These Services Are Helping Older Jews Master Technology and Stay Connected in Isolation – Baltimore Jewish Times

Till April, Gail Lipsitz had never become aware of the popular video conferencing platform Zoom. “Suddenly, everybody was discussing and utilizing Zoom. I had no concept how to get it and use it,” the 74-year-old Baltimore resident said.

Thanks to tutoring supplied over the phone by Melanie Waxman, innovation concierge from the Tech Understanding Center at the Edward A. Myerberg Center for older adults, Lipsitz was able to upload Zoom both to her iPhone and iPad and start using it confidently.

She’s now utilizing Zoom to participate in exercise classes and classes from her synagogue, as well as Jewish educational organizations like Hadar, Pardes, and the Hartman. Lipsitz is likewise tuning in to Shabbat services at her child’s California parish, events of her havurah, and meetings with friends over tea.

With 10s of countless Americans staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, numerous older Americans are struggling to master and utilize the technology younger individuals typically use to remain in touch with family, pals, and neighborhoods.

Jewish groups have responded by making special efforts to assist seniors in using the technology, helping them not just with accessing the services they may require, like online shopping, however, likewise ensuring that they remain socially linked to the broader world.

Human connection, even if it’s online, is essential to emotional well-being and also physical health, studies have revealed.

“Celebrating Passover practically was an incentive to get online” for freshly homebound seniors, stated Katie Lehner, marketing director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

“That was just the start, and then it grew out of control in terms of the need for more programming via Zoom.”

In addition to providing tailored assistance to assist elders in discovering to use virtual communication tools, many Jewish companies are developing online programs, particularly for older people. The Myerberg Center, a program of CHAI supported by The Associated, Baltimore’s Jewish federation, offers 30 virtual activities weekly, including fitness, liberal arts, and art classes. Tutorials on how to use food delivery and monetary apps, such as PayPal and Venmo, also are offered.

In one current week, Niki Barr, director of the Myerberg Center, saw about 740 individuals in its virtual classes.

“This is practically the very same number that we have when classes would fulfill personally,” she said. “I was blown away.”

Jewish federations and their firms have been informing seniors through emails, call,s and print ads in regional Jewish media that support is available for getting connected online.

Some federations are relying on volunteers to supply tech help. Abbie Bailey, a 39-year-old mom of 2 preschool-age kids, has actually been safeguarding at home in Florham Park, New Jersey, and was looking for a way to help throughout the pandemic.

“I connected to the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey and said I wished to help in any method I could,” said Bailey, who runs a retail store in nearby Livingston.

Through its dedicated helpline that matches volunteers with those looking for tech assistance, the federation paired Bailey with two ladies, one of them a Holocaust survivor. She has actually called and walked them through the steps of how to set up and utilize Zoom so they can remain in touch with their families.

“They appreciated the help and appeared to be in great spirits and OK with sheltering in location,” Bailey said. “Among the females, who is 92, has actually invited me to lunch when this is all over.”

It took a while for Mitzi Kreinberg, 93, of Livingston, to log on to Zoom. After receiving support from the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s innovation helpline, she lastly figured it out and then broadened her online connections utilizing other tools.

“I used Facebook, which I can access readily, to take part in classes, book reviews, and chats,” Kreinberg said.

In Ohio, a Virtual Conversations series with regional speakers has been well participated in, according to Marcy Paul, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Dayton.

Each online session starts with a brief “how-to” examining the basics of Zoom. Those requiring extra help can get it ahead of time individually.

Lots of senior citizens have actually taken their newfound understanding and used it to keep routine connections beyond official offerings.

Linda Novak, 73, had previously utilized her computer system just for email and Facebook. But she got aid from Amy Dolph, program administrator for her regional JCC in Dayton, to find out how to run her book club using Zoom.

“The book I had selected was the first one up for discussion, so Amy gave me some additional aid in learning how to run the meeting utilizing Zoom,” Novak stated. “Her tutorial was priceless.”

In Chicago, CJE SeniorLife, an affiliate of the Jewish United Fund of Chicago, had to revamp its programs to suit the age of coronavirus rapidly.

“Before COVID, the majority of our shows were face to face and in person. We didn’t have much of a virtual existence,” said Cathy Samata, manager of neighborhood engagement for CJE SeniorLife, which dishes out to 20,000 individuals in its community-based and domestic services.

The majority of those who access virtual shows live individually in the community, while the others are residents of CJE’s retirement home and assisted living facilities.

To make remaining in touch easier during the pandemic, CJE SeniorLife developed a dedicated Cyber Club landing page for its live Zoom programming, together with essential info and resources related to the COVID-19 crisis. In reaction to requests from neighborhood members, the company made instructional videos on topics such as how to order groceries and obtain library books online. The company is also live-streaming its programming into its assisted living homes and assisted living center.

