Unlocking the Wonders of Science with Grandkids: A Journey of Discovery


Bradford Square Retirement Community

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Jul 18, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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In the rapidly evolving world we live in, fostering a love for science among the younger generation has become increasingly crucial. As grandparents, we have a unique opportunity to instill curiosity and inspire our grandkids to explore the wonders of the scientific realm. In this article, we will delve into the various ways we can engage our grandchildren in hands-on scientific activities that will captivate their minds and ignite a lifelong passion for learning. Let's embark on this exciting journey of discovery together!

The Magic of Experiments: Unleashing Scientific Curiosity
Scientific curiosity is often born out of experimentation. By encouraging our grandkids to engage in simple, age-appropriate experiments, we can stimulate their inquisitive nature and cultivate a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. Here are some thrilling experiments you can try with your grandkids:

  1. Fizzing Reactions: The Vinegar and Baking Soda Extravaganza

    • Active learning: Create a volcanic eruption by combining vinegar and baking soda.
    • Explain the science: Teach the grandkids about the reaction between an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) that produces carbon dioxide gas, resulting in the fizzing and bubbling effect.
  2. Rainbow Magic: Creating Colorful Density Layers

    • Engage their senses: Layer different liquids with varying densities to create a mesmerizing rainbow in a glass.
    • Discuss density: Discuss how different substances have different weights, causing them to settle in distinct layers.

Nature's Classroom: Exploring the Great Outdoors
The beauty of science lies not only within laboratory walls but also in the great outdoors. Nature provides a myriad of opportunities to spark curiosity and ignite a passion for scientific exploration. Let's explore some outdoor activities to enrich your grandkids' scientific understanding:

  1. Bug Hunt: Discovering Miniature Ecosystems

    • Observation skills: Embark on a bug-hunting expedition, encouraging your grandkids to examine insects and their habitats.
    • Teach biodiversity: Discuss the importance of diverse insect species in maintaining the balance of ecosystems.
  2. Gardening Adventures: Unraveling the Secrets of Plant Life

    • Hands-on learning: Involve your grandkids in planting and caring for a garden.
    • Explore plant growth: Teach them about photosynthesis, the importance of sunlight, and the water cycle in sustaining plant life.

Technological Marvels: Harnessing the Power of Innovation
In today's digital age, technology offers a plethora of resources to enhance scientific learning experiences. Embracing technology alongside your grandkids can open up a world of exciting possibilities:

  1. Virtual Field Trips: Journeying Beyond the Classroom

    • Explore online: Take your grandkids on virtual field trips to museums, science centers, and even outer space through interactive websites and educational apps.
    • Spark discussions: Encourage dialogue about what they've learned, fostering critical thinking and expanding their knowledge.
  2. Coding Adventures: Unleashing Creativity and Logical Thinking

    • Computational thinking: Introduce your grandkids to coding through user-friendly platforms and games.
    • Problem-solving skills: Help them understand how coding commands and algorithms can solve real-world problems.

By engaging our grandkids in the wonders of science, we can foster a lifelong love for learning and equip them with valuable skills for the future. Through hands-on experiments, outdoor exploration, and harnessing technological innovations, we can ignite their scientific curiosity and empower them to become the problem-solvers and innovators of tomorrow. So, let's embark on this incredible journey of discovery with our grandkids!

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13 Apps Seniors Need for Convenience and Health

