It’s Time

From sundials to timepieces that communicate with each other nightly, how we tell time has come a long way. The ancient has become decorations and the old is slowly leaking back into the new. Their evolution is a story as old as man.  The focus for this article will be the “portable clock.”

Watches

The first wristwatch was made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary by the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe in 1868, according to Guinness World Records. But the first wristwatch for men is not so easy to pinpoint. Prior to this the first portable clocks were clunky, inaccurate, unprotected, and subject to break easily.

Watches worn on the wrist first became popular in Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Americans thought men wearing this traditionally female adornment were comical and often would use it in vaudeville and comedy acts. It wasn’t until World War I that the practicality of having a watch more easily accessible for men/soldiers made sense.  The Atlantic article on watches further shares that it was during this time that European soldiers were outfitting the device with unbreakable glass to survive the trenches and radium to illuminate the display at night. And civilians, seeing the wristwatch’s practical benefits over the pocket watch, were parroting the behavior.

If the traditional style watch is something of interest check out this Unisex Low Vision 2″ Watch. This extra-large watch has a 1.6″ wide face within a 2″ case, providing extra-large visibility and clarity. Bold black hands are featured on a white face with bold black numbers so that you can read the time with ease.

If closing and opening straps are an issue than try the Talking Watch With Black Leather Slip-on Cuff. Not only is this watch easy to put on and take off but you can choose between a male and female voice to give you the date and time. The different voice options are great for anyone who has started to have some high frequency hearing loss.

Pocket Watches

Pocket watches were some of the first portable clocks. While they came before the wristwatch they also are continually being utilized to this day. This brief history is taken entirely from a Dapperfied  article on the history of pocket watches. One of the first historical references of the pocket watch can be found in a letter dated in November 1462 from an Italian by the name of Bartholomew Manfredi. By 1524 the practice spread and Peter Henlein, a master locksmith, began manufacturing watches in Germany. Watch production spread to the rest of the world, gaining popularity rapidly.

Early pocket watches only had an hour hand as the minute hand did not appear on the clock face until the late 17th century. In the late 1830s, the first American pocket watches were produced using machine-made parts.  Some of the first pocket watches also included practical gadgets in their design like winding keys, a vesta case [small match box] or even a cigar cutter. These added gadgets increased the usability of the watch and gave it an added appeal to consumers.

If you’re interested in purchasing a modern-day pocket watch check out this Gold Talking Atomic Pendant Watch With Gold Chain. This is an attractive talking time piece with 1.4″ wide case. It features a multi-band atomic receiver that can work in the US, Europe, or Japan once you adjust your time zone. This watch has a clear male voice which speaks the time and the date at the touch of a button. There is a daily alarm that can be activated if needed. It comes with a matching gold tone 30″ chain.

But what is an atomic watch?

Atomic Watches

Watch Ranker states that atomic watches are calibrated by an atomic clock and maintain their calibration by receiving radio signals from that clock. This means that with your atomic watch, you can know the exact time with the exacting precision of NASA, literally: NASA uses an atomic clock for its countdowns.

In the United States, the atomic clock is in Fort Collins, Colorado, one of the most accurate in the world. The clock is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Atomic watches in other countries communicate with clocks elsewhere in the world.

American atomic watches are programmed to search at least once a day for a 60 kHz radio signal from the Ft. Collins clock, which can broadcast at a range of 1,864 miles. It receives and decodes this signal to maintain its accuracy. The watch doesn’t stay in constant contact with the atomic clock, but it doesn’t need to as 24 hours isn’t long enough for the watch to noticeably drift.

If you’d like to check out the other amazing watches offered by ila please visit our watches category.

The Art of Distance Viewing

Whether it’s watching a mysterious bird from afar, going to a game, or trying to see details more clearly on the TV, distance viewing technology has its advantages. Read further to see how these devices can make any indoor or outdoor activity more enjoyable to watch.

