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Tech-Savvy Daughter

Tips and tricks to keep you hip


Wednesday February 09, 2011 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

No More Missed Pills

Medicine Series

Whether or not a loved one has taken the appropriate medications at the appropriate times is a common concern. Managing a medication regime can be a complex task, especially for long-distance caregivers. Thankfully, there are lots of great tech tools available today to help you and your loved ones stay on top of medication management:

Medication Schedules and Reminders

MyMedSchedule.com is a free service that allows you to create easy-to-read medication schedules and set up daily text or e-mail reminders. The site makes it easy to print out large text or wallet size daily schedules as well as weekly and monthly checklists. Click here to watch a quick demo of the MyMedSchedule offering.

Medical Alarm Watches

Medical Alarm watches are another great tool for medication management. For example, the Cadex e-Pill 12 Alarm Medication Reminder Watch provides up to 12 daily alarms, which bee

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Thursday January 27, 2011 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

Tech Tools for Long-Distance Caregiving - Part II

senior man talking on telephone

A common concern of long-distance caregivers is that their loved one will forget something important, like a doctor's appointment or an upcoming outing.

The Snoozester service provides reliable hotel-style wake up calls and reminder calls to any landline or cell phone. No software is required, and calls can be easily scheduled using Snoozester's online interface. For just a few dollars per month, this service provides valuable piece of mind to long-distance caregiver (Plans start at $3.99 per month for 35 calls).

In some cases, long-distance caregivers may want the additional piece of mind that comes from knowing that an reminder call was received and acknowledged by their loved one. To address this need, Databse Systems Corp offers a telephone-based call reassurance service. For less than a dollar a day, the automated service will call the recipient at specified days and times and

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Thursday January 13, 2011 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

Tech Tools for Long-Distance Caregiving - Part I

Woman talks on the phone

Technology is defined as the usage of tools, techniques, or methods of organization to solve a problem. Today there are many tools, techniques, and methods of organization that can help address the unique challenges facing long-distance caregivers -- and over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring some of my favorites.

Of course, deciding which specific tools and techniques will work best for your family will depend on your loved one's level of impairment, as well as his/her tech-savvyness and the savvyness of those in his/her circle of care (yourself, siblings, children, care providers etc.).

Video Chat

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least a million. Although not intentionally created for caregivers, online video chatting services such as Skype and Google Chat are great tools for long-distance caregivers. Not only is video an emotionally rich form of c

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Thursday December 30, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

An E-tool to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

mature couple lunch

With the holidays behind us and January 1st right around the corner, it's almost New Year's Resolution time. After weeks of holiday parties and tempting sweets around every turn, many people are ready to get their diets back on track "“ me included.

Study after study has confirmed the benefits of keeping a food diary and activity log. Today, there are online tools that make it easy to track what you eat and the activity you do. These tools are helpful for those of us wanting to shed a few extra holiday pounds, but they're also a great tool that caregivers can use to track and manage a loved one's diet.

My favorite free calorie tracker is MyFitnessPal.com. In fact, in preparation for my upcoming wedding, I'm currently using MyFitnessPal to track my food and exercise.

MyFitnessPal is completely free and easy to use. It has a searchable database with nutritional information for more

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Thursday December 16, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

Tech-Savvy Gift Ideas

Cheerful mature woman with husband opening Christmas present

Are you looking for a tech-savvy gift for a loved one? Or maybe you're looking for something to add to your own wish list. Here are six great technology products that are fun and easy to use at any age.

  1. The Amazon Kindle wireless reading device can hold thousands of digital books. Weighing just 8.5 ounces, the Kindle is portable, and the high-contrast screen is easy to read. To learn more, watch this quick introductory video about the Kindle.

  2. The Apple iPad is a touch-screen tablet computer that's great for browsing the internet, e-mailing, and much more. It's highly intuitive, and friendly assistance is always available at your local Apple store. Want to learn more? Watch this video about the IPad

  3. Presto is a combination printer and e-mail service that allows you to send e-mail to a loved one who doesn't use a computer. It's simple: You send an e-mail, but your loved one receives

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Thursday December 02, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

Tis the Season for Online Shopping

grandparents and presents

When my grandparents were alive, I remember it being difficult to find gifts that they'd enjoy and use. Today, there are many great websites to help you find unique, meaningful, and/or practical gifts for the older adults in your life.

