Why Elderly Need Google Home

Google Home for your elderly parents? How seniors with mobility or vision issues can benefit from a smart speaker. Control the temperature or call for help with just your voice.

Google Home for elderly
Google Home for Elderly

Google Home Smart Assistant

“Hey Google, call Mom”. Worried about your mother? Ask your smart device to give Mom a call.

Follow this link If you want to know how to set up smart speakers to make phone calls.

You can also search for video instructions. As a visual learner, I find it much easier to follow video instructions.

Nurses Like Smart Devices

What triggered this interest in Google Home for seniors?

A few weeks ago one of my news alerts had this teaser headline, “Why Google Home is Perfect for Seniors“. Up to this point I considered smart speakers to be a novelty. There are a few in my home, split between the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

I haven’t (yet) plugged into the whole “smart home” program. I still turn on the lights with my hands and TV with a remote.

Coffee is made in a French press, so no way to make it smart.

According to Nurse Next Doorone of these technologies is Google Home, a voice-activated daily assistant that can control devices around the house, make calls, provide entertainment, and answer over 100 million unique questions. You can link it to the TV, radio, thermostat and more by installing a compatible device and activating connections on your phone’s Home app. This virtual helper responds to voice commands, which means that someone with limited vision or reduced finger dexterity can easily use it.”

Why Elderly Need Google Home

Google Engineer Helps Dad with Parkinson’s

I also discovered this story about Stephanie Wilson and how she helped her parents live a fuller life with Google Home and Smart Assistant.

Wilson’s parents, Fred and Linda, live in a condo, and Fred uses a wheelchair. About 10 years ago, the University of Toronto philosophy professor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a degenerative brain disorder that leads to loss of muscle control.

When Wilson heard her father talking about how hard it was to control the lights, she installed smart bulbs around the condo. Now, her parents control the lights by speaking to Google Home.

Link to Stephanie’s video and very moving story.

Hey Google – How Does Medicare Work?

Word of advice. If you ask Google about Medicare you will most likely hear “Sorry, I don’t know that one”.

If you want solid Medicare advice, ask GA Medicare expert Bob Vineyard. If you just want rates check out GA Medigap Quotes.

#GAMedicareExpert #GoogleHome #SmartDevice #GAMedigapQuotes #GAMedigapRates

Mining for Gold in the Silver Market

Data miners are mining for gold among silver (and blue) haired retirees. Is your private information really private? How do you protect your personal information from being mined for gold and sold to marketers? Is HIPPA truly effective in protecting your information?

According to an ABC News report, your private medical information is not so private.

Mining for data gold

Identity theft gets all the press, but the focus is on credit thieves. There is an even bigger market in your PHI (personal health information).

Medicare fraud takes center stage for medical identity theft but there is gold in your diagnosis. Some thieves simply want your Medicare data mining for goldnumber to facilitate fraudulent claims. Others want to sell you diabetic supplies, durable medical equipment and even adult diapers.

Dan Abate doesn’t have diabetes nor is he aware of any obvious link to the disease. Try telling that to data miners.

The 42-year-old information technology worker’s name recently showed up in a database of millions of people with “diabetes interest” sold by Axciom


Your medical condition is gold for data miners. But what about Dan Abate? He doesn’t have diabetes. So where did these modern day prospectors get his name?

Possibly from a list of charitable donors that made contributions for diabetes research.

Where does your information go?

ABC News “found somebody willing to sell a data dump of diabetic patients with information including their names, birth dates and who their insurance provider was, among other details. Another seller offered 100,000 records of customers who purchased health insurance in the last three to 12 months.”

Some of this data is selling for as little as $0.15 per name. Miners have access to your name, date of birth, address, phone number and more.

Who is looking in your medicine cabinet?

Forget the NSA. They are supposedly looking for national security threats.

Data miners have been quietly using their tools to peek into America’s medicine cabinets. Tapping social media, health-related phone apps and medical websites, data aggregators are scooping up bits and pieces of tens of millions of Americans’ medical histories. Even a purchase at the pharmacy can land a shopper on a health list.

(Consumers are) showing up in directories with names like “Suffering Seniors” or “Aching and Ailing,” according to a Bloomberg review of this little-known corner of the data mining industry. Other lists are categorized by diagnosis, including groupings of 2.3 million cancer patients, 14 million depression sufferers and 600,000 homes where a child or other member of the household has autism or attention deficit disorder.

Your information is probably out there already. If you are getting unsolicited calls, email or junk mail for medical items you may (or may not) want or need, chances are you have landed on some thieves list.

What about my HIPPA rights?

The truth is, you have no HIPPA rights.

HIPPA is a “feel good” law that imposes fines and even jail time for those that do not take precautions to keep your private information private. Once your information is stored electronically “in the cloud” or transmitted to another facility data miners have the ability to mine for gold.

nighthawk servicesHIPPA laws do not apply when your data leaves the United States. Insurance carriers routinely provide access to customer service reps in other countries. Medical facilities use overseas  diagnosticians for reading X-rays and digital images.

I blogged on Nighthawk Radiology Services at InsureBlog back in 2006. The linked post addresses your loss of HIPPA rights once your data leaves the United States.

HIPPA laws do not prevent data mining any more the drunk driving laws eliminate driving while intoxicated. But they do provide civil and criminal penalties for malicious disobedience.


How do I protect my private information?

Believe it or not, most consumers willingly give up their data without thinking about it.

When you go online looking for information about a medical condition, medication or even insurance quotes you run the risk of voluntarily handing your information over to data miners looking for gold.

Most insurance quoting sites take the information you volunteer and sell that data to insurance agents and marketers.

Georgia Medicare Plans and GA Medigap Quotes NEVER sells your data. We provide you with an online quote that allows you to view rates and benefits on as many Medigap plans as you wish. Your name, DOB and other information is stored in a secure site that can only be accessed by Bob Vineyard.

