Robots for seniors

robots for seniors
Photo by Star Telegram

UTA Researchers Using Shakespeare & Robots To Help Seniors

By Ken Molestina, CBS 11 News

February 27, 2017

“Researchers at the UT Arlington Research Institute in Fort Worth, known as UTARI, are trying to figure out how high-tech robots can offer much needed therapy to an aging American population.

Dr. Julienne Greer, an Associate Professor of Social Robotics and Performance, says they are using something called participatory art to help robots interact with senior citizens.

Participatory art is described as a type of exercise with emphasis on fine arts.

The content of the art is said to enhance a person’s cognitive skills, as well as offer companionship for older adults.

UTARI researchers have taught their robot to recite Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 along with a human.

‘We want the older adults to feel engaged in an art form,’ said Professor Greer. ‘We are very hopeful the same positive results that happen in human to human model will happen with the human to robot model.'”

Read more and see a video about robots for seniors

Coping with grief

What got me through the grief: The best advice from one widow to another

By Jan Robinson, The Telegraph

“When I  wrote my first book Tips from Widows, I gathered advice verbally from 29 women who had lost their husbands. When I wrote my second, Tips from Widowers, I found that the 15 men felt more comfortable writing their feelings down for me, rather than speaking them aloud.

Read moreCoping with grief

Geriatricians–Would you, or someone you know, benefit from seeing one?


Geriatricians Can Help Aging Patients Navigate Multiple Ailments

“For months, Teresa Christensen’s 87-year-old mother, Genevieve, complained of pain from a nasty sore on her right foot. She stopped going to church. She couldn’t sleep at night. Eventually, she stopped walking except when absolutely necessary.

Her primary care doctor prescribed three antibiotics, one after another. None worked.

“Doctor, can’t we do some further tests?” Teresa Christensen remembered asking. “I felt that he was looking through my mother instead of looking at her.”

Referred to a wound clinic, Genevieve was diagnosed with a venous ulcer, resulting from poor circulation in her legs. A few weeks ago, she had a successful procedure to correct the problem and returned home to the house where she’s lived for more than 50 years in Cottage Grove, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.

Would her mother benefit from seeing a geriatrician going forward, wondered Christensen, her mother’s primary caregiver, in an email to me? And, if so, how would she go about finding one?

I reached out to several medical experts, and they agreed that a specialist in geriatrics could help a patient like Genevieve, with a history of breast cancer and heart failure, who’d had open heart surgery at age 84 and whose mobility was now compromised.”

Read more about geriatricians

Find a Geriatrics Healthcare Professional

The founder/author of is not related to Teresa Christensen.

2016 bathroom remodel

Vanity area before (Photo by slc)
Shower area before (Photo by slc)

Reasons for bathroom remodel: tub reglazed by previous owner made it too slick to stand in safely, cracked tile floor grout, granite tile counter, short toilet, old/moldy tub/shower, outdated shower fixtures, short shower head, one unnecessary doorway and hallway, popcorn ceiling, poorly patched walls

Initial Budget:  $7,000        Actual:  $10,500

I started this six-week remodel by removing the popcorn ceiling texture and the shower door enclosure. I used a small garden sprayer to apply water to the ceiling and then scraped the popcorn off.  It was messy but easy. Taking off the shower door was also an easy process.  I saved all the parts and put it up for sale on Craigslist after the Habitat for Humanity Restore turned down the donation.  No takers on Craigslist so I ended up putting it in the landfill. Bummer!

Read more2016 bathroom remodel

50 Shades of Gray…Hair

50 shades of gray

Gray, graphite, pewter, smoke, silver, slate, ash, dove, charcoal, gunmetal. No matter the name or if 50 shades of gray exist, most of us will experience a change in hair color as we age.  Many women and men dye their hair so the gray doesn’t show. Ads tell us:

L’Oreal Age Perfect by Excellence is specifically developed to color mature, gray hair….  Discover haircolor that flatters you perfectly.”  Just for Men products, “Target the gray for a natural look.”  The ads say gray doesn’t “flatter” and isn’t “natural.”

But the Bible says in Proverbs 16:31,

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

Read more50 Shades of Gray…Hair

Hands-Only CPR can save a life

Hands-Only CPR
American Heart Association

Today, I had the privilege of attending a free group training on Hands-Only CPR in Loveland, CO, a “Heart Safe City.”  I met Tommy Lucero, a young man who, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, “Went into cardiac arrest during baseball practice in 2014 and was revived by two coaches. He has fully recovered and is a senior this year” at Thompson Valley High School (the same high school my daughter attended).

He would have died without the CPR.  “Shortly after the incident, the Lucero family joined the then-newly formed Loveland Heart Safe initiative to help save lives. Since then, the partnership has raised money, knowledge and awareness.”

What is Hands-Only CPR?  According to the American Heart Association website, “Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an ‘out-of-hospital’ setting (such as at home, at work or in a park). It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.”

Read moreHands-Only CPR can save a life

Online money management can help you stay on top of things

online money management

Online money management not just for young

Terry Savage, The Savage Truth

January 22, 2017

“If the very word ‘fintech’ makes you flinch, you’re not alone.

A 2016 Federal Reserve study found that only 18 percent of people over the age of 60 use mobile banking services (vs. 67 percent between the ages of 18 to 29, and 58 percent ages 30 to 44). In fact, only about half of Americans over 65 own a smartphone or tablet, according to a 2014 Pew Research study.

It’s never too late to start learning to use smartphone technology. The immediate incentive is to learn texting so your children and grandchildren will stay in touch. You don’t have to give up your friendly flip-phone right away. Just ask your adult children for a smartphone with its own number on their family plan, along with a lesson in texting and Skype or FaceTime.

Your smartphone offers you the convenience of controlling your life as you move about your day. If you don’t have adult children nearby to teach you, contact your local senior center because many offer courses. Apple has free seminars in its stores.

Here are three steps to start using smartphone technology to manage important parts of your life. You may want to start learning the basics on your home computer, then you can graduate to using your smartphone to track your money, your meds and your life.

Online bill payment and account information: Stop writing paper checks and start using online bill payment. You can use your home computer and also download your bank’s app to your smartphone. Use official banking apps from your financial institution’s website or through Apple’s App Store. Most financial institutions have a link to a page with their official app where it’s described and can be downloaded, Nerdwallet points out.”

I downloaded my bank’s app two months ago and now I can deposit checks easily from home.  If you can take a picture with your phone, you too can make deposits without going to the bank.  It’s a fast, safe and easy way to deposit your Social Security or pension checks.  Just call your bank and they will help you get started.

Read more about online money management as well as tracking medical matters and budgeting

Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and the author of four best-selling books.  She responds to questions on her blog at

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