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Better Living February 2013


  • A special supplement to The Daily Nonpareil

    Help can be found to navigate the world of technology

    See Page 2

    Enter to win a quilt

    See Page 5

    February 2013


    Quilt-a-Quarter January 2013 - March 2013 Tickets cost $5 for 1 and $10 for 3

    Last sale day for tickets at senior centers is Friday, March 22nd

    Last day to purchase tickets in the office is Friday, March 29th

    Drawing will be held Monday, April 1st (Really - No foolin here!)

    This gorgeous and colorful quilt is a full-sized original design with a pale yel-low flannel backing, great for cuddly afternoons by the fire.

    This quilt was made and donated by Leola Poppen, who is a long-serving South-west 8 Senior Companion volunteer!

    Proceeds will help keep seniors independent and in their own homes.

    For more information or to buy tickets, contact Connie Wilson or your local senior center:

    Connie Wilson Senior Center 712-328-2540 ext. 1042 _____________________, __________________, IA 712-_______-_________

    See whats cookin at your area Senior Center

    See Page 11

    This edition featuring . . . TechnologyLivingLiving

  • Chad NatioNCNatioN@NoNpareiloNliNe.Com

    Technology is a rapidly changing frontier; what was popular yesterday might not be used by anyone tomorrow.

    Keeping up with what is going on in all matters technological can be dif-ficult for the most prac-ticed gadget-head, but it can be even more intimi-dating for seniors who have never been inclined to adopt new technology.

    Whether it is Face-book, Twitter or an e-reader, tackling any-thing new can be diffi-cult, especially with little computer knowledge to start.

    If you dont know the difference between a tweet and a poke, there are people out there that can help.

    And the importance of an Internet connection and the ability to use technology becomes more important each day as services shift to strictly online availability.

    Connect Iowa released a 2012 report focusing on the challenges Iowa seniors face in embrac-ing technology that can deeply impact their qual-ity of life.

    According to Connect Iowa which embraces widespread access, use and adoption of broad-band to improve all areas of life for Iowa residents high-speed Internet is becoming increasingly important for access to government services, healthcare resources and countless other personal

    tasks like banking, shop-ping and communicating with family and friends.

    The issue of elderly technology adoption is especially important in Iowa because the state has the sixth largest share of residents over the age of 70 in the nation.

    According to the Con-nect Iowa research, 47 percent of Iowans age 70+ approximately 169,000 do not own a computer.

    Thirty-nine percent say they simply dont understand how broad-band is relevant to their lives; 24 percent say digi-tal literacy is their prob-lem and they dont know how to use a computer or the Internet. However, of those Iowans over age 70 who do subscribe to home Internet service, 56 percent say they go

    online on a daily basis.Broadband offers

    Iowas senior citizens new power and inde-pendence, said Connect Iowa Program Manager Amy Kuhlers. With an interactive link to fam-ily and friends, as well as increased access to healthcare information and services, broadband is empowering them to live more independently while enabling them to engage more fully with society.

    Getting over that ini-tial fear of the machines themselves can be the first step.

    In Council Bluffs, one source to help seniors tackle technology is the Council Bluffs Public Library.

    Lynn Friesner, ref-erence manager at the

    library, said seniors can benefit from basic com-puter instruction at the library four days a week through a program the library administers with West Central Commu-nity Action called Senior Tech Time.

    For a few hours, an instructor assists seniors in the librarys computer lab.

    Anyone is welcome; the instructor starts each individual at their own level of comfort, he said.

    Even if a senior has never touched a com-puter mouse, they can get assistance feeling out the computer.

    Friesner said the classes are usually well attended.

    We usually have four or five seniors a day, he

    said. And they return until they get to the level they wanted to attain.

    And that level varies from person to person, he said. Some just want to learn how to work on a keyboard better, while others want to learn how to do some basic Internet research.

    When they get to the point they can use Face-book or email to commu-nicate with family, they usually are off and on their way, Friesner said.

    The library also occa-sionally offers a traveling road show version of the class that visits senior centers and senior com-munities throughout the area.

    2 Friday, January 25, 2013 The Daily NonpareilBetter Living

    300 W. Broadway, Suite 114Council Bluffs, IA 51503

    (712) 325-6802Glenwood Hospice House

    357 Indian Hills Drive,Glenwood, IA 51534


    Help can be found to navigate the world of technology

    TECHNOLOGY/See Page 10

    Submitted photo

  • Eighty-eight percent of Iowans filed their income tax return electronically last year! Join your friends and neighbors get your Iowa income tax refund in 10 days or less when you file elec-tronically. eFiling is fast, safe, and easy!

    Most people 65 or older are eligible to eFile for free! Begin-ning in mid-January, the Iowa Depart-ment of Revenue Web site (www.iowa.

    gov/tax) will feature links to software com-panies offering online filing of income tax returns. File your fed-eral and Iowa income tax returns together from the Departments website.

    File electronically! Good for the environ-ment. Good for you.

    Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced the agency is expanding the services available with a my Social Secu-rity account, a personal-ized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing through-out the time they receive Social Security benefits.

    More than 60 million Social Security benefi-ciaries and Supplemen-tal Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit veri-fication letter, payment history and earnings record instantly using their online account. Social Security benefi-ciaries also can change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.

    We are making it even easier for people to do their business with us from the comfort of their home, office, or library, Commissioner Astrue said. I encourage people of all ages to take advan-tage of our award-win-ning online services and check out the new fea-tures available through an online my Social Secu-rity account.

    Social Security benefi-ciaries and SSI recipients with a my Social Security account can go online and get an official benefit ver-ification letter instantly. The benefit verification letter serves as proof of income to secure loans, mortgages and other

    housing, and state or local benefits. Addition-ally, people use the letter to prove current Medi-care health insurance coverage, retirement or disability status, and age. People can print or save a customized letter.

    Social Security pro-cessed nearly nine million requests for benefit veri-fication letters in the past year. This new online ser-vice allows people to con-duct business with Social Security without having to visit an office or make a phone call, and very often wait for a letter to arrive in the mail. It also will reduce the time spent by employees completing these requests and free them to focus on other workloads.

    People age 18 and older can sign up for an account at Once there, they must be able to provide infor-mation about themselves and answers to questions that only they are likely to know. After complet-ing the secure verifica-tion process, people can create a my Social Security account with a

    unique user name and password to access their information.

    People age 18 and older who are not receiving ben-efits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get a personalized online Social Security State-ment. The online State-ment provides eligible workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement. In addition, the portal also includes links to information about other online services, such as applications for retire-ment, disability and Medicare.

    Given our signifi-cantly reduced funding, we have to find innova-tive ways to continue to meet the needs of the American people without compromising service, said Astrue. These new enhancements will allow us to provide faster ser-vice to more people in more places.

    For more informa-tion, please go to

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