In an age where technology is rapidly shaping our daily lives, its important to recognize that the benefits of digital innovation are not limited to a specific generation. Seniors are often overlooked in the fast-paced world of app development and technology. However, seniors are starting to discover the advantages of convenience apps designed to enhance their lives.These applications have the power to simplify tasks, increase access to essential services, and improve seniors independence. In this article, we will explore a range of convenience apps tailored to the unique needs and preferences of seniors, shedding light on the digital tools that are helping them lead more comfortable, connected, and fulfilling lives.Best Multifunctional Apps for Seniors A number of multifunctional apps have emerged as helpful tools for seniors. These tools offer a wide array of benefits that can enhance seniors daily lives. They also empower seniors to maintain their independence, especially if they are aging in place. Below are some of these useful multifunctional apps for seniors.GoGoGrandparentPhoto credit: GoGo GrandparentGoGoGrandparent is an over-the-phone service that helps seniors access apps for transportation, groceries, meals, medication delivery, household chores, and more. This service screens and monitors services from Uber, Instacart, DoorDash, and other companies to ensure the senior gets their needs met. With this tool, seniors can schedule rides, get groceries and meals delivered, hire someone to do household tasks, and have their prescriptions delivered straight to their home. For a senior who has difficulty driving or moving around, these services can be invaluable. By calling the phone number no smartphone required the senior can select the service they are looking for, and GoGoGrandparent will coordinate the request. An operator is available at all times to help the senior if they need it.There are different GoGoGrandparent membership packages available depending on how often the senior wishes to use the service. The most basic plan best for occasional usage is $10.39 a month. There are also three other plans available with increasing levels of services.Life360Photo credit: Life 360Life360 is the #1 family locator app and safety membership. In fact, 1 in 9 families use Life360 in the U.S. This app allows families to track one anothers locations along with location histories, arrival alerts, and emergency dispatch. It also provides driving safety services with crash detection and roadside assistance. This type of service is helpful for all families to have peace of mind about everyones safety. It is especially beneficial for seniors whose families may worry about their whereabouts, safety, and location. Google HomePhoto credit: Google HomeThe Google Home system and its accompanying app have proven to be immensely helpful tools for seniors by making everyday tasks more accessible and convenient. Through voice commands, seniors can effortlessly set reminders for medication, appointments, or important events, and access a wealth of information, from weather updates to news headlines. The app, which can be installed on smartphones or tablets, provides an intuitive interface for managing various aspects of their Google Home devices. Whether its adjusting thermostat settings, playing music, or making hands-free phone calls, Google Home offers seniors an accessible and user-friendly way to stay connected and manage their environment. This ultimately contributes to a greater sense of independence and comfort in their daily lives.Amazon AlexaPhoto credit: Amazon AlexaThe Amazon Alexa and the accompanying app are a virtual assistant technology that simplifies seniors daily routines and enhances their quality of life. With voice-activated commands, seniors can effortlessly control smart devices, set reminders, and access a plethora of information. From playing music to providing health tips, the Amazon Alexa helps seniors maintain their independence while enjoying the convenience of a voice-activated digital assistant.Ride Hailing Apps for SeniorsRide-hailing apps have emerged as lifelines for seniors who no longer drive or do not have easy access to transportation. These apps offer a user-friendly and convenient way to secure reliable rides to medical appointments, social gatherings, or everyday errands. For seniors, this newfound mobility can significantly enhance their quality of life. Having a mode of transportation helps seniors access the essential services they need, and allows them to stay connected to friends and family. Socializing is key for seniors mental and physical well-being, and having access to transportation helps make that possible. Below are some apps seniors can use to find reliable transportation.Uber and Uber AssistPhoto credit: Phone ArenaUber is one of the most well-known ride sharing apps. It can be found in every state in the US along with 10,000 cities in 72 countries around the world. In 2021, Uber reported having approximately 100,000 drivers in the state of Florida. Seniors can enter their desired destination, and an Uber driver will come pick them up and bring them where they want to go.One tool for seniors who need more help is Uber Assist. This rideshare program provides special assistance for people who might need extra assistance, including those who are older, less mobile, or have disabilities. Drivers for Uber Assist have been specially trained on helping these riders into vehicles and loading and unloading assistive devices. Seniors can access Uber Assist in the regular Uber app, as long as the service is available in the area. After entering the desired destination, simply select Assist at the bottom of the screen. This service is also available for caregivers and family members who request a ride for a senior. And, you can even schedule an Uber Assist ride in advance on the app. Uber Assist is currently available in 40 cities.    