Hints From Heloise: Senior technology


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Dear Readers: Technology is advancing every day, and to senior citizens, it can appear complicated and overwhelming. With so many devices out there (desktop, laptop, smartphone, digital audio players), no wonder there’s confusion!

Social media platforms are great ways to keep up with family, friends, photos, groups and activities, and the Internet also can provide email, news, banking, research, etc. But if seniors aren’t sure how to use this technology, they can miss out.

The Older Adults Technology Services (oats.org) helps seniors learn how to use computers and has collaborated with AARP to hold training sessions. Older adults also can check senior centers or their neighborhood library for classes on technology.

Dear Heloise: What’s a GIF? I see them all over the Internet, but they are hard to explain!

Tyler T., age 11, in Kentucky

Tyler T.: Great question. GIF stands for graphics interchange format; it’s a short, compressed picture or moving picture used for illustration in an online or digital article.

A GIF can be used to quickly show how a flower blooms, for example, or it can illustrate an emotion or feeling. Clips featuring popular actors in shows and iconic movies are often turned into GIFs for a comedic effect.

Dear Readers: Did you know that to avoid risk of suffocation, an infant should be put in a crib with ONLY a firm mattress and a fitted sheet? The baby should wear only a one-piece sleeper. NO toys, pillows, crib bumpers, loose bedding or blankets in the crib.

At bedtime and for naps, put the infant on his or her back in the crib, and the room temperature should be what’s comfy for you.

Dear Heloise: I have my child put a puzzle together on a piece of cardboard. When complete, I put another piece of cardboard on top of the puzzle.

I flip it over and remove the cardboard. Now we can create another picture on the underside. We get out our crayons and markers and CREATE!

M.J., Lima, Ohio

Dear Heloise: Many times, I see cars with only one headlight. To check my headlights, I pull in front of a large glass window and check out all the headlights. This also can be done for taillights, but I must look over my shoulder.

Sandy in Indiana

Dear Readers: To get a ring to fit comfortably on the finger, it should slide over the knuckle and yet fit close enough to not slip off the hand under normal wear.

A tapered band should fit your true size. A ring that is one-quarter of an inch or wider might be too snug. You may need to go up a half size.

Dear Heloise: I want my fragrances to match, but the lotions, sprays, soaps and powders can get expensive. I mix cornstarch with my scented powder 50/50, and this works well.

Helen T. in San Antonio

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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