

Kaye Swain Roseville Sacramento real estate agent cute valentines ideas

And over the next month or so, I’ll be sharing a special project my grandkids and I will be enjoying – with plenty of fun in an educational sort of way.  My fave. 🙂

Cute Valentines Ideas for the Grandkids

I do enjoy Valentine smiles with my grandkids, whether we live nearby or are long distance. Here are some cute cut-out and coloring pages for fun or for Valentines for y’all to enjoy together this week and beyond.

Kaye Swain shares you are a dino mite friend coloring page



Kaye Swain shares You are a berry sweet friend




Kaye Swain shares you are a dino mite friend coloring page



Kaye Swain shares You are a berry sweet friend coloring page

Also, be sure to check out my Pinterest Boards for grandkids and grandparents as well as for Valentine Joys. 🙂

Ey Disease, Braille, and More Cute Valentines Ideas

While chatting with one of my beloved senior relatives, she told me how she was doing. Overall she is doing well, but she is definitely working through tough challenges. One of those is macular degeneration, which my sweet dad also developed. Her eyesight has reached a point where if she stood close to me, she might not recognize me. Til I talked. 🙂  For years, my senior mom and I have enjoyed picking out fun musical greeting cards for her to enjoy for just that reason. If she couldn’t see them, she could enjoy hearing them. This year, we sent her a Valentine card that said, “Here’s a Pizza My Heart” and it played the traditional song that always makes you think of pizza. 😉

Later, I was sharing fun and cheesy Valentine riddles with one of my grandkids. Then I told her a bit what this beloved senior was going through and how glad I was she was getting Braille books to enjoy. I also shared how proud I am of her for learning Braille in her 80s! I was surprised when my sweet grandchild asked me what Braille was.

You know me. I immediately ordered some books for them about blindness, Braille, and guide dogs and am looking forward to reading them together. I also discovered there are a couple of cute apps for kids to help them learn Braille. Even if they don’t need to know it, it’s a fun way to learn about it. And if they did learn it, all the better. Especially with many of the leading causes of blindness diseases that usually occur in seniors such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Speaking of glaucoma, here is one of 4 infographics I shared for Glaucoma Month this year. It is full of great reminders for us to take good care of our eyes on a regular basis.

Kaye Swain Roseville CA real estate agent and boomer senior blogger shares GlaucomaAwarenessMonth infographic

I’ll share the list of books and apps in the next few weeks and let you know if they were hits or misses. 🙂 In the meantime, have a great Valentines Day and do be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly.

Sweet Encouragement

If you are reading this on your computer, you may have noticed a slight tweak to the column pictures with a new Scripture verse picture. For those using smart phones, you might not be able to see it so I thought I’d share it here as well. Technically we are still in winter and some of you may be getting new snow weather forecasts. However, here in the Sacramento area of California, we are having spring-like weather with the sun shining, birds singing, and daffodils popping up all over. Even if winter resumes, I think this Scripture picture will still be a sweet encouragement for all of us that spring will spring eventually. 🙂

Christian blogger REALTOR Kaye Swain shares encouragement in Roseville Sacramento and beyond 1200

Sweet Spring blessings to us all who are staying busy working, caring for elderly parents, raising kids or helping with the grandkids for cute Valentines Day ideas and more!   🙂











Thanks to CamWow - I have double the pink flowers for Pink SaturdayIn our family, iPads are synonymous with photos! Of course, they have plenty of other great uses – reading books, listening to audio programs, watching TV shows, keeping up-to-date on weather conditions, etc. But photos are what generate the biggest smiles on the faces of all my Sandwich Generation kith and kin – from my senior mom to my littlest grandkids.

Some apps that we especially enjoy are:

  1. Instagram – even my oldest grandkids are using this and I'm tickled pink to say I got an invite from them as well. Very thrilling! We keep the settings on private so it's all just family and close friends. A nice treat on the busy internet highway.
  2. Camwow – this continues to be a hit with the younger set and you'll find many of the hilarious photos popping up periodically on my computer screen saver, tho my senior mom is not as big a fan so they are NOT on her iPad (for the most part).  Thanks to CamWow – I have double the pink blooms for Pink Saturday in the photo above. And a great giggle with my "neck-less" grandson in the photo below. What do you think? 🙂 
  3. Flipboard – I just recently added this along with Instagram to my senior mom's iPad. I had used it before and liked it. Since she wasn't quite sure how to work the Instagram app, I thought it might be easier for her to use and I was right. She can often open it herself and flip through the latest photos of her grandkids AND great-grandkids, near and far. Even if she sometimes needs help finding her spot, overall, this has been one of the easier iPad apps to use.
  4. Color Cap – This is still a big fave of mine for adding encouraging Bible verses to various photos. They've popped up here and in other places online, as well as arriving in text messages and emails to various loved ones of all ages far and wide. 

WOW - no neck on grandkid - or is there hehehehehehe -

How about you? Have you found some good photo apps that are especially easy and/or for you, your senior parents and those sweet grandkids? We'd love to hear! 

P.S. The latest #ElderCareChat is out and quite useful for many of us in the Sandwich Generation – the topic was Assisted Living Facilities! You can find the recap at Seniors For Living and big thanks to Michelle and Denise from Caregiving for regularly hosting this useful resource on Twitter. 


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