Lyft and LivelyPhoto credit: LyftLyft is another major ridesharing app. Lyft works the same as Uber people can input their desired destinations, and a car will pick them up and bring them where they wish to go. Lyft is available in all 50 states as well as 72 countries. They also offer discounted rides for low-income families and seniors to access healthy food through their Lyft Up program. Lyft has partnered with Lively to create a service just for seniors who have Jitterbug phones. Seniors can simply dial 0 on their Jitterbug phone to be connected with an operator who will schedule a ride for them. This service is available anywhere Lyft operates.Grocery and Meal Delivery Apps for SeniorsGrocery and meal delivery apps can be life changing for seniors, ensuring they have access to fresh food and prepared meals without the challenges of in-person shopping or cooking. These apps allow seniors to conveniently browse, select, and order groceries or meals from the comfort of their own homes. With doorstep delivery, seniors no longer need to worry about transportation or navigating busy stores, which can be particularly taxing for some. In fact, seniors are using food delivery services at record-breaking rates. A recent study found that in 2020, 1 in 4 seniors ordered groceries or food delivery.This technology not only simplifies seniors daily routines but also contributes to their overall well-being, offering a lifeline for those who may have limited mobility or want to avoid crowded public spaces. Food delivery tools are another way seniors can maintain their independence and quality of life. Below are some of the most prominent.InstacartPhoto credit: InstacartInstacart is a grocery delivery service that allows you to shop from your favorite grocery stores with your computer or mobile device. Simply add items to your cart and schedule your preferred delivery time, which can be as fast an hour, or even several days in advance. Then, a shopper will gather your items and deliver them straight to your door.Instacart even has a special Senior Support Service for customers over age 60. With this service, Instacart specialists help customers who may need additional assistance to set up their accounts and place grocery orders. The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada at 18449813433, daily from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET. Amazon Prime and Whole Foods deliveryPhoto credit: Food Business NewsWith over 200 million members, Amazon Prime has become an exceedingly popular service. Amazon Prime is a great tool for seniors to get household items delivered straight to their home. They can even schedule the items for repeat delivery so they never need to worry about reordering items. One useful feature that comes with Amazon Prime is Whole Foods delivery. For $9.95, Amazon Prime members in select regions can order Whole Foods groceries via Amazon.com or the Amazon app, and schedule them for same-day or next-day delivery to their home. Customers can also order Whole Foods groceries for curbside pickup at no additional cost. Grocery pickup is available at 500 Whole Foods stores in the US.UberEatsPhoto credit: UberEatsFor seniors who are already familiar with the Uber app, UberEats can be a great way to have meals delivered from their favorite restaurants. The companys food-delivery platform is similar to its rideshare platform, which can be helpful to streamline the experience for seniors. DoorDashPhoto credit: AllrecipesDoorDash is widely considered the most popular food delivery service in the US. Available in about 7,000 cities, DoorDash delivers food from more than 300,000 restaurants. It also saves your previous orders to make it easy for seniors to reorder from their favorite spots.GrubhubPhoto credit: GrubhubGrubhub delivers to about 8,000 cities in the US. In Florida, Grubhub delivers groceries and household items from about 260 restaurants and stores. The platform works the same way as UberEats or DoorDash, but some believe GrubHub has a wider selection of restaurants to choose from. Health Apps for SeniorsApps related to health and wellness are another beneficial technology for senior citizens. By enhancing health awareness and accessibility to care, health apps are valuable assets that enable seniors to maintain their health as they age. Below are some popular apps for senior health.MediSafePhoto credit: BridgingAppsMediSafe is the #1 rated pill reminder app by pharmacists and physicians. The app keeps track of your medications, reminds you when to take them, and tracks when you have or have not taken them. It also provides drug interaction warnings if they occur. And, it can alert seniors caregivers of missed doses.Medication management can be a challenge for some seniors, especially those who are experiencing memory difficulties. An app like MediSafe helps seniors keep track of their pills and prevent the dangers that can come with mismanaging medication.GoodRXPhoto credit: Medcity NewsThe GoodRX app and website provide coupons that can save customers up to 80% on their prescriptions. This service also allows customers to compare prices of prescriptions across 70,000 U.S. pharmacies. In Florida alone, there are over 1,300 pharmacies that accept GoodRx coupons and discounts. Overall, this service is a helpful resource for seniors to save money on necessary medications, which can quickly get expensive.ConclusionWhether seniors are aging at home or in a Florida assisted living community, convenience apps have proven to be invaluable tools for improving independence and quality of life. By making everyday tasks more accessible and efficient, these apps empower seniors to lead more full, connected lives, while also providing peace of mind to their loved ones. As technology continues to advance, the positive impact of convenience apps for seniors will continue to increase, creating a more inclusive and supportive digital landscape for our senior community.Need more senior guidance?Navigating the challenges that come with aging can be difficult. If you or a loved one could use no-cost guidance on finding the best senior living and care, give Florida Senior Consulting a call at (800) 969-7176.We help seniors find their perfect senior living communities, and we help with every step of the process along the way! Touring, packing, moving, unpacking, settling in we help with it ALL!Visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to learn more.

