Hopefully, we’ve all heard about TikTok by now. TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15 seconds to 3-minute videos, on any topic. Some people create original content, others lip-sync, and others educate. There are over 11 million users over the age of 50 on the platform. Most of those simply watch videos on the platform.

Janice Miller is one of those 50 million users. Janice doesn’t just watch though. She creates! I’ve watched funny videos, as well as videos about her husband Larry. Larry has been dealing with some health issues and Janice keeps their close to 56k followers updated. Every time I see a video of hers, it brings a smile to my face.

When asked if she has any paid sponsorships, she said no. She told me occasionally a company will send her some products, and if she likes the products, she may create a video about them. As far as taking on actual “paid sponsorships, or doing the Amazon thing”, she told me she doesn’t need another job and that taking on projects like that would basically entail that.

She goes on to tell me that TikTok has become a family to her. People that connect to her and follow her have become important to her and Larry both and they don’t want to give that up.

We often hear/see from the younger generation, “You’re too old for TikTok!” – tell that to the 11 million other people aged 50+ that are actively engaging on the platform!

Please watch my interview with Janice below and follow her on TikTok – @MrsJaniceM.

Leave your comments below. Are you on TikTok?

Sounds a bit backward from what I always say, right? In this podcast episode, I implore you to TEACH seniors, not just show them. I get so many comments from seniors that say, “My granddaughter took my phone, did xyz, and then handed it back to me and I still don’t understand how to do xyz.”

In this episode, as the owner of OnlineTechLessons.com, I talk about why I teach, how I followed my passion to work with seniors, and tips on how to make it easier for your senior in your life to learn to use technology.

I’m sure many seniors received new tech items for the holidays. This may have been in the form of a new smartphone, a new smart tv, or even this such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. I’m asking you to not just set up these things for your loved ones and walk away. Set them up for success by teaching them how to properly use these items. Not only will it encourage them to use them more often, but it’ll make your job easier moving forward by reducing the number of questions they have.

Did you know that many seniors won’t ask questions about their tech products because they don’t want to bother you??? Encourage them to ask. We need them using tech in the world these days.

I hope you find the information in this podcast useful and insightful. Let us know in the comments below what you think! Thanks!

Happy Holidays!

Listen to this podcast here:

In this 12-part series, we’ll be highlighting the life 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 those stories had a profound impact on all of us in the golden days of our dearest Uncle Al.

When we all sat down to listen to Uncle Al tell his WW2 and Ford stories, with the video camera rolling, Al didn’t miss a beat. He was, so far as we could tell, totally comfortable on camera telling his stories. But not all people feel the same way. Al also told most of his stories in only a few hours, but I’ve had clients who had many more stories that spanned multiple days of multi-hour sessions, totaling as many as 14 hours (so far).

As I did more and more projects, I realized that a video record of a loved one sharing stories was perfect for some situations, but not all of them. For instance, for those people who are very camera shy, or who might feel self-conscious to the point of declining to tell their stories entirely, the camera is really not a great option for them! And for the people with hours upon hours of beautiful stories, at a certain point, the cost to store Gigabytes or even Terabytes of video of a stationary person outweighs the necessity for the video format. For these reasons, I started offering and even encouraging audio-only interviews instead.

Compared to video interviews, audio-only interviews:

  1. are less intimidating (people often forget about the microphone a couple minutes into sharing their stories whereas the camera stares at them the whole time)
  2. are less expensive (you can pick up a voice recorder on Amazon for $30 or even less, or pay nothing extra if you already have a smartphone)
  3. are less setup and more convenient (you don’t have to worry about your appearance, the appearance of the location you’re filming, the lighting, or the technicalities of a camera)
  4. require less space to store (actually, a fraction of the storage space video takes up)

Now, you may be saying, “But I want to be able to see Grandma telling these stories.” I completely get it. And if Grandma is on board, absolutely go for it! But if you’re not the one on camera, it’s best to let Grandma decide if she feels comfortable being recorded on camera (or at all).

