The Importance Of Calendars

If your life feels harried and out of control it may be time to take a closer look at how well you’re utilizing calendars. Sure, you might have your daily to do lists to help you with day to day chores, but a calendar can help you stay on track and help you plan for the long haul. Let’s look at three important ways that calendars can make your life more productive, simplified, and on track.

Accountability

An article from Successful Steps puts accountability as the number reason to regularly use a calendar. They state that “just the act of making an appointment helps set a date and time aside for a specific activity. Not only is setting aside a specific date and time helpful for meetings and doctor appointments, but you can also use this strategy to carve out time to spend with friends or to complete specific tasks on your to-do list. Now we don’t have to leave it up to chance that we’ll finish that lingering task because we already assigned a date and time for it.”

This means that through utilizing a calendar you can make yourself accountable to everything meaningful in your life from the small to the complex. If you’re worried about not having enough space to write in all of these activities the Jumbo Print Wall Calendar may be just the thing you need. There are 2 pages per month and each square is the size of your stand business card of 2.5” x 3.5”.

Health Benefits

Trying to remember everything that needs to be done and when it needs to be done by can be overwhelming if you’re not writing it down. Sometimes just the mere act of writing something down can take a weight off your shoulders. Not to mention you can then see everything at a glance which helps in scheduling future events as well. According to Psychology Today, using a calendar or daily planner can reduce stress and help keep you healthy by planning out things such as exercise, dietary planning and ensuring that you go to regular doctor or dentist appointments.

Handwriting your schedule out can further tap into health benefits which helps explain why paper calendars and planners are making a comeback in today’s technological word. An article on Rewire explains “there’s something about connecting your brain with your body through the physical action of thinking while writing that makes us focus more on our thoughts. Plus, with a paper planner, there’s no chance of getting interrupted by the parade of other notifications coming through at the top of the screen.” This Large Print Day Calendar  has its own tab with an introductory area showing the previous, current and future months with space for notes and appointments. On the following 2 pages is that month’s calendar with large numbers and ample space (2″ boxes) to write notes, reminders, appointments or shopping lists.

Record Keeping

Keeping an updated calendar can also be beneficial for locating information in the present for something that took place in the past. When determining when certain things need to be scheduled such as hair appointments, oil changes, or pet grooming it helps to know when it was last done. Depending on how detailed a calendar you keep it can also help you keep track of when you last saw friends or family or when exactly you saw a certain movie or play.

In fact, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired compares a written calendar to a Rolodex of life’s memories, “all of the memories on that Rolodex are linked to other memories, and in relation to the sequence in which they happened… A calendar provides a static communication system that can be referred back to (or forward to) over and over.”

Another affordable calendar option is this Large Print Wall Calendar. It can be hung on the wall or used on a desk and is designed for you to see the entire month on one page with a large box for each date.

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Last Minute Gifts For All

We’ve all heard the sayings, “big things come in small packages” and “good things come to those who wait,” but how do these things measure up with last minute holiday shopping? Often the things that have the most value or quality are small; the size of something does not always properly indicate its value. This week’s blog will look at three highlighted sales items as individual categories time, travel, and record/note keeping.

Time

Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, it is essential to remember that the most important part of the holidays is spending quality time with those you love. The people (and animals) you care about the most are the ones you should try to spend the most time with especially during the holidays. Mental Floss shares 11 examples of ways families and loved ones can stay better connected. Some of these ideas include video chatting, playing board games together (in person or online), volunteering together, and cooking a shared meal together.

There is also the literal gift of time that you can give a loved with this Low Vision Watch. This gold tone black face low vision watch is a stylish and durable timepiece. With battery operated precision quartz accuracy and large numbers (1-12), the face measures 1 1/4 inches wide. Choose from an expansion band or black leather band.

Travel

You don’t have to have a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to make lifetime memories. Looking for things to do and places to see that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages and abilities can seem a bit daunting but it doesn’t have to be. This article from Stanford University has a few suggestions including taking a cruise or renting a house. A cruise ship offers so many activities for all ages on and off the ship. The many options give you choices not only for what to do, but even how many hours you actually want to spend together. Another option is annually renting a house through websites such as vrbo or airbnb. The best thing about these sites is you can virtually check out the area and only look at those places that meet your needs (handicap accessible, pet-friendly, etc.).

