10,000 people become seniors daily. Being a senior can be exciting! But it can also be frustrating, both as a senior and as their family members, and caregivers. Every stage in life has a learning curve and even becoming a senior does as well. There is always something new to be learned.

Listen to this podcast episode here:

Today on our podcast is dementia specialist Teepa Snow, owner and founder of Positive Approach to Care. I heard about Teepa several years ago from my friend Theresa Youngstrom, owner and founder of A Better Approach to Memory Care. She had mentioned that Teepa had trained her.

One day, while scrolling through TikTok, I saw a video about dementia and how to handle a situation better with that person, and then discovered it was Teepa! I was quick to follow her and started watching her videos, knowing it would not only help a few of my senior friends but also some of my clients as they age.

Teepa and I discuss dementia, the relationship between patients/parents and their (grown) children, how TikTok/Social media has helped people learn about helping people with dementia, as well as how TikTok has helped her business grow.

I hope you find this interesting and let us know what questions you have!

Yes! I’m Angry!

Long-time clients of mine for OnlineTechLessons.com have learned the hard way that when I tell someone not to trust a big box store not to screw up your computer, that I 100% mean it!

This podcast issue has so many stories involved in it – none of us are 100% at fault for any of this, with the exception of this store. I told my client (since he had a subscription for yearly help) with them, to check with them, but WHEN they said they’d have to reformat their computer, to RUN (don’t walk) to a locally owned computer store called Gem City Digital. They didn’t listen and now they are angry. I don’t blame them – I’m angry too!

Lessons Learned:

  1. Just because a company is nationwide and a known name doesn’t mean they are your best option.
  2. Back up your important documents and photos to the cloud.
  3. Don’t make big purchase tickets just because someone else wants your money.
  4. Get second opinions before allowing someone to reformat your computer.
  5. Don’t assume someone else lied to you just because a big box company said so.
  6. Consider what the person advising you has as their intentions.

Listen to the full story here on our podcast:

I started The HIP Senior Directory to help seniors find businesses that had the heart and the soul to serve seniors. What businesses would you like to see there? Send us an email at marianne@thehipsenior.com and tell us and we’ll contact them!

Decluttering can be a chore. What should you do with all the items you no longer need?

I recently sold all my furniture and when I went to rebuy things, Covid had hit and things were taking months and months to get produced and get delivered. Plus, things were becoming more expensive. What was I to do? Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Buy Nothing groups became my best friends!

Buy Nothing groups are wonderful. Need to declutter? You can list things on there that you are trying to get rid of and most of them are VERY local so it gives you a chance to get to know your neighbors. It also gives you a chance to give to those in need. Is that need for you? You can ask for things you need as well. I almost always stop and ask for something on there before ordering it on Amazon or going to the store. You never know what people are willing to give to others simply because they aren’t using it anymore.

People have given me: a dresser, a bookshelf, another storage type of shelf, curtains, a leather recliner chair, more curtains, tomatoes, tablets (to give away to seniors in need), curtain rods, apple corers, and so much more!

I’ve given away: a computer desk chair, clothes, purses/bags, a homemade quilt, a bike, a desk, hair care products, a wifi thermostat, and so much more!

What’s nice about Buy Nothing is, you don’t have to accept the first person who asks for it. You can say, “I’ll choose someone tomorrow night based on your answers” or you can ask a question. For example: You are giving away some pots and pan. You can ask, “What is your favorite thing to cook?” This gives people a chance to know those people a bit (they will often say things like ‘I had that last night!’ and start a conversation based on common likes) and it gives you things to base giving your gifts to people on. It also gives the people who aren’t sitting at their computer on Facebook all day a chance at receiving as well. It can be fun receiving AND decluttering! Do you belong to your local Buy Nothing group? Leave a comment below and let me know what you like about yours!

Here’s a video showing you what it’s like. Please follow me on Youtube and give me a like. Thank you so much!

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Have you ever had therapy? Did you “Know how to Therapy?

I was married for twenty years. I wanted out. I kept waking up daily wondering, “What would my life be like if I wasn’t married to him anymore?” Finally, one day, I said, “Get out or get over it!”. So I got out.

I’m in the middle of a 1:1 with a business friend and he was brave enough to tell me, “I think you need to think about getting therapy. I think you are still reeling from your divorce.” I will be eternally thankful to him for that statement. I found a therapist and started talking. Have you been to therapy?

