Friday, December 26, 2008

Online LIFE Magazine Photo Archive

Google has partnered with LIFE Magazine to digitize the photos and etchings from their archive. A Google blog post mentioned that only a small percentage of these photos have previously been published. Google has begun to digitize the images from this archive of 10 million photos. Many historical and cultural photographs are already online - for example, there are many Civil War photographs with descriptions. One can also click on each picture to see a full size image. These photos can be used for personal, noncommercial use. One can find these images on the "Life Photo Archive" page.

Another way to access these photos is to do a search in Google images using the search term "source:life", along with your topic word. For example, to see pictures of the Olympic games from the LIFE archive, type in "olympics source:life" in the search box on the Google images search page. Click here to view this example.

Another large archive of historical photographs is now available on the Flickr website. Flickr has partnered with the Library of Congress to host a sampling of their digital photo collection. You can also search the full Library Of Congress Prints and Photographs Online catalog here. This archive includes approximately one million images. More information about this archive can be found here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nursing Home Ratings

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently created an online tool to help people compare Nursing Homes. This tool uses a five star rating system and ranks only nursing homes that are certified to participate in Medicare or Medicaid and which provide a level of care which is considered "skilled". The ratings are based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.

You can find out more about the rating system on this page. Please note that if you want to search by state, they have split the Florida into two parts, Northern and Southern Florida. Pasco County is considered part of North Florida in their system.

Other useful information provided on this website include:
Alternatives to Nursing Home Care
Nursing Home Checklist

You can get local information about adult daycare, senior centers, and general resources for older adults from the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas. Their Senior Helpline number is 1-800-861-8111.

For more information about the
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, click here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Health Information from NIH

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has a Senior Health website - NIHSeniorHealth. They have recently added nutrition information about how to eat well and shop wisely. This information can be found here. More information about nutrition for Seniors can be found on the MedlinePlus website.

In addition, the NIHSeniorHealth website has added information about complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary medicine can include treatments such as acupuncture and nutritional supplements.

Monday, October 6, 2008

AARP Driver Safety Program

New River Library will be hosting a 2 day AARP Driver Safety Program on October 14th and 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. This class is a refresher course for drivers age 50 and many insurance companies provide a discount to people who complete the class. More information about the AARP Driver Safety Program can be found here. Registration is requested for this class. To register for the class, please call (813) 780-9168.

[New River Library is located at 34043 S. R. 54, Zephyrhills, FL.]

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Grandparent's Day

National Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day, which is September 7th this year. President Jimmy Carter added this celebration in 1978. Marion H. McQuade first championed the idea for this celebration and her descendants created a nonprofit organization, the National Grandparents Day Council. The organization website states:

"Our goals are to honor grandparents and to strengthen
the bond between grandparents and grandchildren.
Additionally, we strive to draw compassionate attention
to the eldest of society's elderly--those in nursing homes."

New River Library is having a Grandparent's Day program on Saturday, September 6th from 2:00pm -4:00pm. There will be Wii video games, activities for children and their grandparents, and refreshments.

[New River Library address: 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, Fl.]

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Genealogy Website

Would you like to chart your family tree? There is a new free website called Geni, which helps you to create your family tree. In addition, it offers social networking features, so that family members can collaborate to create the family tree. One can also add family pictures or videos to share with family or friends. To protect your privacy, you can set the account to allow access only to family members. People are using the website to find out more about their distant relatives and even to plan family reunions.

[This information was found via the a post by Michelle Boule on the ALA Techsource Blog.]

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Online Job Search for Adults 50+

AARP and have formed a partnership to provide a free job search website for adults 50 years or older. One can search for full time, part time, or flexible jobs. A recent press release from AARP stated that " and AARP will identify employers that maintain policies, practices and programs consistent with employment of people age 50 and older based solely on their proficiency, qualifications and contribution." AARP also provides a free online discussion group about career issues, called "The Water Cooler".

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Social Security Retirement Estimator

The Social Security Administration has just recently provided online access to a retirement benefits calculator. This calculator "is tied to a person’s actual Social Security earnings record and eliminates the need to manually key in years of earnings information." (Mark Lassiter, press release). This calculator is easy to use and can be used to compare retirement options. It gives expected benefits, based on different ages of retirement. Click here for the benefits calculator.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Windows Vista Information

Are you considering buying a new computer? Most new computers come with the Windows Vista operating system. There are some changes from the older Windows XP operating system. Here are some new titles about the Windows Vista operating system for Seniors:

Windows Vista for Seniors: for the over 50s

Switching to Windows Vista for Seniors

Internet and E-mail for Seniors with Windows Vista

Photos, Video and Music for Seniors with Windows Vista

If you would prefer to buy a new computer with the older Windows XP operating system, there is an article by Christopher Null from PCWorld about how to accomplish this task. The article is called "What does it take to get a PC with XP?"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tips on Home Repair Fraud

Richard Zutell of AARP will be giving a talk at the Hudson Regional Library on July 17th at 2:00pm. This presentation will give advice about how to pick an honest contractor. If you would like to attend this presentation, you can register for the program by calling Hudson Library at (727) 861-3040.