Birdwatching

Audubon is a wonderful website to learn all about birding.  They state, “If you’ve been considering joining the ranks of the 47 million birders in the United States, there’s no better time than the present to take the plunge—or at least dip your toes in.”

The first thing to consider is your gear. Most people use binoculars to better view birds from a distance but a monocular can be used as well. In fact, a monocular could be a more practical aide to bring as it’s smaller, more compact, and is essentially like using a short telescope. If you’re considering giving a monocular a go the 4 x 12 Monocular on sale this week is an excellent inexpensive option to try.  Other suggested gear includes a weatherproof notebook, a field guide, comfortable clothes, and an easy to use birding app.

Before you actually start your first birding adventure the site suggests you learn the American Birding Association Code of Ethics. Once you familiarize yourself with the code of ethics another important step to take is to learn about  safety tips for better birding. It is also advised to check the elements, consider the season, and look up your local species occurrences prior to any outing.

Sporting Events

Whether going to watch friends, family, or just your favorite team play there is evidence that attending sporting events can be good for your health. Sporting events allow you to socialize, get out of the house, network, spend time with family and friends, and even immediately gives you a connection to the people around you.

A recent study looks at the association between sporting event attendance and self-rated health.   The results of this 12 year study demonstrate that sporting event attendance positively correlates with self-rated health. In addition, individuals who attended a sporting even within the past year were 33% more likely to indicate a higher level of self-rated health. An article on CNN Health further states “scientists have found that being a sports fan can be good for your emotional, psychological and social health.”

Creating lasting memories is another advantage of going to a sporting event. The 7″ portable HD CCTV with distance, on sale this week, is a great way to both take photos, store reminders and zoom in up to 32x from as much as 16 feet away. It stores nearly an unlimited number of freeze frame images on a removable 32 GB card. Voice memo feature can add a recorded message to any of those images.  This may not make the game itself easier to view (depending on where your seat is located) but it can be beneficial when reading a program, small print at the concession stand, and can be both a visual and auditory aid in remembering where you parked or where your seat is located.

Watching TV

Everyone know that watching too much TV can be bad for your health but there are several surprising beneficial reasons to turn on the tube as well. Darling Magazine reports on three ways that TV is good for you.

The first reason listed is that watching TV can reduce stress. The more time we take in something we enjoy the less stressed we tend to be. The next reason is TV can promote healthy living. In the academic world it is called “entertainment-education.” An example provided is after an episode about PTSD the stars of NCIS also participated in a public service announcement about seeking help for the disorder. The third and final reason listed is it can inspire creativity. Do it yourself shows, cooking shows, and even those showcasing every day people demonstrating their talents can inspire others to do the same.

For some people with low vision and/or macular degeneration this pastime can be frustrating. Thanks to new technology such as the Eschenbach MaxTV Glasses individuals can adjust their vision to fit their TV viewing needs. They provide 2.1X magnification and allow the user to focus each eye independently, allowing for more precise focusing.

Be sure to check out other great products to help make distance viewing more enjoyable at independent living aids, LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Fun for Everyone

July 4th always lands just under two weeks after the official start of summer on June 21st.  Summer is a wonderful time for family get togethers, barbequing, social events, and outdoor sports. In order to ensure everyone has as much fun as possible it’s important to keep safety and limitations in mind.

Barbequing Essentials

Regardless if barbequing means cooking outside on the grill or having chopped pork or beef brisket certain things remain constant. Nationwide provides 9 safety tips for summer barbeques. In a nutshell these include ensuring the grill is safe and operational, wearing appropriate clothing, and being prepared to put out a fire if it gets out of control. Safety should always be the number one concern.

Once everything is deemed safe to operate it’s necessary to consider everything that is required for a successful barbeque.  The Spruce Eats provides a 6-part barbeque essentials checklist. Beyond the food (meat, desserts, buns), other items needed are grilling tools (spatula, tongs, glove, and grill fork), drinks, condiments and sauces, and the sides.

