Hints from Heloise: Senior technology

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 (www.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. — Heloise


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, 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. — Heloise


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. — Heloise


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

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.


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