[Hudson Regional Library is located at 8012 Library Road, Hudson FL]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Caregiver Communication Advice

Many older adults are the caregivers for older family members. If you are a caregiver, you may be interested in an article by Jessica Merritt called “50 Communication Tips and Techniques for Caregivers”. This article gives advice about how to communicate effectively, both verbally and nonverbally. For example, she recommends talking to your patient about only one thing at a time and giving that person time to respond. She also discusses how to communicate well with health care providers, health insurance providers, and other family members, since the caregiver may have to act as the mediator for the patient. The full article is here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Study about Internet Use

A new study from the AARP and the Center for the Digital Future has shown some interesting new trends in internet use by older adults (50+). A news release from AARP summarized some of the results of this study:
  • Older adult internet users access news information online more often than do internet users under 20 years of age.
  • 18% of older adult internet users play online games at least once per day.
  • 68% browse and buy items online.
  • 46% use the internet to maintain social relationships
  • Of those 50+ who are involved in online communities, 70% state that these communities are very important to them.
This news release quoted Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for communication, as saying "In specific areas, there is often little difference in use of online technology between older users and some of the youngest users."

More highlights of this study can be found here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Nutrition Website for Older Adults

The National Institute of Health has a website called NIHSeniorHealth. This website provides information on many topics - such as arthritis, cataract, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, and osteoporosis. The newest addition to this website is a section called “Eating well when you get older”, which includes advice about healthy foods, food safety, and how to shop wisely. The U. S National Library of Medicine also has a webpage called “Nutrition for Seniors”.

Also, if you want to track your nutrition and calories, the website provides tools to assess your food intake and to assess your physical activity level.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Discounts and Free Items for Older Adults

Linda and Bob Kalian have published a new 2008 edition of "The Best Free Things for Seniors". This book is for people over 50. It gives a wealth of information about free and discounted products and services. This book tells you how to get:
  • free cookbooks
  • discounted movie tickets
  • free medical care and health information
  • free legal help
  • free health and beauty aids
  • free or low cost college aid
  • free financial information
  • low cost travel opportunities
  • free consumer protection information
You can check out this book from the Pasco County Library System.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to Find Caregiver Support Programs by State

The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) has recently created a database for publicly-funded caregiver support programs. This database is called "Caregiving across the States" and it can be accessed by clicking one's state on a map or by choosing the state from a drop down menu. The information includes details about specific caregiving programs, including eligibility requirements, the geographic regions served by the programs, and the services provided by each program. For example, program services may include assistive technology, caregiver training, supplies, counseling, homemaker assistance, and respite care.

Links for Florida services:

In addition, there is a wealth of statistical information about caregivers and the cost of caregiving in each state. The Florida statistical information is here.

The Family Caregiver Alliance is a community-based nonprofit organization. The FCA website is a great resource for older adults and for caregivers. There are useful fact sheets in English, Spanish, and Chinese; research reports; caregiving advice; and links to online support groups.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Aging in Place

Many people wish to stay in their own homes as they age. However, their homes may need to be remodeled to make them more accessible and safe. For example, grab bars can be added to showers and baths, nonskid flooring can be installed, and round door handles can be replaced with lever-style door handles.

The National Association of Home Builders has a Certified Aging In Place Specialist Program (CAPS) to provide trained specialists to help people to remodel their homes, so that they can remain in their home as they age. For more information about remodeling your home, see the National Association of Home Builders information page on Aging in Place.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

State Health Statistics

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation provides health data on all 50 states on their site: This site provides data on more than 500 health topics, including Medicare spending. The data is from an analysis of the Census Bureau’s March 2006 and 2007 Current Population Surveys (CPS; Annual Social and Economic Supplements).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Senior Retirement Workshop

Are you interested in planning for your retirement? You may want to attend the Senior Retirement Workshop at the New River Branch on Wednesday, May 7th, from 12:30pm - 5:00 pm. Mr. Rocco Canora will be discussing new options for Medicaid, Social Security, wills, trusts, and how to protect your money. To register for this program, please call: 1-877-349-4207.

[New River Library address: 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, Fl.]

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Older Americans Month 2008

May is "Older American's Month". It was originally called "Senior Citizens Month" by President Kennedy in 1963, but the name was changed to "Older Americans Month" by President Carter in 1980. The Administration on Aging described this month as "... a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country." The Administration on Aging has published the theme for this year's celebration: "Working Together for Strong, Healthy, and Supportive Communities". The Administration on Aging provided the logo above and a nice poster for download:

The U.S. Census Bureau released a fact sheet for Older Americans Month. Selected facts include:
  • 37.3 million people were 65 and older in the U.S. in 2006
  • There is a projected 147% increase in the 65-and-older population between 2000 and 2050
  • The poverty rate for people 65 and older in 2006 - 9.4%
  • By 2016, the number of people 65 and older in the labor force will reach 10.1 million
  • 7.3 million are taking adult education classes
  • 1.6 million live in nursing homes
  • Charlotte County, Fl has the highest percentage of 65+ at 31.2%