A Free App Bringing Sight to the Blind and Visually Impaired

226541_2066754712732_918981_aMaking a big difference in someone’s life can be as easy as pulling out your smart phone for a few minutes every day. Really! A not-for-profit app makes life easier for those with vision problems by connecting them with sighted helpers through a smartphone app. Be My Eyes allows the blind to handle big and small tasks, while sighted volunteers get the joy of helping someone else in an easy and informal way at their convenience.

Be My Eyes harnesses the power of technology and generosity to connect visually impaired users with sighted volunteers through a live video connection. Volunteers lend their eyes to assist visually impaired users with a wide range of tasks, both large and small. For example:

  • Matching colors and clothing
  • Distinguishing between household or kitchen products; cans, cleaning products, shampoo, etc.
  • Determining departure or arrival of public transportation
  • Navigating in unfamiliar surroundings

The app is available for Android and Apple products to connect more visually impaired users with volunteers’ smartphones. The Be My Eyes community is growing with more than 38,000 blind or visually impaired users and more than 550,000 sighted volunteers from all over the world.

This video demonstrates how Be My Eyes works.

Want to learn more about lending your eyes and stay connected with this awesome app? Be My Eyes is on Twitter and Facebook. Plus you should check out the website at http://www.bemyeyes.org/. Please consider following me on Twitter too.

Check out this great way to help visually impaired people

Check out this great way to help visually impaired people

Take the Hassle out of Holiday Shopping while Saving Money and Helping Homeless Animals

There is a great way to help homeless pets and get your holiday shopping done at the same time. The Animal Protective Association of Missouri or APA is offering many money saving options on a number of gifts and even holiday entertainment to help benefit animal rescue.

Education outreach is just one way the Animal Protective Association of Missouri helps pets

Education outreach is just one way the Animal Protective Association of Missouri helps pets

Many of these options are available online, by phone or at local merchants to save time, money plus help APA animals with these opportunities:

Entertainment coupon books offer more than $2,000 in savings with 2-for-1 deals at restaurants, theaters, travel, and more! Purchase by December 5th to benefit APA. Use this link: http://buy.entertainment.com/DUSVHX

Entertainment offer books can save you thousands and support homeless animals too

You and your friends are invited to join the APA for a fun 12 Bars of Charity on December 13th! Your will get a great shirt to show your holiday spirit too! Learn more at http://www.12barsofcharity.com/saint-louis-1.html

Get your friends together for holiday fun to help the APA and homeless pets!

Get your friends together for holiday fun to help the APA and homeless pets!

It is easy to give APA logo gifts to the pets and humans on your list. You will find everything from shirts to sleepwear online at http://www.cafepress.com/+animal-protective-association-of-missouri+gifts

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Speaking of shopping online, Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to APA when you shop on Amazon Smile year-round! Get registered at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0699783

Your online searches can benefit the APA year around!

Your online searches can benefit the APA year around!

Searching online for a recipe or the article on pet-care? Use GoodSearch online year-round to benefit APA. Go to http://www.GoodSearch.com/?charityid=833355

Holidays can be filled with treats for everyone!

Holidays can be filled with treats for everyone!

The APA Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes and APA adoption stories! Only $15! It makes a great stocking stuffer!. Check out the cookbook at http://www.apamo.org/holiday_2014.aspx

Fabulous recipes and fun in the APA cookbook

Fabulous recipes and fun in the APA cookbook

Adorable holiday cards feature custom art created by Laura Jackson! You can pick them up at APA or order by phone. Learn more at http://www.apamo.org/holiday_2014.aspx

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Skip the long lines for Santa at the local mall, every member of your family can take part in an upcoming holiday photo opportunity. This holiday photo session can include the four-legged family members with Lynn Terry Photography on December 13. Get the details at http://www.apamo.org/holiday_2014.aspx

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A donation gets you a custom framing discount with the Great Frame Up! Donate $15 to APA, receive 50% off your order. More info can be found at http://www.apamo.org/holiday_2014.aspx

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Is a new car on your wish list? Donate your old car to benefit APA!

buying a new car? Donate your old vehicle to the APA to help homeless pets

buying a new car? Donate your old vehicle to the APA to help homeless pets

eScrip- Your food purchases year around can benefit APA with a Schnucks eScrip Card. Go to any Schnucks Supermarket or http://www.escrip.com/schnucks.jsp to activate your card. Specify the APA as your charity.

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Is a new mobile phone on your holiday list? Donate old cell phones to APA.

Your old cell phone can help our furry friends at the APA of Missouri

Your old cell phone can help our furry friends at the APA of Missouri

Create a lasting tribute with a brick or plaque at the APA. Add your name, a friend, or a pet to those displayed permanently. Get the details at http://www.apamo.org/BricksPlaques_39836.aspx

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Did you know walking your dog benefits homeless pets at the APA with the @WoofTrax app? Sign up at http://www.wooftrax.com/ and grab a leash!

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Social Media Savvy Seniors and Boomers Busy Online

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People are discussing photos they share on Pinterest, the blog on their travels or the app they are using to track their fitness and exercise schedule.  These conversations on technology are not restricted to the local social media clubs; they are hot topics for senior services communities like Laclede Groves near Saint Louis and coffee shops where baby boomers meet.

Social media savvy seniors and boomers are busy online.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends. Social media savvy seniors and boomers may also be boosting brain power new research suggests.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends.  Social media savvy seniors and boomers may not be the first to try the newest app or gadget; but are eager to adopt them once the technology is mainstream.  Older users on social media are active to discuss and share travel, health, hobbies or search for products, values, and discounts.  The social and digital contribution of these connected seniors is impressive! Baby Boomers are 80 million strong and growing.

In just five years, 50% of the US population will be 50+ projects Nielsen Research. (August 2012)

US Boomers’ Internet usage now is impressive:

– 33% of all online users

– 33% of all social media and Twitter

– 33% are heavy internet users.

Currently, there are about 21 million online seniors (those aged over 65 years old) in the United States according to Forrester Research, (June 2012).

Forrester finds 49% of digital seniors in the US are using Facebook.

– 91% of online seniors use email

– 59% have purchased products online in past three months

– 46% send/receive photos by email

– 44% play solo games online

– 24% sign up for coupons/freebies.

Staying connected online and through social media may be a great way for seniors to stay healthy. One recent study shows social media can give older adults a brain boost.  Researchers at the University of Arizona taught some seniors, over 65, how to use Facebook and then put them through cognitive and memory tests.  The new Facebook users fared 25 percent better on the tests than seniors who did not use the social network.

Boomers were raised in front of the TV and have always embraced media and technology. The size of the screens is now shrinking as they continue to grow with a constantly changing tech landscape that could help keep them young and connected for socializing, shopping and entertaining themselves on social media.

To see some of these savvy seniors in action on Facebook, I suggest you visit the Lutheran Senior Services page on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LutheranSeniorServices.