If you’re more of a homebody spending time near and around your house or a loved one’s house is always an acceptable option as well. The article further states that “ as adults, we often try to think of something “new and different” for each year; however, children often prefer to revisit the same tradition and build enduring rituals that may be as simple as a game night or a favorite dessert. This notion is also valid with the “stay-cation” model.”

Don’t forget to pack your Travel Talking Clock no matter which option you choose. In addition to all the standard features, it offers a lively musical alarm or a cuckoo alarm, a snooze button, and an hourly chime that operates between 7 AM to 9 PM. A stand pops out when you slide the setting buttons cover off so you can rest it on your dresser.

Record/Note Keeping

Don’t forget to record events in your life as they are happening. It’s great to be in the moment with friends and family but taking a few photos or jotting down your thoughts just after can both be wonderful ways to preserve the memories you just made. If you’re not sure where to start or just enjoy hearing life stories of others the non-profit Story Corps is a great place to visit. Life stories can range from Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers to a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. Their mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. You can even have stories emailed to you each week to help remind you to record your own.

After you check out the stories of others it may be less daunting to start the tradition with your own family. This 2014 New York Times article discusses one of the newer technologies available to keep a digital family history. Though the yearly subscription fee has gone up since the article was written the main takeaways is that Story Worth caters to both the technologically savvy and the technologically fearful alike.

As with anything else, note keeping doesn’t have to be done on a large scale. This 20 second recording memo can help you remember the day to day things such as phone numbers, names, or lists of things to do.

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Gifts That Show You Care

Showing someone you care doesn’t have to be rocket science. Sometimes just a sincere thank you, hug, or kind word is all that it really takes. Here are a few more ideas on how to express your appreciation for those closest to you.

Touch, Sound, and Relaxation

According to an article at Psychology Today, touch is the first sense we acquire and the secret weapon in many a successful relationship. Physical touch is a fantastic way to show that you care, if done so lovingly and with good intent. You can do this through a hug, holding hands, or massage.  A gift card to the spa or local masseuse is one option if you’re unable to do so physically yourself or residing far away. Another option is this  heated neck massager by Moshi which brings the spa to wherever you want it to be.  It has many of the same benefits of going to a spa but from the comforts of home (or even on the go). The device adopts low frequency electric stimulation therapy, magnetic therapy, infrared therapy, music therapy and vibration massage by way of a high frequency energy field that penetrates into the body’s deep tissue. The neck massager is like a one stop shop for all your relaxation needs.

Another option for relaxation at home is the Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy Pillow. This hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill pillow allows users to enjoy their favorite music or sounds in optimal relaxation and comfort. With two high fidelity, ultra-thin stereo speakers positioned deep within the pillow, users can surround their head with sound for enhanced therapy or privacy.

Food

A different article from Psychology Today states that making and offering food can seduce, sustain, nourish, support, and comfort. This expression of caring can be done for someone, together with someone, or through the purchase of a gift card, can be given to someone to enjoy at their leisure.  Utilizing the right tools can make all the difference regardless of which method you opt for in this category. If you’re cooking for someone or with someone having the right kitchen gadgets make the experience all the more fulfilling. Sometimes just having something appealing to the eyes, such as this floral 4 piece knife set, is enough to whet the senses and calm the soul. Other times it takes something more practical such as a basic pot set or measuring spoon set to get the job done safely and correctly.

Alternately, giving someone a gift card to their favorite restaurant is another great way to show that you care. If cooking at home or going out to eat are neither a good option, all is not lost. Food can be ordered and brought to you through the abundance of food delivery services currently available including DOORDASH, GRUBHUB, and Postmates.

Game Night

An article from PyschCentral looks at all the positives that a regular game night can have on relationships. These items include connecting people with each other, learning important life skills, teaching good sportsmanship, fostering good communication, and most importantly for this blog it also creates a positive emotional “bank” of good memories and positive feelings. All of these things help show others that you care for and about them.

The best thing about game night is that there are so many wonderful options to choose from including Rummikub, dominoes, bingo, or any basic card game. Be sure to have sufficient lighting no matter the game you choose and if someone needs more light than those around them there is always the option of this rechargeable LED light which can last up to 10 hours without needing to be plugged in when used on the low setting and up to 4 hours when used at the brightest setting.

No matter the avenue you choose, showing the people you love that you care is never the wrong move to make.