If you’re going to record a loved one’s memories, take the time to talk through their preferences with them for sharing those stories. Do they want to do short sessions over time? Get it all knocked out in one or two sessions? Do they feel comfortable on camera or would audio-only be more comfortable? Be accommodating and respectful of their wishes.

Stay tuned for Part 7, where we’ll talk about setting up and preparing to interview one of your loved ones to capture their memories. Or, if you’d like to read this series from the beginning, click here for Part 1.

Almost a year ago, Chris Banks saw a need to start a non-profit that helps feed the kitties in the Dayton, Ohio area. These aren’t kitties in homes, they are the “homeless feline community” that live on the streets in colonies. Each colony has anywhere from 4 to 23 cats in them.

Caregivers in Dayton feed these cats. Why? “Most people have the heart to do such an amazing thing”, Chris Banks, Founder of the Dayton Community Cat Project explains. “How could you see animals in need and not do something to help them?”, she says. Chris and her team of volunteers help provide food for the caregivers to continue feeding these colonies.

When asked where the funds come from for this huge endeavor, the answer is, “Only donations”. They rely on the sole support of the community to help them feed these cats. Volunteers take food to those who feed the cats in their own vehicles.

Can you help support the Dayton Community Cat Project? The end of the year is near and since the company is a 501c3, your donations are a tax write-off! Visit the website at https://daytonccp.org to make a donation or set up monthly contributions, or visit their social media pages to help spread the word!

Listen to our podcast here:

My father has traced an imaginary circle around Cincinnati noting the farthest point to travel without purchasing an airline ticket. Most of his vacations are to Michigan or Trader Joe’s. I think he’s onto something. It’s hour ten in the Honda CRV as my husband and I head south and I’m starting to understand the reasoning behind his five-hour maximum driving destination rule. Most certainly my rear end and restless legs agree with him. I’ve not been able to get comfortable since just outside of Knoxville. Plus after driving myself and Maddy the cat back and forth to South Carolina several times over the last 19 months, I’ve discovered Steve’s not as good of a driver as I thought he was. He keeps setting off the BRAKE light and alarm for following too close and he’s gotten the dreaded COFFEE CUP light more than once which indicates DRIVER ATTENTION LOW. I’m a nervous wreck and he refuses to let me back behind the wheel (I made it Jellico without a single bell or whistle). It’s a good thing the sun is still up as once darkness falls I-95 is going to look like the Vegas strip with him behind the wheel and the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree.

I’ve been trying to keep my mind off the road by burying my head in magazines and scrolling thru Facebook, but now I think the only cure is to crack open the bottle of Caymus (a very generous birthday gift) that I’ve hauled down to savor and enjoy all by myself.   If I was confident we wouldn’t be pulled over, I’d uncork it now and pour it into my Walmart Yeti knockoff. I’m surprised he hasn’t been pulled over for DUI already for all the weaving. Can three large diet Dr. Pepper’s cause impaired driving? I’ve not been car sick since I was five years old, but my stomach feels a bit queasy. Or maybe I’m hungry. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. The turkey sandwich I had at the rest stop in North Carolina was quite some time ago.  Other than that, it’s been a good day. Only one traffic jam where Waze redirected us off I-26 to avoid delay and took us first to a ROAD CLOSED roadblock and then to a big yellow DEAD END sign. The shortcut cost us an extra 20 minutes on this joyful journey. 