Many years ago, therapy was considered taboo. “Crazy”, “Insane”, “Lunatic”, “Madwoman/man”, and “Eccentric” – there are so many words that were commonly used for people that were in therapy. Everyone was “hush-hush” about being in therapy unless you were on the west coast of the US. If you were in therapy, you were likely embarrassed to admit you were “having your head shrinked”. You kept it a huge secret, especially from your boss, your workmates, and often members of your family.

Now, in the year 2022, if you AREN’T in (or had) therapy, you are the odd one out. I went because I wanted to be healthy mentally moving forward in life. I told my therapist, “I don’t know how to therapy'”. I can’t tell you how many times my therapist said, “And how do you feel about that?” Have you ever thought about how things make you feel? I can name happy feelings. “I feel happy”, “I feel satisfied”, etc. I have no clue how to name negative feelings. I don’t know how to therapy. I often found myself saying, “I have no clue how I should feel about that! You tell me and I’ll feel that way.” She often told me the men in my life sucked. But that’s another story lol.

So, with that bit of knowledge about me, do you know how to therapy? Have you been? Look at the percentages of divorces …. we used to say 50% of people end up in divorce. I don’t feel that number gives us a good idea. I can tell you that there are 750,000 divorces in America each year. How many of those people go to therapy? There’s a reason they got divorced and do they clearly understand why they got divorced? For me, I didn’t. All I knew was that I was unhappy. Therapy taught me why I was actually unhappy – stemming back to when I was a child!

People can need therapy for so many reasons though, not just divorce. Grief and loss, abuse, addiction, stress and anxiety, depression, and phobias are just a few reasons people consider therapy. For me, I learned things about myself, my ex-husband’s and my relationship, and my relationship with my family and friends that I had buried very deeply. I remembered things that happened to me as a child that I was able to resolve in my head as an adult. Understanding things that happened when we are children now that we are adults and being able to confront the people about them is empowering as hell. Sometimes we can’t confront those people, but seeing those issues as adults and tackling them can be so very therapeutic. I wholeheartedly encourage you to find a therapist and go talk, even if it’s just for a few sessions. I would not understand myself nearly as much if I hadn’t.

I wish you all the happiest and healthiest thoughts in the world!

P.S. October is depression and mental health awareness month

We discussed E-Bikes with Dean from Boogie Bikes and got some great info!

E-Bikes have been around since the 1990s. Have you tried one? I hadn’t until recently when a friend purchased one instead of buying a car to get to work. He came over and asked if I’d like to try his bike. I rode it for a very short distance and was hooked! It was such a natural high! It raised my serotonin levels instantly and I knew this would be my go-to exercise moving forward.

Here’s The HIP Senior Podcast episode where we discuss with Dean DuMez of Boogie Bikes why his bikes are amazing.

I have always had a cruiser-style bike. I grew up in Florida and that was the norm. I knew I wanted that type of bike again. I started researching E-Bikes and discovered Boogie Bikes and learned that they are located in Wisconsin and employ employees that assemble their bikes there locally. They test the bikes before they leave the warehouse. They carefully box them and send them to your door 90% assembled. If you are anything like me, I stink at assembling things that require directions to do so. Although I did read the directions, they were simple and minimal.

You might be asking, “What needs to be assembled? How simple can it be? Can I do it myself?” Let me tell you just how easy it is. First, you have to be able to get the box somewhere that you can open it. (The FedEx guy put it in my living room for me). I asked a neighbor to come down and help me get it out of the box. Instead of trying to pull it up and out of the box, we laid the box down and pulled it out horizontally then lifted it up and discarded the box. Another person has suggested cutting the front of the box open and then just bringing the bike forward toward you. Either works but the latter one is probably easier. (Eh, hindsight).

After that, the handlebars need to be placed in the tube. I recommend putting them in and don’t tighten them yet. Next, put the seat in the post and adjust that height. THEN adjust the handlebars. You need to have your seat at the right height to have the handlebars at the right height. Take your battery and either put it on your bike or do like I did and set it on a counter and plug it in. When it’s fully charged, the indicator light will turn green. If you don’t see it, turn it over. It’s there.

