Archive for the ‘How to…’ Category

Senior’s Surfing

Recently my father was diagnosed with Cancer. My mother stayed with me while he underwent surgery to remove the Adeno Metastatic Cancer in his lymph node under his arm. After spending the day at the hospital my mother wanted to inform all of her friends that my father was in recovery and doing well. Mom asked if she could email her friends and use my computer. I said “sure” and passed my computer to her. In a quiet voice she indicated to me that my dad always “got her on her email”. After we informed her friends I downloaded several tools to help ……I thought. However, what was easy and commonplace for me totally confused a lady raised a time when up and down loading met helping out on the farm. I opened a facebook account and we found several of her friends and family members.

Now if you want to see the internet through entirely different eyes go surfing with your mom. I said “What do you want to see, or know and find out”. After mentioning several boring subjects I googled Beethoven’s 9th. My mother was enchanted with the YouTube videos that put into focus the New York Symphony in action. Quickly she shouted ” Magic Flute” two seconds later her eyes closed and she was in seventh heaven. After the classics I introduced mom to Susan Boyle. It was 9.00 when we started. The evening progressed into the livingroom. The scene was set with candles, wine and my laptop. We sat there side by side and the time flew. It was 1:30 when I realized how late it was.

My father is fine now. However, now when my mom comes to visit we update her facebook page and go Surfing. With the computer in our laps, and the candles lit I see my mother in an entirely different light.

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Tips for Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers

Article by Caron Beesley

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

For many years, marketing to seniors has been regarded as a waste of time – that this demographic was set in its ways and closed to new ideas. But a few years ago, marketing expert Seth Godin published a blog post entitled “Marketing to Seniors (open and closed)”, that essentially turned this misconception on its head.

In fact, Godin insists that seniors are just as open to new experiences, products, and lifestyle choices as the hot and favored marketing demographic – 18-34 year olds.

Why? Two words: “baby boomers”.

As Godin explains, “Baby boomers have been open their whole lives. And now they are seniors. So all the conventional wisdom goes out the window. Senior travel, senior fashion, senior experiences… it’s all fair game, because there’s a different demographic inhabiting that age group now.”

This got me thinking. My parents are baby boomers. They grew up in the 60s, were entrepreneurs and self-employed for 45 years. Now retired, they are enjoying the fruits of their labors – dining out, going to the gym, travelling the world (seniors account for account for 80% of all luxury travel), upgrading their home, embracing technology (I bought my mother a new laptop for her 65th birthday), and so on.

In fact, seniors are the fastest growing user segment to embrace computer technology; they spend $7 billion online annually. And with an average income per capita that is 26 percent higher than the national average (according to Senior Magazine Online), “seniorizing” your business marketing might just be a wise move.

Tips for Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers

Seniors and baby boomers make up a whopping 23.4 percent of the population. As with any other demographic, there is no silver bullet for marketing to this group. But one thing’s for sure, it’s not just about senior discounts anymore. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Focus your Message on “Feel Age” not “Real Age”

The expression “you’re only as old as you feel” actually has some scientific truth, and brings with it a lesson for marketers. Southern Methodist University (SMU) Marketing Professor Tom Barry has been researching the senior market with a particular focus on “cognitive age”, otherwise described as “feel age”.

Barry’s findings indicate that those with a younger outlook than their actual age generally evidence better health, which, in turn, influences personal economics, life satisfaction, attitudes toward aging, and activities and level of participation in organizations.

So the message to marketers is to focus on “feel age” not real age. But how does this translate into your marketing habits?

Barry suggests “Use models that are cognitively younger; they don’t have to look younger, but have a persona that is psychologically younger. The content of advertising, sales, and marketing messages should be cognitively based. For example, we don’t use medicine to avoid osteoporosis because we are afraid our bones will break, but because we want to go to the museum and play golf.”

Read more in SMU’s news bulletin: “Marketing to Seniors: Age Really is a State of Mind”.

2. Building Trust

Seniors and baby boomers generally buy what everyone else buys. But they tend to take more time to research and plan what and how they spend their money.

As a business owner, this means earning their trust. And. one of the best tools in your marketing toolkit for achieving this is to perfect your customer service – satisfaction comes first, but loyalty is earned and in the long term counts for much more.