To save space by the grill consider ordering this locking spatula/tongs combo. The unit features a stainless-steel frame with a nylon head that is heat resistant to 450°F/230°C. Simply push down to open and pull up to close. Dishwasher safe.

 

Participating in Summer Sports

Whether your go to game is baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, or even volleyball the summer season is a great time of year to play. The easiest of these sports to setup and play in a matter of minutes is volleyball.  All you need is a couple of people, a ball, and something that could be used as a net. Non-regulation games can last anywhere from minutes to hours. Volleyball is also the second most popular sport in the world today.

Volleyball is a sport that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. Team USA further expounds on this idea by saying, “Volleyball is a team sport which can be played by disabled and able-bodied. It can be played by youth, juniors, adults and seniors in any combination. Unlike many sports, volleyball can be played at all levels co-educationally, creating a gregarious and integrating atmosphere that is appreciated by all involved.”

If volleyball is your go to sport and you’re looking to purchase a new ball check out this volleyball with bells, currently on sale. It’s perfect if you have any guests that may have any vision impairments but still want to enjoy the game.

 

Independence for All

Everyone knows that July 4th is the day to celebrate America’s independence from the British. A day to celebrate freedom be it by social gatherings, parades, and/or fireworks. Independence can also mean the ability to live your life without having to depend on the assistance of others. This could mean financial independence, learning to live on your own, or accepting and living with a disability. Statistically at any given time 1 in 5 Americans is disabled.

If you know in advance that friends or family members invited to your summer function lives a bit differently than you do, then you can research and find out tips and tricks to help them feel as much an active participant as everyone else. There are many wonderful resources readily available to assist you or your loved ones in returning to a new sense of normal. This HelpGuide article is a wonderful place to start.

Traveling with disabilities doesn’t have to be an issue either. A quick example for someone traveling with visual impairments  is this adjustable folding support cane. This cane is a durable, aluminum folding support cane (4 sections) with a comfortable T-handle and a Santoprene rubber tip. It has a white shaft with red on lower section. For more tips and advice for traveling with a disability check out this article on SMARTERTRAVEL.

Be sure to check out other great products to help make your summer more enjoyable at independent living aids, LLC.

 

 

 

All About Eye Health

It is often said that your eyes are a window into your soul.  This phrase has different meanings for different people but most everyone can agree that eyes are a very important part of our bodies.

How the Eyes See

The American Optometric Association explains how the eye works:

When light rays reflect off an object and enter the eyes through the cornea, you can then see that object.  The cornea bends, or refracts, the rays that pass through the round hole of the pupil. The iris opens and closes, making the pupil bigger or smaller. This regulates the amount of light passing through.

 

The light rays then pass through the lens, which changes shape so it can further bend the rays and focus them on the retina. The retina, which sits at the back of the eye, is a thin layer of tissue that contains millions of tiny light-sensing nerve cells. These nerve cells are called rods and cones because of their distinct shapes. Cones are concentrated in the center of the retina, in an area called the macula. When there is bright light, cones provide clear, sharp central vision and detect colors and fine details. Rods are located outside the macula and extend all the way to the outer edge of the retina. They provide peripheral or side vision. Rods also allow the eyes to detect motion and help us see in dim light and at night.

 

These cells in the retina convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve sends these impulses to the brain, which produces an image. (Click on the link at the beginning of this section for a complete diagram on this process)

 

The importance of Eye Exams

Eye exams at every stage of life can help keep your vision clear and strong.  Many people only go to the eye doctor when they notice things aren’t as clear as they once were. Noticeable lack of vision is only one of many reasons that regular eye exams are important to eye health. Regular eye exams can spot many diseases early on and with proper treatment can even help preserve your eyesight.

The CDC states that “Eye diseases are common and can go unnoticed for a long time—some have no symptoms at first. A comprehensive dilated eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is necessary to find eye diseases in the early stages when treatment to prevent vision loss is most effective.

