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Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

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Uplifting In-Home Care Services for Seniors & Other Adults Right Where You Need It. Comfort Keepers Toronto, ON provides in home care services and senior care in the following cities in Ontario: Toronto, North York, East York, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Leaside, and Agincourt

Technology For Seniors: Helping Toronto’s Seniors Communicate With Loved Ones

Senior Independent Living  |  September 30, 2015

There are so many ways to keep in touch with loved ones in today’s modern world, that it seems almost impossible to lose touch or miss out on those birthday party pictures. There is email, Facebook, FaceTime, Skype, Twitter, and texting to name a few. Of course, there’s still the tried and true Canadian mail. Although it’s been stamped with the moniker “snail mail,” it’s still an easy, efficient, inexpensive way to send birthday cards, photographs, newspaper clippings and short notes to update family and friends, and probably the communication method seniors most identify with. But with so many other more efficient and instant methods of communication, there is no reason to stick to one form of staying in contact with loved ones.

Email: An Easy Way For Seniors To Communicate With Family And Friends

Today’s seniors are becoming more comfortable around computers and appreciate the immediacy of e-mail and the Internet. According to Stats Canada, seniors are the fastest growing group of users of the Internet. Email was the most common use of the Internet by seniors with 9 in 10 Internet users taking advantage of it.

For those not yet at ease with going online, alternative technologies simplify computer functions to just the basics needed to exchange messages with loved ones.

Here are a few examples of senior friendly technologies:

  • PawPawMail – This e-mail system, which uses a standard computer, was designed to protect seniors from Internet spam and scams. It accepts only messages from family and friends whose e-mail addresses have been entered (usually by a senior’s family caregiver) into a directory. The caregiver can check blocked messages to allow acceptable messages to go through. The system also includes a photo album to which family members and friends can contribute.
  • Celery – Without an Internet connection, this service turns any fax machine into an e-mail device. The fax machine, which shares a home’s single phone line, receives e-mail messages, including attachments such as photos, and automatically prints them in color. The senior can send out messages, including handwritten letters, just like a regular fax, but the messages go into the recipients’ e-mail inboxes.
  • Hewlett-Packard TouchSmart. – This computer system includes a wireless keyboard and mouse, but it features a touch-sensitive monitor that simplifies operation for those less confident on conventional computers.

Still largely the domain of Generations X and Y, social networking on Internet sites, such as Facebook, is increasingly becoming a cross-generational experience. More grandparents are logging on to keep up with their grandkids. Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is women over 55, with nearly 1.5 million active each month.

Mobile Phones And Home Phones For Seniors: Loved Ones Are Only A Phone Call Away

Of course, most everyone appreciates the instant convenience of two-way communication through landline and mobile telephones. With so many options to choose from—many with free minutes, free long distance and money-saving family plans—telephones can be an economical option. Some phones are designed especially for ease of use by seniors, with larger displays and keypads and other features.

SafetyChoice® by Comfort Keepers® offers a GPS Personal Location Device—the size of a cell phone—that offers peace of mind with state-of-the-art global tracking technology. It enables lost seniors to be located. And the unit includes a two-way communication feature allowing the senior to speak with SafetyChoice’s® professionally trained staff, who immediately send help.

Video conferencing, which enables Jetsons-like two-way video and audio communication, is becoming easier to set up as more computers come equipped with speakers, microphones and Web cams. Through video conferencing, adult children can not only hear but also see how their parents are doing.

A variety of software facilitates online video conferencing, such as Skype, which allows users to make free video and voice calls over the Internet as well as make discounted calls to landline and mobile phones.

How Seniors Can Get Help Using Today’s Communication Technology

We’re not all tech savvy. And let’s face it, technology seems to change by the minute. But there are plenty of resources to call on to help you understand and set up the latest communications technology in your or your loved one’s home:

  • Electronics stores—The larger chains offer installation and tech support for hire.
  • Local organizations—Libraries and senior centers offer classes, from basic computer and Internet use to more detailed instruction on specific computer programs. Some organizations even offer volunteers who provide tech support.
  • Family and friends—Seniors often find that their grandchildren, who have grown up on technology, are an excellent source of help. In minutes they’ll have your e-mail account set up and your cell phone ringing your favorite tune and loaded with all your contacts.

For additional information on Comfort Keepers of Canada® at Toronto or any other Comfort Keepers of Canada® location please visit our home page or call us at 416-663-2930.

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