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Joplin seniors can use mobile technology to connect with loved ones

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 BY U.S. CELLULAR

Joplin seniors can use mobile technology to connect with loved ones

Grandparents say that mobile devices enrich their relationships and their lives

JOPLIN, Mo. – Just in time for Grandparents' Day on Sept. 8, a recent survey¹ by U.S. Cellular shows that seniors are using mobile technology to stay connected to loved ones. In fact, more than half (56 percent) of the grandparents surveyed call their grandchildren using mobile devices and nearly half (48 percent) send text messages to communicate with grandchildren. As a result, a third of the grandparents (33 percent) said mobile devices have improved their relationships with their grandchildren.

"There's a common misconception that mobile technology appeals only to younger demographics, but increasingly, seniors are using mobile devices to stay connected with loved ones through calls, emails, texts, video chatting, and social media," said Tommy Arens, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Joplin. "U.S. Cellular has found that mobile technology is helping family members of all ages enrich their relationships through better communication."

U.S. Cellular provides tools and tips to help people of all ages use their mobile devices to make their lives easier, more efficient and more meaningful, whether at home or on-the-go. U.S. Cellular recommends the following free apps for seniors, all available in Google Play:

  • Mind Games – Numerous studies have shown that our brains - like our bodies - need regular exercise. Research indicates that brain stimulation can actually help prevent age-related cognitive decline. The Mind Games app is a collection of mentally-stimulating games that help fight the effects of aging on your brain and help improve brain functioning at any age. This free app includes 17 different games that are fun, challenging and mentally beneficial.
  • Family Protector – Families can achieve greater peace of mind with U.S. Cellular's Family Protector service, which can be set up to notify family members immediately in an emergency. By downloading an app on the senior's Android device, seniors can easily and instantly send an alert to caregivers with the press of a single button in case of an illness, accident or injury. Additionally, this service provides safety and security by monitoring seniors' location through an online portal. This app is available for $9.99 per month for up to five Android devices with a 30-day free trial.
  • Skype – Don't miss those special moments with family members near and far. Long-distance grandparents can feel as if they are right there for sporting events, recitals or just a family chat by using the Skype app. Voice and video calls are free to anyone else on Skype, whether they have a smartphone, tablet or computer. To manage your data usage while using Skype, U.S. Cellular's Wi-Fi Now app will automatically connect your device to Wi-Fi hotspots where available.
  • Kindle – Seniors who love to read can download this popular app for readers in Google Play. The Kindle app allows users to access more than one million books, as well as thousands of magazines and newspapers. Kindle offers new releases, New York Times best sellers and thousands of free ebooks. Users can also customize their background and font size to fit their preferences. The app is free, but a Kindle account and credit card registration are required.
  • iTriage – Created by two ER doctors, iTriage answers medical questions about various health symptoms and offers advice about whether to seek professional treatment. This free app helps users quickly find local physicians, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities and pharmacies. It also allows people to research medical symptoms, diseases, conditions, procedures and medications, all from their mobile device. Additionally, notify your loved ones of your status by checking in from your mobile device when you're en route to the hospital or urgent care facility.

"Many seniors are relying on smartphones and tablets, not only to stay in touch with their loved ones, but also to plan trips, access books and movies, and even stay healthier. As the senior demographic is finding, mobile technology really helps them access a wealth of information and services - right at their fingertips," Arens added.

Seniors can get quick access to these apps at home or on-the-go with U.S. Cellular's high-speed network.

¹ Between April 1-5, 2013, a total of 527 online interviews were conducted among U.S. Cellular post-paid customers by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Directions Research Inc.

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