When you get a secure quote from us here is what will happen.

  • You will receive an email, thanking you for visiting our site.
  • Shortly after that I will send you an email with rates on our most popular plan based on your age and zip code
  • I will call you a few days later to answer any questions

You will receive additional emails from time to time providing you with general information about Medicare. You will also receive periodic emails on retiree related topics.

You may opt out of future emails at any time and your data is NEVER SOLD.



Do other marketing firms sell my data?

They can sell your information to gold miners but they can only do it legally if you give them permission. This disclosure is usually in the fine print at the bottom of an opt in page that most people never bother to read.

AARP is the largest senior focused marketing firm in the country. Do they use your private information?

You bet they do.

And how they collect and use your information is spelled out in their 12 point privacy notice.

Selling your information to travel agencies and insurance companies is how they keep the lights on at AARP.

Data mining is gold for marketers. Keep that in mind the next time you go online or fill out a request for information card and mail it back in.


#datamining #HIPPA #personalhealthinformation

What Causes Heart Disease – Science or Sham?

What really causes heart disease? Diet? Lifestyle? Does Dr. Dwight Lundell have the answer? Or is it all a sham? Can damage to the heart be dr lundellreversed?


Causes of Heart Disease

Can we prevent heart disease? Can the damage be reversed with diet?

An Arizona heart surgeon’s claim that a diet of unprocessed foods – not necessarily low-fat foods – can prevent and even reverse heart disease has ignited the Internet.

Dr. Dwight Lundell has dished the dirt on ‘what really causes heart disease’ and he admits prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications, and a low-fat, high-simple carbohydrate diet for two-and-a-half decades was misguided.

‘These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible,’

Daily Mail UK

I doubt if anyone will disagree with Dr. Lundell’s basic premise that diet and lifestyle are major contributors to heart disease.

Daily doses of high fat foods, processed grains and fats aren’t healthy. But who really eats like that?

He explains that this once ‘healthy’ diet actively destroys the walls of our blood vessels by causing chronic inflammation. This inflammation makes cholesterol stick to the walls, forming the plaques that eventually block them, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

Sounds logical.

Build of up cholesterol leads to hardening of the arteries, restricting blood flow and leading to heart disease. And his comments just seem to resonate.

Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lean protein, he recommends

But is he oversimplifying things? Is his Marcus Welby approach helpful?

And is he giving us the kind of advice that really works or is this all a sham?

medigap quote CW

Science or Sham?

Is Dr. Lundell a real doctor or is there something about his past we need to know?

Dr. Stephen Barrett takes a look at this approach to curing heart disease.

Dwight C. Lundell, M.D. lost medical license in 2008. Since that time he has been promoting books that clash with established scientific knowledge of heart disease prevention and treatment. His book,The Great Cholesterol Lie, invites people to “forget about everything you have been told about low-fat diets, saturated fats, cholesterol and the causes of heart disease.” 


In his post, Dr. Barrett attacks the character of Dr. Lundell without really addressing the underlying issue.

Is the advice offered by Dr. Lundell factual and sound or is it quackery just to sell books?

There is nothing in Dr. Barretts post to indicate if the advice is good or not. Instead he closes with a comment stating he does not trust the advice of Dr. Lundell.

You decide.

Medicare Advice – Good or bad?

When you turned 65 and went on Medicare, did you really understand how the various parts work? Or were you more confused than ever?

A simple 15 minute phone conversation with Bob Vineyard at Georgia Medicare Plans will reveal more about how Medicare works than you can gain from weeks and months of studying Medicare brochures, attending seminars, having a parade of agents in your home, talking to your friends or going online.

Over 98% of the people we talk with picked the wrong Medicare plan (based on their needs and budget) and are paying too much. On average, we save our Medigap clients more than $450 per year on the exact same coverage they have now. A simple switch in plans can add another $300 in savings.

How much can you save?


What Old People Do For Fun

Senior Care, Giving it Your Best Shot

Senior care resources. How do I find caregiving tools for seniors? Can you trust the internet? How do I find local Georgia senior care resources? How much does senior care cost? How do I compare doctors and hospitals based on quality of care? senior care

Some of us are old enough to remember Pat Benatar strutting and kicking as she belted out the lyrics to “Hit me with your best shot”. At age 27 this classically trained vocalist had already had one hit album before the song that defined Pat as a rocker that knew where she wanted to go.

But if you are responsible for the senior care of someone close, where do you go for information?

Certainly the internet is a popular choice but if you don’t know where to look, or how to evaluate and process the information you are no better off than when you started your elder care search.

Fortunately the people at Minute Women have put together a list of 50 Best Senior Caregiving Tools you can find online. On one single page you find over 50 links devoted to senior. The list is divided into 10 different sections, making it easy to find the answers you seek.

Some of the links go to government websites while others are to pages that deal with elder care issues and resources. You will also find forums at the bottom of the page that can guide you in your senior care search.

Whether you are seeking general information on topics like long term care or hospice information, or sources relevant to your needs in Georgia, we believe this is a page you should bookmark for future reference.

And here is another tip you can use.

Medicare supplement plan F is the most heavily promoted Medigap plan in Georgia. It is also overpriced in our opinion. Blue Cross recently increased prices for their Medicare supplement plans. So did a well known mutual company, but they only increased rates for EXISTING policyholders. New applicants got a discounted rate.

AARP will probably follow suit with an increase in April, which is the time of year when they typically raise rates.

At Georgia Medicare Plans we usually help our clients save $450 over their current Medigap plan with no loss in benefits. Why not shop and compare GA Medigap quotes now?

And for senior care information, check out the 50 Best Senior Caregiving Tools.