When your battery is charged, insert it into your bike and go for a ride! Start out slow and do your research. Watch bike videos on Youtube and learn how to fall. Learn how to stop. I had a bit of trouble with this at first. I learned: slow down farther than you think you need to. Use your back brake first (you don’t want to go flying over your handlebars!) Put your left foot down first, lean a bit in that direction, and step forward off your seat, then step off the bike. As a step-thru bike, don’t try to lift your leg over the seat to get on. Stepping thru is much easier!

Stay off the main roads while you are learning about your new bike. Riding an E-Bike is a bit of a learning curve. Start in a parking lot, move to bike paths, and then roads if you need to.

To save $50 off 1, or $100 off two bikes, visit www.TheHIPSeniorEbike.com or use the discount code ‘HIPSENIOR’ at checkout.

Here are some Amazon items I like when it comes to E-bikes: (these are affiliate links)

We discuss ZenniOptical.com in this issue of this podcast and how to save money buying your new eyeglasses!

Tired of paying huge dollar amounts when buying eyeglasses in person? You are overpaying. You are paying the middle man his cut, costing you more than you need to pay.

In this podcast, I talk about the benefits of using Zenni Optical. Then below, there’s a video showing you how to use their website!

Trust me when I tell you that buying your classes online will save you money and change forever how you buy glasses!

Watch this video to learn how to save $$$ using Zennioptical.com. I discuss how to use their site, what my experience with it has been, and show you the savings!

Please comment below if you liked my video, if you’ve used Zenni before and what your experience was, or if you have any questions I can answer! Please note: this is an honest video – it is not a paid endorsement. Please follow our channel, like this video, and leave a video below.

Here are some other sites online – I do not have personal experience with them though:

https://www.glassesusa.com/ – this one doesn’t do the preview feature as well – you have to upload your own picture instead of the site doing it.

https://www.warbyparker.com/ – I saw some of the same Zenni glasses here but also some nice “statement glasses” here too. They tend to be a bit pricier BUT they also give away glasses to people in need when you buy a pair here.

https://liingoeyewear.com/ – I think this site is a lot like Zenni – the frames look the same (ish) and the virtual try-on process is the same. They are owned by the company 1800 Contacts.

Need any help with ordering or understanding something? Feel free to reach out to me at support@onlinetechlessons.com

Save $100’s in your internet costs by reading this article.

Internet costs can be a huge part of your budget, especially when you have it all bundled together with phone and tv. About a year ago, I moved into a new home. Spectrum gave me a good price for my new internet plan. I asked at that time, “How much will my new plan cost me in a year when this plan renews?” They told me $25. Meh – not the end of the world but still a good jump. I knew I’d be calling them back at that time to negotiate.

Friends, let me tell you… it’s definitely worth calling utility companies (in this case – Spectrum, T Mobile, Verizon, etc.) to discuss your bill from time to time. How often? The minimum is ONCE A YEAR. These companies change their plans often and your needs can change as well.

I’ve had a client that hadn’t called Spectrum since they first had internet. You might be thinking, “My internet works just fine – why should I?” This couple had 3 tv internet boxes and slower than molasses internet. It was 30 Mbps. At one time in our lives, this was a great number. Not anymore. Mine averages around 400 Mbps right now. On average, in our area, Spectrum customers for residential accounts get around 200 Mbps. You still might be asking why this is a problem.

Life has changed. We now have more need for Wi-Fi than we used to. Our cell phones are attached to it when we are at home. We now have more devices (tablets, kindles, watches, etc.). We also stream television now as well. Our internet needs to be high enough to support the extra items we all have. Not only do we need faster and stronger internet, but we also need updated modems. If you haven’t updated your internet in the last few years, you will receive a new modem/router (unless you own your own). These devices age and we need to keep them updated and in working order.

My internet speed with Spectrum

You might be saying, “Land the plane woman!” Ok ok! I called Spectrum and told them I was considering going to T Mobile’s home internet. It’s only $50 a month. A friend had raved about how much he liked his plan with them and the service. (He has since told me his internet isn’t as great as he once thought and to stick with Spectrum) It took a little time, but the long and short of it, I got put through to their retention department which took my leaving seriously. By the time I got off the phone with her, she managed to save me $50 a month off my bill! That’s $600 a year! What can YOU do with an extra $600 a year?

Yes, it took up part of my day. Yes, I had to demonstrate patience by being on the phone for a bit. She was amazing though and extremely nice and it was nice talking to her. My mom taught me a long time ago you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, so I try to go into these calls expecting the best outcome. It definitely makes my day much more pleasant.

