Yesterday, San Diego experienced a power failure, the likes of which have not been experienced before on this scale. More than two million households were without power, from Baja, California into South Orange County. This disrupted most all area businesses, caused extraordinary gridlock on highways and surface streets, and closed the Lindbergh Airport for all in-bound and outbound flights.
Paradise Village residents and staff, however, took great comfort in one another and rode out the electrical disruption in style. With ample power produced from back-up generators, Paradise Village operations continued with only minimal interruption. Central services in the Plaza, such as restaurant dining, WiFi internet, all elevators, Club Paradise wellness facilities, and most other services did not experience problems. In fact, the camaraderie produced through the event was extremely positive! It even caused an impromptu social hour around both the speech from President Obama and the season opening NFL football game.
“I’m so happy with the response from staff and management and the community was quite prepared to handle this problem!” exclaimed one Paradise Village resident.
Other communities in the San Diego, without generators to back up their electrical systems, did not fare as well. With some residents stuck in elevators and complete shut down of services and amenities, these communities had a much more difficult time during these long hours.
Thanks go out to staff and residents for such a positive response to an unprecedented blackout. Paradise Village’s design and construction proved worthy to provide residents and employees safety and security in an otherwise daunting situation.
Today’s cell phones can do so much more than just make calls. How do you decide what phone is right for your needs and then what plan will be the best value?
Technology is getting more and more complex, and navigating the myriad of choices can be overwhelming. These few simple things are all you may need:
- Make and receive calls
- Ability to hear callers
- Ability to see numbers and displays
- Simple easy-to-use menus
There are also several other things to consider:
- Coverage area: will you have good reception for making calls?
- Minutes: how frequently will you use your phone?
- Support: will your provider be able to help you with questions?
Have providers go over their plans with you and what their terms like “anytime minutes” or “nights and weekend minutes” mean. Terms like roaming* and overage** are common across carriers but many terms are not.
Take a look at family plans and pre-paid plans to keep your costs down. Ask around, your friends in your retirement community may have some recommendations for you. Be realistic about how many minutes you will use and if you happen to go over your allotted minutes, call your provider to upgrade your plan. They often will retroactively update your plan and remove overage charges.
Cell phone models change frequently but a couple that were found to be a good fit for seniors:
Samsung T101G from TracFone
Samsung M360 on Sprint
To read reviews on cell phone models that are good for seniors you can visit: http://cellphonesforseniorcitizens.blogspot.com/
*Roaming: when you are outside of your main coverage area and your phone roams the airwaves to find signal for you to make calls. If you are outside of your main area, there may be an additional charge depending on your cell phone plan.
**Overage: the amount of minutes over your allotted plan.
Ever get an offer from a phone solicitor that seemed too good to be true? Did someone you know get taken advantage of by a bogus promise? Unfortunately, seniors need to have their guard up when being approached by strangers, phone solicitors, mail or internet offers and sometimes even their own family.
Scams targeting retirees range from bogus handyman contractors to lavish “free cruises” and can come to you looking very legitimate.
Here are some tips:
- DO NOT give out your personal information over the phone, internet or mail ESPECIALLY your social security number.
- Check a business out with the Better Business Bureau
- Ask for license numbers and cross-check contractors with your state’s licensing department (the lowest-cost bid is sometimes not always the best)
- Don’t click on internet links in email that come from people/places you don’t know.
- Don’t click on internet links that look funny or different than others you have seen before.
- If you use online banking, credit card services or internet shopping sites, go direct to those sites by typing them into your browser rather than clicking on email links – even if it looks legitimate.
- Shred documents with account numbers and other personal information.
The bottom line still is, if the offer seems overwhelmingly super great, then maybe you should take a pass.
Using your computer to talk to relatives far away from San Diego may sound daunting to folks who don’t use a computer regularly. Video calls and Skype over the internet is a fun way to see the faces you love the most when travel from your retirement community home is not an option. The benefits far outweigh the effort setting up video chat using Skype.
What you need:
- A computer
- A web camera and speakers (most newer computers have these built in)
- Software and a free chat account like Skype
- Internet connection
- A friend or relative on the other end with the same setup
To get your free Skype account, from an internet connected computer, go to Skype.com and click on “Get Skype”. Download and install the software and follow the instructions to set up your account. Keep your account username and password (also known as login information) handy and if you get stuck utilize Skype’s help.
You can also ask friends and relatives for help getting you set up for a new computer adventure! Practice, practice, practice to keep it fresh in your mind. Create a cheat sheet for your login information and the steps to make a video call.
Don’t have a computer? There are also stand-alone video phones available as well.
The Paradise Village Concierge service would be happy to help you get video chat working on your personal computer, give us a call!