“We shifted quickly and were up and running in a week and a half,” Samata stated.

“Innovation is key to bridging this space. It has been a true blessing to be required into this. It assists resolve a great deal of the seclusion concerns. We are, in fact seeing more people joining our programs now due to the fact that with them being online, we don’t have to deal with transportation concerns.”

The silver lining of the COVID-19 crisis is that it has actually incentivized Jewish federations and their agencies to develop new ways to sustain their neighborhoods, said Dayton’s, Marcy Paul. As soon as the pandemic has gone away, Paul foresees moving into a hybrid model of program shipment that will combine virtual outreach with in-person shows.

The shift to online interaction also has actually offered seniors with the inspiration to learn new abilities and conquer their isolation.

“I hope, like everyone else, the pandemic is over quickly,” stated Helene Gordon, 63, of Englewood, Ohio, who recently signed up with a birthday celebration through Zoom. “However, I feel these skills are so essential to keep individuals connected.”

This post was sponsored by and produced in collaboration with the Jewish Federations of The United States And Canada, which represents 146 local Jewish Federations and 300 network communities.


Claris Health Care and Breathing Spaces Partner to Offer Tablet Technology to Resolve the Vital Issue of Social Isolation with Older Seniors

Claris and Breathing Spaces have formed a collaboration to make sure that caregivers have every possible resource offered to stay strong and healthy throughout the caregiving journey. Claris Buddy, used by supplies, a simple tablet-computer with touch buttons for video calling, news, weather condition, video games, web browsing, household image albums to thousands of elders. They also provide content to keep seniors engaged, notified, and connected. Claris’ Companion comes prepared to utilize ideal out of the box. Elders can get up and operate on the Internet without onsite installation or training.

“One of the most essential and rewarding things we can do in life is to provide care for our moms and dads and others in their golden years. This can often become a great obstacle and concern on the caregiver”, said Geof Auchinleck, CEO at Claris Healthcare. “It’s an honor and an opportunity to work with Breathing Spaces and be a part of such a worthy and impactful community to supply family caretakers with the best possible support at such an essential time in their life.”

Founded in 2012, Claris Healthcare established the very first remote monitoring solution developed particularly for elders and their households to remain connected and engaged. With 56 million Americans over the age of 65, senior care is an ever-growing challenge. Whether aging in location or residing in senior facilities, social seclusion is among the primary issues for caretakers. Because of COVID-19, the problem of high isolation is far more significant than ever envisioned.

Breathing Spaces, based in Sunnyvale, CA, offers assistance and resources, particularly for family caregivers. Through expert viewpoints, released research study, and specialized item offerings, Breathing Spaces has ended up being an essential source of assistance for the 43 million caregivers in the US. Breathing Spaces represents an online and in-person linked neighborhood of household caretakers that share common goals and challenges as it connects to taking care of their loved ones.

Comprehending the stress associated with the caretaker relationship

Breathing Spaces offers a unique environment where like-minded individuals can get in touch with others that understand what they are going through, share, find out and discover the tools they require to stay strong under really tiring and often frustrating circumstances.

“Sometimes, you just require an area to catch your breath,” stated Cyndi Mariner, Founder and CEO of Breathing Spaces. “I have been a caretaker myself, and I know the significance of information, inspiration, and assistance. I believe that the Claris Buddy platform uses household caregivers the peace of mind that their enjoyed ones are an easy press of a button away”, continued Ms. Mariner.


Alert 1: The Medical Alert System That Will Save Your Life

What is Alert 1?

Alert 1 is a significant medical alert system that assists senior citizens should they fall or require any sort of emergency. It enables seniors to live safely and independently in their homes. You only need the press of a help button to get connected to a US operator at the Emergency Response and receive the care you need.

Alert 1: Products and Prices

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The Help and Detection systems offered by Alert 1 represent the evolutionary transformation in the technological environment. Merged with medical services, it has become a source of support for many people, especially the disabled and elderly who live alone or require any form of assistance. Should they fall, all it will need for them is a click on the button. Depending on the type of system you decide to buy, you can also avail of wristbands or home fall detection pendant to allow medical or emergency services to locate you.

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The primary component offered by the Alert 1 Systems is the security aspect. It will provide all families with peace of mind with its assistance to their loved ones. Senior Citizens usually live alone and are not strong enough to reach for help should they suffer a fall. Seniors that have an alert one system in their household, they can either push the button or let the system detect their fall to aid them. Absence of such an operation can result in prolonged pain or, worse, death. Alert 1 acts as a death preventive life-save for these people.

This system is not limited to senior citizens. The disabled and citizens who are mute can also find solace in their protection. Such elders cannot be supervised 24/7, and thus when they fall, the fall detection system of Alert 1 will alert the emergency services to save them. These life-saving devices will soon expand everywhere and become a common addition in every household.

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