3. Which Marketing Vehicles Should you Use to Reach Seniors and Boomers?

If you are thinking of developing a specific marketing strategy to reach and engage seniors, start small, keep an eye on ROI and adjust your tactics as needed.

Small might mean running a series of ads in your local newspaper accompanied by a “sponsored editorial piece” that showcases your knowledge about the needs of your market and how your product can serve it.

As with all target markets, you need to reach your customers where they are – and for more and more seniors and baby boomers this means taking your marketing online.

According to Kinsesis, a Portland, Oregon, web design and branding firm, the number of seniors using the Internet grew by 55 percent between 2004 and 2009. The largest percentage increase in use of the Internet has actually been in the 70-75 age group. And it’s not just Internet that seniors are embracing, they are a big presence on social media sites too.

“The No. 1 online destination for people over 65 in November 2009 was Google Search, with 10.3 million unique visitors.” Facebook jumped to the number three slot from (it was number 45 in 2008, with Windows Media Player at number two).

Baby boomers, however, are the real online force, as the Kinesis article goes on to explain: “More than 60 percent of those in the Baby Boomer generational group actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forum.”

So if your target market is seniors and baby boomers, you clearly cannot ignore search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Read the original article for more data: “Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers? Use Internet Marketing and Social Media to Reach Them!” and for tips read this article from my fellow blogger Sean Gallagher: “Getting Started with Social Media Marketing”.

Email marketing also remains a powerful force in marketing to seniors – when used properly it still outranks all other forms of direct marketing in terms of ROI. Depending on your particular target you may need to pay attention to the visual preferences and needs of the senior market – are your fonts too small? Is your email too visually cluttered? Is your call to action clear and apparent?

For more tips on using email marketing read “Getting Started with Email Marketing: ‘The Most Powerful Tool in Your Relationship-Building Toolbox“.

What’s your experience of selling and marketing to seniors and baby boomers? Share your experiences and tips with other small business owners below.

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

For assistance with marketing to seniors, contact Saskia Wijngaard, founder of FindHelp4Seniors.ca – home to the most comprehensive online directory for senior-friendly services across Canada.

FindHelp4Seniors.ca is a meeting place for seniors across Canada as well as their families and caregivers, and provides Canadian seniors with access to the best senior-friendly community resources, services, agencies, and businesses.

For peace of mind for you and your loved ones, contact Saskia directly at 905.855.1558 or via email at Saskia@Everything4Seniors.ca

Awesome new service from Google!

Okay check this out.

Go to http://www.google.ca

At the very top corner where is says web, images, video ….. click on books.

You can read any book on you labtop for free.

Why is this great. Okay its raining, and you and to read. but don’t want to go to the store or the library. Pick up a book. Read it if you don’t like it it didn’t cost you anything. If you did continue reading or pick up a copy.

Lets say you left your copy at the train station or at your cottage. Simply go online and continue reading where you left off. What a great service.

New Year’s Resolution – Day 2

New Years Resolution- Day 2
Halaluah!  Any one doubting the presence of a great being didn’t step on the scale with me today….. 169 lbs!   Okay, so I am trying to figure out how I could have lost so much weight.
I figure the fitness staff are deliberately playing a trick on us fitness bluffs and lower the weights by a couple of pounds. Or 2. the hormones really make that much of a difference.
Last night I watched the 650 lb virgin and thought wow and I am fussing about 30 lbs.  However those 30 lbs jumped on board since my wedding and at that rate I would be homeless in 2 years. My new husband has always said he doesn’t mind if I get really overweight ….except where am I going to live.
So Last night if it wasn’t for this blog that I had written yesterday I would have cheated. 3 Times I went into the kitchen and if I had not written that I would not eat after 7:00 …man I could have satisfied the munchies. I was a good  and was rewarded by “losing 3 lbs”  I am still looking for them and will probably find them tomorrow when I step on the scale again.
I have taken my vitamin pills, and exercised for 5 days in 7  so I have kept my resolutions so far.
I went to the bank and starting on Monday I will be hiring a bookkeeper for my new business so then I will see how easy it will be for me to stay on track with my 10,000 in the Black resolution.