Our current eta is 6:24 p.m. if all goes well and my kidneys don’t burst. We only stop when Steve has to relieve himself. If it’s me, he drifts into the high-speed lane 100 feet before the Rest Area exit and says, “Sorry, honey, I couldn’t get over in time”. Traveling with him makes me wish I would have kept the half bag of Depends his father left behind in his will. Next time I will seriously wear them. Another thing I’ll need to wear is a neck brace. Steve believes in two speeds – fast and stop. If Waze warns him of police ahead he goes from 85 mph to 45 mph in 3.2 seconds at which point all of the crap we are hauling from Ohio to South Carolina (including poor Maddy in her carrier), hits the back of each of our seats. The snacks are crushed and somehow a large wooden spool of wire is now on the console between us. When you have a second home, you don’t pack the stuff of an average tourist. We are fortunate enough to have pajamas, underwear, bathing suits, jeans, and sweatshirts already in Hilton Head. We bring stuff that seemingly is not sold in the state of South Carolina. Our packing list for this trip consists of the previously mentioned wire, landscape lights, new grates for the grill, a neon sign, three beach towels, a queen-size-pillow top mattress cover, cornmeal, Cheetos, and a cactus.

On one of our first trips to our newly purchased vacation home, we actually had a wooden rocking chair in the back of the CRV. The only thing missing was Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. It was the week between Christmas and New Year and as a Christmas gift to each other, we decided to visit The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina on the way down and spend the night at the beautiful inn on the property. As we pulled up to the valet surrounded by Mercedes, Jaguars, and BMWs, Steve whispered to me, “I’m pretty sure they are parking this thing in the back of the lot.” Later that evening as we prepared to dress for dinner, I realized I had left my boots in the car. I asked Steve to kindly retrieve them for me while I finished my hair and makeup. I didn’t see him again for another 45 minutes. I thought he had ditched me like Anthony had left Edith at the altar in Downton Abbey. Just as I was ready to head to dinner, barefoot, without him, he appeared with the boot box under his arm. When I asked what took him so long, his reply was, “Not only was it parked in the last spot in the lot, it was parked behind the dumpster.”

So while my patience runs thin with my beloved husbands driving, I no longer am judgmental when I see another car headed down the interstate with a mattress tied to the top with rope and the inside of the vehicle packed so full you must completely rely on the backup camera and side mirrors.

On this week’s episode of The HIP Senior podcast, we spoke with Kimberly Whitter of Elder Care Solutions, Inc. and spoke about the importance of having the correct information and how to find the connections you need.

According to the 2019 Census estimates, there are 54.1M seniors in the United States. That’s up from approx 40M from the 2010 census data! 16.5% of the US population are aged 65+. This number is estimated to be 22% by the year 2050. That’s huge!

As people, we cannot be expected to know everything about everything, especially when it comes to services that help seniors. We are lucky to have the internet these days to find out more than we’ve ever known, but even with that, there’s so much information out there to sort through. How do you know what the best solution is for yourself or your loved ones?

Elder Care Solutions, Inc.’s Kimberly Whitter explains how their service helps people figure out the best route to go when it comes to sorting through programs and ways to save money. Find out more about Elder Care Solutions, Inc. and how they can help you figure it all out by listening to our podcast here:

In this 12-part series, we’ll be showing you how we created a legacy for our late Uncle Al using his stories, and how you might approach doing the same with a loved one in your family.

In a previous article, I wrote briefly about the evolution of oral storytelling and how the practice of repetitive oral traditions that pass stories down is just not a huge part of modern culture—as well as how that’s okay because unlike back then, we have technology to help us out. So let’s talk a little about that technology. What does oral storytelling in the modern world look like?

Modern oral storytelling can look exactly as it has for millennia: two or more people sitting down together, casually sharing stories about life, loved ones, hobbies, lessons learned, experiences, and any number of other things. The modern twist is that unlike hundreds of years ago, we have access to any number of recording devices to lock those stories down, which in turn can allow our descendants to see or hear those stories directly from us.