Three Clever Ways to Contribute to the College Funds

Helping finance a grandchilds college education can bring great personal satisfaction. When done correctly, supporting their future education can also minimize potential gift and estate taxes. Here are some common strategies:Outright Cash Gifts. One way to contribute is to make an outright gift of cash. To minimize any potential gift tax implications, youll want to keep your gift under the annual federal gift tax exclusion amount of $13,000 for individual gifts or $26,000 for joint gifts made by both grandparents. A larger gift may be subject to federal gift tax.Pay Tuition Directly to the College. Another option is to bypass your grandchild and pay the college directly. Under federal law, tuition payments made directly to a college are not considered taxable gifts, no matter how large the payment. However, only tuition qualifies for this federal gift tax exemption.529 College Savings Plan. A 529 college savings plan is a tax-advantaged savings vehicle that can be a smart way for grandparents to contribute to their grandchilds college education while paring down their own estate. Contributions to your account grow tax deferred and earnings are tax-free if the money is used to pay the beneficiarys qualified education expenses. Funds can be used at any accredited college in the United States or abroad.Before you make any decisions on giving, its important to do your homework and consult with your trusted financial advisor. Additionally, Finemark National Bank & Trust has an office on The Island at Shell Point Retirement Community. If you have questions about this article, contact us by phone at (239) 461-5999.

Financially-Wise Gifts for Grandkids

By Tiffany Williams, Managing Executive, FineMark National Bank & Trust office at Shell Point Retirement CommunityIts common for grandparents to want to shower their grandchildren with gifts, including toys, clothing, trips, dinner outings, and even a little cash slipped in their pockets here and there. However, there can be important tax advantages in making lifetime gifts to grandchildren, such as funding for educational expenses, a first home, starting a business, or a life insurance program. The following are ideas for lifetime gifts you might want to consider for the long-term benefit of your grandchildren:Trust Gifts to Minors  an account in a minors name where a custodian has a fiduciary duty to manage the account until the minor reaches the age of majority, he/she will then have complete rights to the funds in the accountUniform Transfers to Minors Account  extension of Trust Gifts to Minors that allows items other than cash or securities to be considered giftsCollege Savings Plans  prepayment of qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutionsU.S. Savings Bonds  fixed rate of interest over a fixed period of time which are not subject to state or local income taxesLife Insurance  contract between the policy holder and the insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured personTax Free Payment of Tuition and Medical Expenses direct payments for someones educational or medical expenses are exempt from the federal gift tax, without regard to the annual exclusion limitationThe next time you feel like showering your grandchildren with gifts, consider making a long-term gift that will help provide financial security in the future. If you would like to discuss any of these options in greater detail, a good place to start is your trusted financial advisor or banking institution.Finemark National Bank & Trust has an office on The Island at Shell Point Retirement Community. If you have questions about this article, contact us by phone at (239) 461-5999.

Local Services By This Author

Bradford Square Retirement Community

Independent Living 3255 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, Florida, 34109

Designed for your comfort, our community will feature studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom senior living apartments with a variety of floor plans and smart details to complement your lifestyle. Each apartment is unfurnished but includes window coverings, a climate-controlled thermostat, carpeting, ceiling fans, and ample storage. Enjoy the freedom to decorate your new home to your individual taste. The kitchens are fully equipped with a dishwasher, range, microwave, refrigerator with ice maker, and a garbage disposal. Our bathrooms are well lit with a vanity sink and storage cabinet, plus high toilet seating and a walk-in shower with handrails. Washer/dryer hook-ups are located in a separate laundry closet within the apartment. We also offer residents the option to use our community laundry room on-site. Our professional staff provides as-needed maintenance repairs and light housekeeping on a weekly basis.