Three of the most popular online stores that sell products for older adults are:

Each store's website is well-organized and easy to browse by category. Each site also currently has lists of gift ideas for the holiday season:

Finally, when in doubt, we all know that grandparents love homemade gifts from their grandchildren. Here are 10 easy

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Thursday November 18, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

U can txt 2!

Senior woman with a mobile phone relaxing on bed

In the past couple of weeks, I've had three different friends tell me how excited they were that their mom or dad had "finally" started texting. Text messages have become an extremely popular form of communication, particularly among young adults and teenagers. If you're looking for a way to connect with your children or grandchildren, I suggest giving texting a try!

Most cell phones on the market today are able to send/receive text messages. Although the exact steps will vary from phone to phone, the basic steps are the same.

Sending a Text

  1. From the main menu of your phone, select the "Messages" item, using the "select," "OK," or "enter" button on your phone.
  2. Select "New Message" or "Create New."
  3. Type your message (see detailed section below about the different ways to type on a cell phone).
  4. Specify the recipient's phone number. You can either enter the phone number directly or aces
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Thursday November 11, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

Shopping for Household Essentials Made Easy

pretty senior woman shopping

My sister recently told me about a website that she really likes called Alice.com. Alice is an online store where you can purchase household essentials, like laundry detergent, toilet paper, trash bags, shampoo, and even non-perishable food. And that's not all. One of Alice's best features is FREE shipping as long as you order a minimum of 6 items (there's no dollar minimum).

When my sister described the service and told me about her positive experiences purchasing from the site, I immediately thought about how Alice.com could potentially be a great tool for caregivers and their loved ones. Maybe you care for someone who's housebound and it's difficult for you to get to the store. Or perhaps your loved one lives independently but is no longer able to shop for himself/herself due to driving issues or frailty. Or maybe you're busy juggling work and family and simply don't have enoug

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Thursday November 04, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

An Easier Way to Eat Out

happy women diners

I'd like to introduce you to one of my very favorite websites, OpenTable. OpenTable is like having your very own fast, free, digital concierge. It allows you to search for restaurants with available tables in your area and then reserve your table with just a few clicks.

I use OpenTable in a variety of ways. Some days, I know exactly where I want to dine, and I search for the restaurant by name. Other times, I'm looking for a restaurant in a particular part of town or craving a particular cuisine. While still other times, I have constraints regarding timing or the size of my group. For example, OpenTable makes it easy for me to see which local restaurants can accommodate a party of 10 on Friday at 7 pm.

Here are the simple steps to follow to find and reserve a restaurant in your area:

Searching for Open Tables

  1. Go to www.opentable.com.
  2. From the main page, click on the name of your c
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Thursday October 28, 2010 (Updated: Wednesday September 10, 2014)

How to Watch Your Favorite Shows and Movies Online

laptop lady

The other day I was talking with my family about one of my favorite shows, Modern Family. My dad hadn't seen many of the episodes but was intrigued and wanted to get caught up on back episodes. That's when I introduced him to Hulu.

The Hulu website provides free, streaming access to over 2,600 prime-time television shows and more than 1,000 movies and documentaries. Hulu, which is backed by NBC Universal and News Corp, has content partnerships with many of the leading networks and studios, including Fox, NBC Universal, ABC, Biography, MGM, National Geographic, A&E, Paramount, PBS, Warner Bros. and more. All the content is free and legal. The shows still have commercials, but fewer than if you watched them on regular television.

Finding and watching shows on Hulu is as easy as 1,2,3 (and doesn't require you to download any software):

1) Find

There are many ways to navigate the Hulu s

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About Tech-Savvy Daughter

I'm a thirtysomething engineer and gerontologist. And through this blog, I'd like to be your virtual Tech-Savvy Daughter. My goal is to provide straightforward information to help you and your older family members get the most out of today's technology tools -- in a way that's fun, not frustrating. Let's bridge the generational technology divide together!

You can reach me at techsavvydaughter@caring.com.