New Years Resolutions – 2010

New Year’s Resolutions
I have just watched the movie “Julia and Julia”  its about a woman, Julia Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in one year, and to blog about it.
I have decided to blog about my New Year’s resolutions for a year and try to document the struggles to actually keep them. I do not know of too many resolutions that are actually followed through to the end of the year so here goes let’s see if I can do what the young Julia did.
My New Year’s resolution.
Starting now. Day 1
1. I am going to return to my pre-menopausal weight and stay that way until the end of the year.
2. I am going exercise, end result I want to be able to participate in spinning, and a 75 minute exercise class period with having to call 911.
3. I want to be consistent about taking my vitamins and being good to my body.
4. Not only am I going to be good to my body but I am also going to be good to my financial side of the equation. By the end of the year I want be 10,000 in the black.
4. I am going to write everyday about my struggles to do this.
Now I think in order to be successful I need to tell you where I am starting from. I have always been a thin sickly kid. Never able to gain weight….not enjoying the time that it would take to consume food. In fact, there was one time that the winter winds would not allow me to walk out of my friend’s door. I had to call my brother to walk through a storm and pull me home like a kite blowing in the wind.
I am 5 feet 9 inches and when I got pregnant with my son I was 111 pounds. At the end of my pregnancy I was huge and had gain 57 pounds. Now I stepped on the scale this afternoon and I am 172 lbs. Are you kidding me? Do the math I am heavier by 5 pounds then when I was 10 months pregnant ( as a side note they say 9 months pregnant but 40 weeks is not 9 months anyway they slice it and if you add an additional 2 and 1/2 weeks on for being late that is 42 almost 11 months….just like an elephant’s) . This menopausal madness has to end.  Okay to some of you this isn’t a problem, however, Menopause is packing on weight that I have noticed is going on at the rate of 10 pounds per year.  This is where it begins.  So if it is meant to be its up to me.
Part of the problem is that I met and married my husband, Henry, June 14th 2008 and as a result eat more appetizers, and consume wines and other calorie ladden beverages. I met him 3 years ago. I was 140 pounds. So that is 32 pounds that I want to lose. I get close to that and fit and I am happy…  Dr Oz said the average woman is in danger of get diabetes if she is over 160 pounds Yikes. Anyway, when I stepped on the scale….after the heart attack and realized that the good life had added that much weight.   I decided right there and then I was cutting out wine for 2 months. Further, No bread shall pass my lips ….bread substitutes yes, but none of that delicious bread with a generous portion of butter that melts into the cracks……stop it.
Okay tonight, will be my first test. I exercised and burned off 220 calories, I am going to increase that by 10 calories every day. I had only one small portion of Sheppard’s pie. No food or snacks after 7:00 I did mention that I was menopausal right and that every time you have a minute to think that thoughts go back to food. Anyway. Join me tomorrow to see if I have broken my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION.

The “By Us For Us” Guides

Written by Laura Bramly

For quite some time now I’ve been meaning to pass along information
about the “By Us For Us” Guides, a set of inspirational and
informative booklets put together FOR people with dementia BY people
with dementia. A group of talented and passionate people got together
and created guides for people with dementia to pass along what they
have learned about strategies for coping and living their lives to the
fullest.

There are currently five booklets available for order for a cost of $1
each on the Murray Alzheimer’s Research and Education Program (MAREP)
Web site at http://www.marep.uwaterloo.ca/products/bufu.html. Detailed
descriptions of each booklet are provided on this Web site.

The five booklets cover the following topics:

Memory Workout: An exercise guide for your mind based on activities
that the authors found helped them to improve or maintain their memory
and quality of life.

Managing Triggers: Triggers that people have experienced and
strategies for gaining back control after becoming agitated.

Enhancing Communication: Different ways of communicating, hidden
meanings, tips on communicating with loved ones and for expressing
emotion.

Enhancing Wellness: Helpful tips for eating well, taking care of your
body, being physically active, staying centered and connected with
others, and living in peace.

Tips & Strategies: Ideas and suggestions for daily living with
dementia, provided BY people living with dementia based on their own
experiences.