If you haven’t spoken to your internet provider recently (or ever), give them a call and tell them you need to cut back on your bill but still want the fastest internet available in your budget. Remember the client above that I told you about? Well, one phone (I made for them while I was at their house) saved them over $100 a month and increased their internet speed from 30 Mbps to 200 Mbps! Huge savings and a lot faster speed so they could stream tv using their Fire TV stick! It was a win/win!

Your results may differ – these were just mine 🙂

If you need help with this, feel free to reach out to me for help at support@onlinetechlessons.com
Happy Interneting Everyone!

How I used OdorXit to increase business and get rid of odors for clients!

A couple of years ago I was asked by Diane, a power of attorney for her friend David, to help David and his cat (Buddy) move into a senior retirement community in San Francisco. David had mobility issues and he was legally blind. Diane lived on the East Coast. Thanks to an incredible amount of communication and moving expertise (my forte!) the move went without a hitch.

Afterward, since Diane lived 3000 miles away, she asked me to continue working with David as his personal organizer and right-hand woman to ensure his comfort.

A few weeks after he moved in, something became obvious. There was an odor issue. Human and cat. The retirement community he was living in was high-end but unresponsive to David and Buddy’s needs.

This was an unexpected challenge.

I hadn’t included odor management as a business service before. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to now! But then I considered how much scent affects our experience of home. I took charge.

This is not a story of me waving a magic wand and making everything better. I plugged away at this problem for over a year, spending nearly $400 on products that promised to eliminate odors but really just reduced it (and lemme tell you, that’s not enough).

I did, finally, find the perfect solution, called Odor Xit, a product by Deb Meyers and her husband. One of the most helpful things Deb introduced me to was the black light process for finding areas you can smell but not see. Deb sells a small, inexpensive black light along with the product. The light illuminates exactly where the scents are coming from. It’s very frightening but well worth the shock!

The Eliminator concentrate is very, very affordable at $56.00/16oz. (See below) I was also drawn to it because of its ‘green’ properties. It checked all the boxes for me: reasonably priced, green, it’s simple to use and it works!

I don’t typically share my business resources outside of my client base (they’re another value I bring to my clients). But the sheer frustration of not finding what I needed for so long gives me a TON of empathy for others struggling with odor issues. I do not receive any kind of bonus, cash or otherwise, for recommending this product.

Hopefully, you’ll never need it. But if you do, I’ve got you covered!

Find out how I can create a home environment that appeals to all your senses – sight, sound, touch, scent, and . . . organization!

Here’s some of my favorite OdorXit products: (these are affiliate links)

In this 12-part series, we’ll be highlighting the life and legacy of a beloved family member: Uncle Al. He was a WW2 Vet, a Ford Motors man, and an amazing storyteller. This is a story about stories, and how your stories can shape your family’s legacy.

In the last article, we covered three benefits specifically related to interviewing your elders, which were education, connection, and appreciation. I felt as though one of these deserved a deeper dive, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today—the fact that everyone has a story worth sharing.

If you’ve been following along with this series of articles, you’ve endlessly heard me reference Uncle Al, his war stories, his patriotism, and how much love and respect, and admiration our family has for him. And though he deserves every bit of that, I want to address the elephant in the room. Not everyone served in World War 2. Not everyone is an American war hero. Not everyone accomplishes great feats that the world hears about for generations. More than likely, you, your parents, your grandparents—we all might statistically fall into that category of “common” people who don’t land in history books or on the cover of Time Magazine or on TV with Oprah. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I know in America, there is a huge pressure to be the best, accomplish great things, become famous, save the world, be a hero, get rich, and endless more superlatives. It might be easy to think that because you didn’t do those things, your stories somehow matter less.

Please don’t ever think that again.

I’ve been a storyteller my whole life, and I pay attention to the little plot twists, obstacles, villains, and every aspect of my personal hero’s journey. I also observe it constantly in other people’s lives when they tell me their stories. Everyone is on their own personal hero’s journey, rising and falling, overcoming and succumbing to setbacks, learning and growing from mistakes. It would be a disservice to yourself and everyone who could benefit from your story to believe your ups and downs matter less than someone else’s. I truly believe every person on the earth has a memory worth recounting—whether it’s one story that was significant to you, something you learned, a moment that changed your perception, or a lifetime of memories.