During the exam, visual acuity (sharpness), depth perception, eye alignment, and eye movement are tested. Eye drops are used to make your pupils larger so your eye doctor can see inside your eyes and check for signs of health problems. Your eye doctor may even spot other conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, sometimes before your primary care doctor does.”

Some of the common eye issues mentioned further in this article include cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and aged related macular degeneration.

Tips for Better Eye Health

The National Eye Institute, provides some simple ways in which you can help protect and save your eyesight.

  • Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Know your family’s eye health history
  • Eat right to protect your sight
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear protective eyewear
  • Quit smoking or never start
  • Be cool and wear your shades
  • Give your eyes a rest
  • Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly
  • Practice workplace eye safety

Following these simple tips can go a long way toward preserving your eyesight as you age. Don’t forget to check out this week’s sunglasses sale. Afterall, even the National Eye Institute advises to be cool and wear your shades.

Sunglasses and other high quality items can be found at: independent living aids, LLC.

Celebrating Father’s Day

According to the US Census, fathers make up 72 million of the nation’s population. Grandfathers make up 29 million. The idea for Father’s Day came over a century ago from Sonora Smart Dodd wishing to honor her father, a widowed Civil War Veteran and single father to six.

Father’s Day means something different to different people. There is likely a very personal reason why you look forward to or dread the coming of this day. Where you live or grew up could also be a factor in your response to the day. The day is celebrated worldwide on varying days of the year. It can be a day to cherish and celebrate the men in our lives regardless of biological affiliation

Father’s Day Around the World

There are many articles related to the various days that countries utilize for their celebration of Father’s Day. A good overview can be found at the Spruce. The second paragraph from that link states: “Traditions vary for Father’s Day celebrations around the world. For example, some countries link Father’s Day to the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19, which celebrates Joseph of Nazareth, father of Jesus. In Germany, Father’s Day is commonly celebrated by men loading wagons with beer and heading off into the woods. In Russia, Father’s Day overlaps with their Defender of the Fatherland Day. So, while fathers are honored, many of them march in military parades in their home towns on the same day.”

There are 38 countries represented from this site with the month of celebration breaking down into: 7 celebrate in March, 16 celebrate in June, 1 in July, 4 in August, 5 in November, and 1 varies but always on the 6th Sunday after Easter. To learn about the dates and traditions of Father’s Day even further feel free to see Wikipedia.

Father’s Day and the Men’s Health Week Campaign

Father’s Day is a great time to tell the men in your life how much you care about them. This is why the Men’s Health Week campaign was designed to coincide with Father’s Day in the United States. Instead of focusing on what could happen if you ignore your body let’s look at 6 ways you can refocus your health.

Everyday Health provides a checklist of what men can actively do to protect their health for both themselves and their loved ones. These 6 ways to better health are:

  • Get Enough Sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours per night.
  • Stop Smoking: If you quit now, you’ll lower your risk for cancer, COPD, and other smoking-related illnesses.
  • Exercise More: Try to fit in 2 ½ hours of aerobic activity, plus muscle-strengthening exercises, each week.
  • Eat Healthy: Your diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Reduce Stress: You’ll feel much more relaxed if you avoid drugs and alcohol, connect socially, and find support.
  • Get Regular Checkups: Positive outcomes are more likely with early detection.

Creating a Father’s Day to Remember

If you’re looking for things to do with and for your father look no further than this article at All Pro Dad. Jackie Bledsoe shares not only wonderful creative suggestions but also provides links to photo tutorials if you want to create your slide show and/or order products with family photos on them. These 5 memory worthy ideas are:

  • Share and write down old stories the two of you have together
  • Go through old family photos
  • Take him somewhere special
  • Get the grand-kids to do something special
  • Visit him wherever he is

If you’re still looking for a store bought present for dear-old-dad don’t forget to check out the sale items at independent living aids, LLC.