Each booklet is full of helpful tips and strategies, all based on real
life experiences of those with dementia and therefore tried and
tested. The booklets are clearly laid out and easy to navigate, and
are between 12 and 16 pages each.

If You’re in the Work Force Now or Want to Return to the Work Force, It’s a Good Idea to Brush Up on Social Media

written by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Social media is one of those weird words that is rather vague. It’s usually used in traditional media to refer to websites that encourage online “social networking.”

I’ll use the term here to mean the range of online activities that enable you to create virtual relationships with people who have interests similar to yours.

And this social media activity can be very important for people looking for jobs as well as for people looking to promote their brand, book or business.

The job category can be broken down into two sub-categories:

• Using social media activity to find a job by networking on professional sites such as LinkedIn.com

• Using social media activity to convince a potential employer that you can add to your value as an employee by utilizing your social media contacts to help disseminate the employer’s promotional message

Social media can take different online forms, and we’ll be talking about two major ones:

• Blogging

• Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Blogging started out as the online equivalent of keeping a diary – albeit a diary without a key and thus open to the entire globe (or at least the entire globe who read English).

Nowadays blogs have morphed into Internet marketing platforms or book promotion platforms or for numerous other goals. The one thing blogs have in common is that the newest entry is added to the top of the chronological order in reverse of blog posts.

There are free blogging hosted platforms such as http://www.blogger.com where you can set up your own blog in a few minutes. If you plan to become a serious blogger, it would be a good idea to first spend some time learning about the different blogging platforms, including self-hosted ones.

Social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are free membership sites where you have the opportunity to connect with other people and share information.

Each site has a different focus and requires specific strategies for optimizing one’s experience on the site. This is why there are so many websites offering reports and training sessions on how to use these networks.

And at first you’ll need a glossary of terms just to use the language correctly. For example, you follow people on Twitter and you friend people on Facebook.

I started learning Internet marketing after my 60th birthday, and I admit I’ve invested a great deal of time in learning how to do this effectively.

Thus I know how daunting all of this may look to you at the moment. But I promise you, if you are willing to learn new things and not give up the first time you’re frustrated (I was frustrated a great deal), there will come a day when you’ll say: I’m so glad I started down this social media path.
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s company has launched the monthly program http://www.WeTeachWebMarketing.com as well as doing Twitter tutorials – see http://www.TeachMetoTweetNow.com . She’s also a National Internet Business Examiner at http://www.InternetBizBlogger.com and many of the articles at that site can add to your knowledge of blogging and social media sites. You can follow her on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/ZimblerMiller
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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN HOW TO USE A COMPUTER

In ever increasing numbers seniors are embracing technology and they are currently the fastest growing group of computer buyers and Internet users. A recent study by the Canadian Internet Project reports that 51% of Canadians aged 60 and over are now online. This is great news because research shows that computer use has a positive influence on the overall outlook and mental health of seniors. According to the American Psychological Association, seniors who use computers show fewer depressive symptoms than others. Nursing homes with computer facilities have reported improvements in the residents’ feelings of self-esteem and life satisfaction. At the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Scarborough, Ontario seniors surf the Internet, Instant Message friends and family, and learn to blog in the computer lab, and they are loving it.

Computers can enrich the lives of seniors in many ways. Most importantly they contribute to a greater sense of independence and decreased isolation. Regular computer use can keep the mind active and sharp. The Internet is a life line for seniors who may have restricted mobility and find it increasingly difficult to get out and about. With families spread out all over our global village, the Internet offers a cost effective and convenient way for seniors to keep in touch with family and friends. Think of the marvelous things that you can do online

  • Stay in touch with friends and family via email
  • Send online greeting cards
  • Post and view photographs
  • Shop
  • Pay bills
  • Listen to music
  • Research health related information
  • Search government websites for information
  • Play games
  • Do genealogical searches
  • Keep up with news and current events
  • Make travel plans
  • Buy tickets for concerts, theatre, and special events

Don’t be afraid of computers. Everyone can learn how to use a computer. The costs of owning a computer have really come down in recent years, but if a new computer is beyond your budget, consider purchasing a used computer. If you are mobile the Government of Canada offers the use of computers and the Internet for free.

For help in finding public access to computers and training near you call:

1-800-268-6608
TTY: 1-800-465-7735