Billings man helps boost home security and efficiency with high-tech gadgets

You're driving to work and wonder, “Did I close the garage door?”

Or you climb into bed at night, but remember you didn’t lock the doors. Or maybe you hear a noise outside your home in the middle of the night and you fear an intruder is breaking in.

That last scenario happened to Robert Casares a few years ago in the Billings home he owned at the time.

“I heard a loud bump at the back door,” said Casares, owner of Halo-Tek, a business that deals with home automation and security. “I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs.”

He peered through the vertical blinds by his back door and saw a man staring back at him. Casares opened the door and chased after the suspect, until Casares realized he was wearing only his boxer shorts and gave up the chase.

His wife called 911 and police responded and caught the man. Casares identified the intruder, who, he found out, had attempted to break into other nearby homes.

Not long after, Casares, who travels the country in his role as a consultant to banks regarding financial crime risk management, had an alarm system installed in the home that he shared with his wife and two daughters.

Posted by editor on Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:11 | Permalink

Children are in jeopardy without essential health insurance program

To most families, protecting the health and well-being of their children is a top priority. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Congress right now.

Late last month, lawmakers in the House and Senate missed an important deadline to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) when Republicans in the Senate decided to focus on yet another failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act instead of bipartisan efforts to reauthorize CHIP by the Sept. 30 deadline.

In so doing, these lawmakers put in jeopardy health care for the nearly 9 million children who depend upon CHIP, including 30 percent of children in Missouri. Thanks to Medicaid and CHIP, there are more insured children now than ever before in our country’s history: More than 95 percent of kids have coverage today. But political bickering in Congress could wipe out that progress and leave children in need with few options.

Posted by editor on Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:11 | Permalink

Future technology trends for the home

In the CEDIA Technology Council’s view, one core area of interest is sensors everywhere. So what does that mean and how will that impact the home integration business? Well, it’s all about the increasing number of sensors, both on our person and all around us, in the built environment. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the modern home is seeing an exponential increase — from video sensing and the new science of audio analytics, to sensors embedded in fabric that measure our bio data and further to simple sensors that monitor temperature, water leaks, and occupancy. This breadth of sensing devices will lead to a world where, ultimately, the best user interface will be no user interface.

Posted by editor on Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:11 | Permalink

Mental health issues a concern for seniors too

Seniors are not immune from mental health issues. The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s website states that, “More than 1.8 million people over 60 years of age were living with a mental health problem or illness in Canada in 2016. As people live longer, our approach to mental health must account for the changing needs and increasing numbers of older adults living with mental health problems and illnesses.”

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

Age + Technology = Road Blocks For Older Drivers: Addressed At EMU Aging Studies Program Event

Anne Dickerson is a professor and director of research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative at East Carolina University and spoke about the safety and planning necessary for older and aging drivers at Eastern Michigan University.

She talked with 89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry about how we can keep older adults on the road as long as possible and how to keep them safe.

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

Omaha-Based Heritage Communities Launches New Home Health Service Line

Heritage Communities of Omaha, NE announces the development of their new service line: Heritage OnCare Home Health. Heritage Communities owns and operates 12 senior living communities throughout Nebraska, Iowa and Arizona, including two additional locations under development. Heritage OnCare will offer medicare certified services under the home health umbrella including assistance with activities of daily living, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

SilverSneakers Celebrates 25 Years of Revolutionizing Older Adult Fitness with National SilverSneakers Week, Oct. 23-27, 2017

SilverSneakers®, the nation's leading community fitness program for older adults, by Tivity Health (NASDAQ:TVTY) announced today the launch of National SilverSneakers Week - a celebration of 25 years of improving the physical, social and mental health of millions of older Americans.

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

What Are Adult Day Centers -- Besides The Basis For Political Insults?

Adult day centers seem to have made it into the political debate in Washington, though not in a good way. In his nasty weekend back-and-forth with President Trump, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) suggested the White House has become an “adult care center” and wondered if the staff had “missed a shift” when Trump launched his Sunday Twitter storm. Yesterday, Rep Diane Black (R-TN)—who wants to run for governor—replied that the Senate “is an adult day care center” that can't get anything done.

Leaving aside this mature level of political discourse, the name-calling does raise an important question: What are adult day centers and how do they work?

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

Gadgets geared at aging population on display at Winnipeg tech conference

Smart wheelchairs, homes that track heartbeats and virtual gyms—the brains behind these new gadgets aimed to help an aging population are coming to Winnipeg.

The city is hosting Age-Well 2017 an annual conference bringing together researchers from across the country, industry, non-profit and government sectors and the public to focus on technological solutions to support an aging population.

“People are going to see a range right from research that’s starting out, to technology that’s about to hit the marketplace,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, scientific director at Age-Well and biomedical engineer developing smart-home systems.

Posted by editor on Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:10 | Permalink

Gov. Wolf to veto controversial Medicaid work requirement bill

Gov. Tom Wolf will veto a budget-related bill passed by the Republican-controlled state House and Senate that would have required the administration to include a work-search requirement in the Medicaid program and could have limited certain Medicaid benefits.

Mr. Wolf, a Democrat, had said for months that he was opposed to the changes, but it wasn't clear if he might go along with them as part of a larger budget agreement with the Legislature, or because they were included in a large omnibus bill with other human services provisions.

Posted by editor on Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:10 | Permalink