A memory or thought or experience you had might seem insignificant to you, but to someone else, it could be a revelation. Imagine if people a hundred years from now could hear us talk about our lives now: the big things like pandemics and politics and wars, the day-to-day like our jobs and movies and books we enjoyed, and the seemingly mundane details like if we had TVs or toasters or drove to work or how much we paid for a drink at Starbucks. Those details might not seem like “memories,” in the traditional sense, but what if TVs or toasters don’t exist as we know them in a hundred years and the fact that you owned one is utterly fascinating to them? What if a war happening now is still happening then, or if two nations currently at war are allies in the future? Or if your favorite book or movie inspires your great-great-great-great grandchild to experience it too? We can’t know what will happen in the future, but I know I’m fascinated by the fact that my Aunt Bev’s father rode to work on a horse, and they didn’t have indoor plumbing—both of which were probably “mundane details” to her at the time. Try opening your eyes to what might not feel significant, but actually could be.

There are so many kinds of memories—the kind that entertains, the kind that educates, the kind we learn lessons from, the kind that is ten seconds long, and the kind that stretches on for days. If you can’t think of a single memory worth recording for your family or for posterity, I want you to email me, and I will personally help you find something (actually, probably a lot of things) to record. I hope I can also help you see how valuable your memories and experiences are, and that we shouldn’t just let them fade into oblivion when we leave this world.

Stay tuned for Part 11, where we’ll talk about the importance of not waiting to document your memories. Or, if you’d like to read this series from the beginning, click here for Part 1.

I remember back in the 70’s and 80’s when my mother worked in a “Nursing Home”, it was more like ‘one size fits all. Today’s options for those looking for alternatives to living in their home has grown massively. There is an option out there for everyone from active seniors to 24-hour care for memory-challenged patients. Let’s take a look at the 10 types of senior living communities.

  1. Active adult communities – these are homes that are relatively maintenance-free and geared towards people that are 55+, but not limited to ONLY them. Most have a clause that at least one person residing there must at least be 55. These homes can be cottages, townhouses, apartments, condos, or even mobile homes. They almost always have an activities director on staff and provide entertainment, events, and outings for residents. They often are surrounded by things to do such as golf, pickleball, walking trails, and tennis, just to name a few. There are also other opportunities to be social such as interest groups such as book clubs, knitting, cards, and other ways to socialize. Residents will be responsible for their own housekeeping, cooking, and laundry services. These communities almost never have healthcare on site.
  2. Independent Living – these communities are very similar to active adult communities, with the exception of having healthcare on site. Also, housekeeping, lawn services, meals, maintenance, security, education, entertainment, and transportation are often provided for a fee but can vary depending on where you live.
  3. Assisted Living – more of a communal way of living where care varies depending on the needs of each person. Grooming, medication management, bathing, and sometimes things like transportation to doctors’ offices, etc can be included. Education and activities are still included in this lifestyle.
  4. Skilled Nursing Care – 24-hour monitored patient care monitored by registered nurses.
  5. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) – Also called “Life Plan Community”. These communities are often all-inclusive. These have varying levels of care as well as amenities. Often these communities have things such as restaurants, movie theaters, golf courses, and bowling alleys – just to name a few.
  6. Residential Care Homes – also called “Family Care Homes”. These are usually single-family homes that have been converted/built for two to six beds. The level of care with these is pretty consistent with Assisted Living Facilities.
  7. Respite Care – Temporary or short-term facilities, often part of a larger facility. These facilities are often for people who are recovering from injuries and need various levels of care. They usually have entertainment and activities to keep people busy while recovering.
  8. Memory Care – Long-term care for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. There are places that focus solely on memory care but can also be part of a larger facility. This makes it nice when a married couple has different care needs but can stay close, or if a resident needs memory care later on in their years.
  9. Rehabilitation Care – Temporary or short-term facilities, often part of a larger facility. These facilities are often for people who are recovering from injuries such as an injury, illness, or hospital stay and need various levels of care. These centers provide occupational, physical, and speech-language therapy. They usually have entertainment and activities to keep people busy while recovering.
  10. Long Term Care – any community that has 24/7 care on a long-term basis. Supervision is provided that helps with things such as medicine reminders, dressing, housekeeping, social activities, and meals.

Finding a new home is a long and tedious job. Be sure to do due diligence. Visit the property if possible and asked lots of questions. Talk to residents (if you can). Read reviews online. If you are out of state, ask for a virtual tour and do a lot of research online.