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You Rang? How Technology Has Made Keeping In Touch Easier For The Visually And Hearing Impaired

It’s no secret that technology is advancing at a rapid pace and that communication isn’t quite like it once was in years past.  For persons experiencing vision or hearing loss these changes can be both beneficial and life changing for the better. This blog will look at special telephone functions specifically geared to those that may need just a little bit of assistance in keeping in touch with friends and family.

Big Button and/or Braille Buttons

“Big Button” telephones usually have large black numbers on a white background, or large white numbers on a black background. These high contrast color combinations coupled with the larger buttons and numbers make it easier for those with vision loss to see what they are dialing. In addition, some large button phones include braille. Adding braille to large button phones makes them ergonomically friendly for anyone with significant vision loss. Independent Living Aids offers several phones for purchase with these functions.

This Big Button Phone with Answering Machine includes large black numbers on white buttons. It also has a built-in speakerphone, an extra-large backlit visual display for caller ID, independent adjustable volume control, and a 25-minute record time. This corded phone can be either desk or wall mounted.

There are also several options available for telephones with braille raised buttons. This Brailled Big Button Corded Phone is light beige with gray buttons and includes large numbers with braille underneath. It also has flashing visual ring identification, ringer control, programmable memory, and is hearing aid compatible. It also can be either desk or wall mounted.

If you already have a big button phone but would like to add braille to enhance it’s usability these .75 Braille Touch to See Letters/Numbers Stick-Ons could be just what you need. This sheet of 176 peel-off letters and numbers are raised and easy to feel. Each sticker is .75” (or ¾ inches) high.

Amplified Telephones

Amplified telephones can increase the volume by 50+ decibels.  These types of phones have bright visual ring flashers and an adjustable volume ringer. This feature can be beneficial for anyone with hearing issues or for those who routinely find themselves in rooms away from their phone. Many of these phones can also be used as a landline and/or amplification for Bluetooth enabled cell phones.

The Clarity Bluetooth Enabled Amplified Cordless Phone offers the convenience of the large button phone but also includes amplification up to 40 decibels. This phone can be used as a landline and/or connected to a Bluetooth enabled phone. In addition, if you no longer have a landline this phone can be use as a receiver for your cell phone, so you never miss a call again from not hearing it ring. This phone can be paired to 2 different Bluetooth enabled devices. It comes with a digital answering machine and can be expanded up to 5 handsets.

If you prefer a corded phone there are two options available in this category through ILA. The Clarity JV35W Amplified Phone w/Jumbo White Buttons & Braille and the Clarity JV35 Amplified Phone w/Jumbo Black Buttons & Braille. Both phones feature jumbo size letters with braille, voice announcement of each number as it is dialed, adjustable ring up to 95 decibels, extra bright ring flasher, hearing aid compatible, and amplification up to 37 decibels (which is 70 times louder than normal).

Voice Activation

Some phones, depending on the model, are equipped to handle and understand various voice commands. These functions can include announcing each number as dialed, reading aloud caller ID, and in the case of smart phones can include opening and executing various apps including audio books, music, and GPS functioning maps.

The BlindShell Talking Cell Phone was designed with voice activation in mind. All features, keys, and commands on the phone are spoken. The phone can alternatively be controlled by voice commands. Voice can also be used for dictating text messages, emails, and notes. Standard phone functions include calling and one touch speed dials, SMS texts, email, contact management, notes, and calendar! Other specialized functions include a camera, calculator, timer, alarm, color identifier, QR code object tagging, FM radio, audio player, book reader, Bluetooth connectivity, and a specially located one touch SOS button.

If you prefer a corded option this Voice Activated Phone is a sure bet. It has voice prompts in 3 different languages including English, Spanish and French. It has the capability to store up to 45 different numbers. Simply pick up the phone; speak a name to dial and let the phone dial automatically. You can also dial by speaking the number to dial or by pushing in the number on the phone directly. This phone also features extra-large buttons with Braille on each number key.

Lastly, if you want to add voice activation to a landline phone you already have there’s the Vocally 3 Freedom Voice Dialer. This voice activated dialer is quite easy to use. Simply attach it to your favorite telephone and record the name of the person or place you would like to program and dial that number on the attached phone one time. The next time you pick up that phone this unit will prompt you, “Who would you like me to call?” State the name you recorded, and the unit will confirm with you and then dial the number. This unit will allow you to record up to 19 digits for each name you record. Stores up to 60 names with phone numbers. Works with regular corded telephones and cordless phones providing you are not too far from the cordless base causing distortion on the line. This unit will not work with cell phones.

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