When my Aunt Jan asked us to come help her set up her recently purchased video equipment to record Uncle Al’s war stories, she unknowingly went above and beyond what she needed to. The video equipment wasn’t top of the line or anything too fancy. There was a camcorder, tripod, and an SD card to store the video. To some, that kind of thing is easy enough to set up, but it could be overwhelming to others (like it was for my aunt). But chances are, you’re already carrying the perfect camera around in your pocket right now, and don’t need to buy a camcorder. That is to say, if you own a smartphone, the only thing you might also want to consider getting would be a tripod and compatible mount for your brand of smartphone—only so you don’t have to hold the phone with your hands the whole time. Nearly any smartphone these days is going to have more than enough capability to record great audio and video. So when you sit down with your loved one to hear their stories, your smartphone is all you really need to capture that history.

One thing I always tell my DIYers (those who want to record their own oral histories and not hire someone to record it for them): something is always better than nothing. If your video is shaky when you’re interviewing your mom because you don’t have a tripod and you’re holding the phone by hand, that’s okay. Because years from now, after she’s passed, you aren’t going to care that the footage is shaky. You’re going to be beyond thankful that you can see her and hear her voice, and that your kids and grandkids will be able to hear her stories directly from her—almost as if she was still there.

For those of you who don’t own a smartphone, you may still need to purchase a camcorder if you want to record video of yourself or a loved one sharing their stories. But before you do that, know that recording audio only has plenty of merits too.

Check back next month for Part 6 to learn about oral storytelling preferences and personalities, and how to decide if you should opt for audio or video recordings. Or, if you’d like to read this series from the beginning, click here for Part 1.

Recently I saw a posting on Facebook asking a simple question. In response, you would get $1500 paid to you in Cashapp. The question was: “Give a word that starts with T and ends in E.” I knew this was a scam so I decided to play along. I responded with “Toe”.

I instantly got a message in Facebook messenger telling me to send my Cashapp tag. I started asking questions. “Who is paying this money? What happens after I give my Cashapp tag? Why are you giving away money? And my favorite question that I asked multiple times was, “Is this a scam?”

This person told me multiple times if she was scamming me, I could send her to jail. I asked for a phone number to talk to her about this offering. She said I could call but she was talking to someone else right now, but I could talk to her when she was done. I never received a phone number.

She even went as far as to show me someone else who was “given” money. A screenshot of someone was provided. I said, “Great! What’s her name? What’s her phone number?” I was told, “I don’t know her personally – message her on Facebook.” Oh ok.

I contacted my friend Ryan Lippe who is an educator with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. We decided to make this podcast episode to help educate you about Sweepstake Scams. I give the rest of the details in the podcast below!

Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon-Valley based author, speaker, entrepreneur, and evangelist. I’ve idolized him for many years now. Being a new podcaster, I was so excited when I reached out to him and asked him to be on my podcast and he said, “Yes!”.

Our premise at The HIP Senior is that seniors can be HIP and exciting and that age is only a number. Guy Kawasaki proves this on a daily basis, with a few creaks in the day. I asked him about learning to surf at the age of 60 and he said that he is now 66 now, and takes an act of God to take an interview at low tide because he wants to be out surfing! That is dedication!

Guy tells us about “the growth mindset” when I asked about using AI such as Alexa. He shared that he uses Alexa to turn on a light, ask the time and weather but that’s about all. We discussed seniors not using it out of fear and not wanting to grow and learn. (Update 1/19/22 – the senior mentioned in this section now has an Amazon Dot and frequently asks Alexa for weather, time, and music).

Guy tells us how he’s been helping seniors in the technology field for decades. I’m guessing he was the OGl “The Senior Tutor” before me ;). Give our podcast episode a listen to learn more about this “remarkable” person!

Leave your comments below. What was your first piece of computer equipment?

Hint: Not an animal!

We interview Cynthia Vyszenski today about OWLS – Older Wiser Lifelong Scholars. She tells us about the (almost all) virtual classes they are hosting starting October 4th. To sign up, visit Here or call 614.579.2557 if you should have any questions about OWLS or the programs.

Watch our interview for answers to many of your questions.

We have the podcast edition here and the Facebook live edition below 🙂

Here’s the Facebook/Youtube version with video: