Seniors and Technology

Techs Impact on Aging

Technology has seen a lot of improvement over the years, and this means over the course of adult lifetimes. Most adults have witnessed everything; from the men landing on the moon to significant medical advances, and of course, the rise of a society that now depends on the internet.

Seniors are also aware of the ways in which technology is changing the face of aging. Below are three of the tech solutions that has made an impact on aging by keeping older adults safe, healthy, and socially connected while ensuring that caregiving tasks are less stressful for those that are taking care of them;

SOCIAL CONNECTION

According to a survey carried out by United Healthcare in 2012, staying socially connected or engaged is just as important to healthy aging the same way genetics and maintaining a healthy body is. While there’s no tech that can replace the one on one interaction that happens between people, internet based communication channels such as social media and emails, or video chat services such as Skype, allows seniors to continue enjoying their social interactions when visiting friends and family isn’t too frequent or just not possible. There are internet how-to classes that seniors can check in with, and most seniors have grandchildren that can set them up and let them know how to handle devices and services.

SAFETY

This is another great impact technology has on aging. Seniors who are living alone can now get help just by pushing a button. Studies have shown that most seniors stay in their own homes as they age. Technology has created a way to make them safer should they be staying alone in a house. Any older adult that is living alone should have a PERS (Personal Emergency Response System). PERS is a safety device that is worn by seniors; it allows them to call for help just by pushing a button. Family members as well as seniors can now have peace of mind with the knowledge that the PERS can get them help whenever they want it.

Another safety impact of technology on aging is GPS tracking devices. A senior with Alzheimer’s disease, or any other dementia, most especially those that are bound to wander off when no one is looking, should be well monitored and taken care of. There are now GPS trackers that monitors the location of these category of seniors. These trackers can also send alerts to the caregivers enabling them to know where the seniors are and if they are in any kind of danger.

HEALTH TRACKING

Thanks to technology, there are now smartphone apps and cloud-based information tracking systems that can aid seniors and their caregivers by helping them keep vital information such as physician contacts, medical history, and medication schedules, and also help them keep their health conditions organized and handy. There are also health tracking tools that allows professional caregivers to have a complete and precise set of information about a senior, thereby helping them make the best treatment decisions.

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Brain Health

TIPS FOR KEEPING THE BRAIN HEALTHY

Our brain function doesn’t have to fade simply because we are growing older. A lot of people go about taking care of their physical health, lifting weight and going through with other exercises but fail to think about the health of their brain. This is something everyone should do. We all need to take care of our brain as it serves a very important role in our daily lives; from playing to learning, to working, aptitude, memory, and personality, the brain does a very important job in our lives.

While the brain serves as one of the most vital organs a human body is equipped with, it is also the most mysterious. There are a lot of things about the brain that are yet to be uncovered by scientists including why some people can remember their first pet at the age of 100, while some develop brain decline in their 50s. But according to researches, taking care of our brain can help it remain sharp as stack and this can be done with just a few lifestyle choices. Having a healthy brain is very essential for everybody. Below are some amazing tips that can help us keep our brain healthy;

TREAT YOUR BRAIN LIKE YOU TREAT YOUR HEART

The heart is one major organ that a lot of us look well after. The heart gets its disease when the arteries that provides it with blood are occluded. In other words, this means that heart diseases come up when the heart doesn’t get enough nutrients. This same logic applies to our brain. If the arteries that supply blood to the brain are clogged and therefore do not provide the brain with the nutrients it requires, the health and function of the brain will be compromised leading to brain diseases. You should ensure that you have your cholesterol levels checked, increase your intake of unsaturated fat and decrease your intake of saturated fat.

INTERACT AND BOND WITH OTHERS

One of the things that highly engages our brain is socializing. Social settings help us use our brain quite well. When we go out to meet people, we read facial expressions, we read body languages, practice empathy for others and understand social context; all of these involves using our brain. Additionally, when we interact with others, we tend to get more positive emotions which in turn provides the brain with chemicals that ensures that the brain remains healthy.

MOVE YOUR BODY

That’s right, exercise keeps our arteries healthy and also affects the brain tissue in a positive way. As we go older, our brains have the tendency to shrink, but people who exercise regularly do not experience this. Why, you might ask? The answer is simple; when you exercise, the number of connection in the brain is increased, and the more connections the brain has, the more memory storage capacity it will have to save information. Exercising also triggers the brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which helps the neurons to remain healthy while keeping them away from dying.

reach retirement goals

The 5-Step Action Plan You Need To Reach Your Retirement Goals

We have all been there – having a dream or a vision about what retirement looks like. A dream that inspires us and motivates us while giving us hope. However, without a solid action plan, all those dreams and visions can easily become nightmares.

They say that retirement is the time where you need to enjoy your financial stability. However, in tough times like these, it is hard to become financially independent and be pleased with everything during your retirement.

According to an article by USA Today, visualizing your retirement goals will definitely help you achieve them. Knowing what you want to accomplish is the first step on the path to accomplishing your retirement goals. As you may not know, we use visualization all the time – and visualizing a goal is a key to accomplishing it.

However, the visualization part is only the first step in the retirement goals action plan. Below, we are listing the next steps.

Set Your Financial Needs And Goals

You have to have a clear picture when it comes to financials. Many people approach this in terms of income replacement and ask themselves how much money is needed monthly for a happy retirement.

The truth is, you can create a breakdown of your current budgetary spending and decide which of your expenses will continue during your retirement. Some of the things you should consider, though, are your mortgage, your car, insurance premiums, properties and other things that demand constant expenses to be maintained.

Get Your Investments Right

There are many online retirement calculators you can use to create an appropriate asset class allocation. A great calculator can show you a detailed timeline to your retirement, tolerance for any risk and personal biases. That way, you will be able to research all of the investing options in your retirement plan and determine how to allocate your investments.

And if that process sounds overwhelming, try seeking some professional investment advice through a service that focuses on personalized investments.

Calculate Your Savings

Calculating how much money you need to set aside each month in order to reach your retirement goals is a road filled with hurdles. However, you should always consider your action plan – and the details like how aggressively you plan to invest or what will be your main source of income.

This can substantially help you see if there will be any potential savings during your retirement (having your expenses and cost of living in mind). Again, this is another area where calculators may fall short – and where professional investment advice goes a long way.

Learn To Adjust

Adjustments are needed in every retirement. After all, if the retirement of your dreams is financially impossible – you should give up something, adjust your rate or saving to fit your retirement goals or make necessary budgetary cuts. The best way to review and adjust is to put a plan in place to review the savings rate each year and set aside one afternoon each year to devote it to your retirement preparations.

This way, you will contribute more money to your retirement account all while reaping the rewards and sticking to your retirement action plan.

Focus On The Big Picture

Just like your visualizations, you should organize your finances to always stick to your retirement goals action plan and make your budget work for you. To do that, you can use online services that track your spending habits or purchase a long-term care insurance policy that does not cover extended stays in care facilities or ongoing in-home assistance.

Finally, you should definitely establish a legacy with life insurance rather than your retirement savings. That way, you will be able to fulfill your goals without feeling guilty about your heirs.

The Bottom Line

In the end, you should definitely accept the fact that retirement planning is not easy. It takes time, research and discipline to make it right. However, instead of dwelling on the outlay you should focus on the rewards and approach it as a process that brings you joy in the long run and leaves some space for you to plan your vacations and holidays.

After all, your retirement is the longest and most fun vacation in your life. So, how are you going to prepare for it?

Overcoming Grief

5 Tips For Overcoming Loss And Grief

We all know that nothing in life is eternal, and there comes a point when we must face some tough times. Losing a loved one is an example of that, and a time when we feel like we are crippling emptiness yet still recover and try to fill ourselves up again.

Even though they say time heals everything, there are certain ways to overcome loss and get through difficult times. Below, we are listing what you can do to successfully recover and only have the good memory of your loved ones inside.

1. Be Patient With Yourself

No matter what happens, you need to give yourself time to accept what has happened. In life, there is no schedule or timer for certain emotions. It is you who chooses to stand up for you and how to move on. You don’t have to figure out how you will move on – just focus on staying in the game and moving forward now.

2. Tweak Your Expectations

You must accept the fact that your emotions are a natural part of the grieving process and as such, naturally make you feel rejected and alone. However, they are not a life sentence of grief – which is why you should not limit yourself. Even though you will probably feel tons of emotions, you should remember that grief from any loss needs time so it fades away.

3. Accept The Unchangeable

Losing a family member, a friend, a loved one or a pet are all situations with no way back. The life cycle says that the longer you love – the more losses you will sustain. Obviously, grieving is an individual experience with no timer – however, there is a point in this process where you must choose to take a stand and consciously focus on the things that can be changed instead of trying to change the unchangeable.

4. Bond To Find Your Strength

You may feel like you are alone when grieving. However, you can learn from others and the grief they are feeling and help each other, all motivated by a loss of someone whose presence is a current source of comfort.

5. Celebrate Life

They say that every day lost is a day that matters. Obviously, losing a loved one comes with inevitable grief. However, life does not stop just because that person is not alive – after all – you have your life to live and the only time you need to live in is the moment itself.

We hope that these tips helped you recover from your loss!

Communicating with Alzheimers Sufferer

Communicating With Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s Disease

We all know that the Alzheimer’s disease affects people mentally. It basically impacts the person’s ability to recall past events and can dramatically alter that individual’s capacity for communication.

This is why having conversations with people who have Alzheimer’s needs proper attention. After all, their cognitive skills are not the same as the normal ones – and the communication needs patience, understanding and good listening skills.

Here are some tips to keep conversations with a cognitively-impaired loved one positive at all times:

Face Them Off – A friendly eye contact goes a long way when having dialogue with a person suffering from the Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Using their name during conversation is another great way to get their attention.

Diminish Distractions – Any background noise such as the TV, radio or even a fan can distract people suffering from Alzheimer’s. That is why you should always be patient when having a conversation and ideally, find a quiet place where the two of you can converse in peace.

Talk One-on-One – A common rule when conversing with people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia is to minimize the number of people involved in the discussion. The more people there are, the more complicated the situation gets – which is why you should keep talks with a person who has Alzheimer’s one-on-one if and whenever possible.

Keep It Simple – According to many experts, comments and conversations with people suffering from the Alzheimer’s should always be kept short and simple. If you are conversing to the point, you will make it easier for the person to understand and reply to your talk. Also, referring to nouns by their actual name (ex.saying ‘dog’ instead of ‘it’) can help them understand the situation and minimize the open-ended questions.

Always Avoid Conflict – Arguing with a person who has Alzheimer’s will only make it hard for them and more agitated for you. That is why you should always avoid inflammatory comments such as ‘I just told you that’ or ‘You are wrong’.

Be Patient And Enter Their World – Last but not least, you should know that patience goes a long way when communicating with people struggling with Alzheimer’s. You should basically enter their world and live in their reality.

In the end, no matter what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in, you should always follow these rules and establish a positive, human connection that is vital to their well being.

Overcoming Stress

The Best Action Plan To Overcome Stress, According To Experts

If there is one way to best define dealing with stress, it has to be breathing in and out. And that is actually the best way to overcome stress and de-focus yourself from it – according to many experts.

However, breathing in and out may only help temporarily. There are tons of people who find it hard to actually get rid of stress, and feel captured by it in their subconscious mind. So, how to best overcome stress?

We are sharing a list of tips for effective stress management below:

Identify the source

What is it that makes you stressful? Is it a recent event, a loss of a loved one, too many tasks to deal with or your procrastination?

You should at first learn to identify the source of stress and focus on your thoughts, feelings and behaviors that contribute to your everyday stress levels. The best way to define your true source of stress is by looking on your habits, attitude and excuses and accept the responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it.

Replace Your Unhealthy Coping Strategies With Effective Stress Management Techniques

After you know the source of stress, you should try and think about the ways to currently manage and cope with it. A stress journal can help you a lot in that matter and help you see how healthy or unhealthy your coping strategies are.

For example, the unhealthy ways of coping with stress include smoking, using pills or drugs to relax, drinking too much, withdrawing from friends, bingeing on junk or comfort food, procrastinating, sleeping too much or zoning out for hours looking at your phone.

Get Moving

Try to replace the above mentioned ineffective techniques with ones that contribute to your greater emotional and physical health to feel calm and in control. For example, you can try:

Exercising

  • Hiking
  • talking to people you trust
  • Walking or cycling to the grocery store
  • Parking your car to the farthest spot and walking
  • Pairing up with an exercise partner and encouraging yourself working out
  • Playing ping-pong or other fun activity-based games with your kids etc.

As you can see, the general idea is to connect with others but also connect with yourself in a way that is not hurting or zoning you away. Instead, in a way that is actively helping you boost the positive hormones and bring energy to your mood.

senior exercise

5 Easy Ways To Get Exercise As You Age – Only 10 Minutes A Day

Let’s face it – there are so many reasons that tend to slow us down as we age. Many seniors find it hard to exercise because of their health problems, weight or pain issues or worries about failing.

The truth is, as people grow older their active lifestyle becomes compromised. However, being active as you age is incredibly important. Getting moving can boost your energy, maintain your independence and even protect your heart while eliminating the symptoms of illness or pain. Exercise is also great for slimming down but also improving your mental memory and gaining your confidence.

Below, we are listing some easy ways for seniors to get fit in just 10 minutes of exercise per day.

Around the house exercises – Picking your morning newspaper doesn’t have to end at your patio. You can take some time to read it while walking up the street and stretch. Same goes for your car trips to the local store, that can easily be swapped with fast walking or jogging.

Exercise while you cook – If you are cooking dinner, you have the perfect surroundings to do standing push-ups while waiting for your pot to boil. You only need to stand about an arm’s length from your kitchen counter and push your arms against it – pushing in and out to get your arms and shoulders toned.

Shoot baskets with your kid – Kids love basketball, and installing a mini basketball court on your garage can be a great way to loosen up during the week and spend some quality time with your loved ones. If you don’t have a yard – the nearest basketball court will do just fine.

Get going while waiting – Are you waiting for your child, nephew or grandchild from school? If you have time, walk around the block several times or around the field while they are playing soccer. The cardio exercise will definitely help you.

When you are watching TV – We all know that watching TV triggers the lazy one in us. However, it does not have to be like that. You can jog in place during commercials or do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch your favorite news channel.

So, have you figured out your exercise yet?

Pack your sneakers, gear up and start improving your health day after day.

And the best part?

You will start feeling the positive energy day by day!

funding in-house care

Ways to Fund In-House Care

Are you planning to get some help for the care of your loved one? If yes, the next thing you will be considering is the way through which you can manage it financially. Caring for an elder person is a difficult task and there are a time when you require the help of another person just to keep a balance in your life. However, not everyone can afford these services without planning for it. Here are the ways through which you can fund the in-house care service of your loved one:

1.    Insurance policy:

If you or the elderly person in your family have an insurance policy, it can be utilized for this purpose. However, it will depend on the main points that are included in the policy. Most policies do not cover the in-house caring facilities of the individual.

2.    Reverse mortgage:

A reverse mortgage can be the best option you can select when it comes to arranging funds for the care facilities of elderly loved one. It will allow you to save some extra amount that will be utilized for this purpose. Moreover, this option also allows you to have the best services without even using the personal saving.

3.    Using family assets:

Another option that can be availed for the funding of in-house care services includes the usage of collective family assets. The family members or the people that are eligible for getting the finances in inheritance can sit together and find a common way through which these assets can be used for the care of their elderly loved one.

4.    Medicare facilities:

The facilities provided by the government have some specific requirements that should be fulfilled to get the amount required for the in-house care facility. However, if you or your elderly loved one succeeds to qualify those requirements, it can be the best option you can utilize. The Medicare pays for the fee of a skilled nurse that can provide professional medical care.

5.    Counseling and cash programs:

Different communities have different facilities or the programs that are specifically designed for the betterment of the elderly. By using these facilities, funds can be generated for the in-house care facility. The funds are provided to the elderly or a relative.

6.   Veteran’s administration:

The veterans who become disabled due to some kind of working conditions are provided with the home health care facility by the veteran’s administration. However, for getting these funds, a physician should authorize that the person requires in-house professional care.

7.    Old-age benefits:

Every government has different plans or facilities that are designed for the elderly of the state. That include the old-age benefit funds that are provided by the government. After completing the necessary paper work, anyone can have these funds which can be utilized for the health-care facilities.

 

These are the ways through which you can fund the in-house health care service of an elderly person in your family.

thinking about respite care

Types and things to consider about respite care

Caring for an elderly is a difficult task which is why you need some professional help for that. The respite care is basically a term that is used for having a short term professional support for the care of an elderly. That professional care giver will help you in your family in the caring process and provides you with the opportunity to complete your other tasks. It can also be provided by a family member or a friend.

Things to consider before hiring a respite care:

The time duration for which you can have the respite care depends on your need. You can get it for few hours or for few days. However, you need to make sure that the person you are selecting for these services is eligible for this. Moreover, it can also happen in your house or at some guest house when you are on a trip. There are some important points that should be considered if you are deciding to get the respite care.

1.      Consult your elderly loved one:

As you are doing this for the sake of your loved one, you need to consult them too in the process. It is better if you ask for their consent before hiring a person. As they will be the one who will spend the time with the care giver. If the person is of their choice, they will be able to spend time comfortably.

2.      Consider your needs:

The next important point which should be considered is your needs. Every family has their own rules and their own values that should be considered before entering another person in the circle. This will also include the extent of expertise you require in the care giver. In severe cases, you have to consider a person who has a professional training regarding this.

3.      Know the person you are hiring:

It is important to have a proper conversation with the person you are hiring for the respite care of an elderly. If necessary, conduct an in-depth interview so that all points can be cleared out. Make sure you effectively communicate all your needs and wants to the other person. Also, listen to their requirements as well.

Types of respite care facilities:

There are different types of respite care facilities you can have for your loved ones. The major types include the following:

·        In-home respite care: The first type of respite care is the one that you get for your home. It will be hired for few hours to few days.

·        Centre-based care: This type of care involves a day that is spent in a club or a day care center where your loved ones can have interesting activities.

·        Community-based care: This type of care allows you to have an interaction with the people of the community hence providing a great social experience.

Before you decide for getting respite care, make sure the person fulfills your criteria and understand your needs.

home care vs retirement home

Home care vs. retirement home- Which one is better?

Caring for the loved one who is elderly involves a lot of things. There are some situations in which people needs to have the helping hand for the care of seniors. However, deciding between the two options i.e. home care and retirement home is difficult. Both of these options has their own pros and cons.

A home care:

Home care is a type of care in which you hire a professional help for the care of an elderly loved one. The main aim is to provide quality health care services to the elderly. The professional person helps the elderly in performing their daily activities. The time duration for which this help can be hired varies. Some can have it for few hours or some can also hire a professional for 24/7.

Retirement home:

The next option that is available for the care of an elderly includes retirement homes. These are the homes that provide each and every health and basic facility to the elderly living in it. It is like a community for older people in which they live together and perform daily activities. Retirement homes provide a lot of facilities for the residents including a room to live, furniture, medical help and other.

The difference between home care and retirement home:

To understand the difference between both of these points, following points should be considered:

1.      Access to care facilities:

When caring for elderly at home, you can have the health care facilities easily. There are a lot of agencies that are working to provide professional health care help to the people. You can also hire a physician or a therapist who can visit the elderly in home. Residential homes, on the other hand, are the best places where anyone can have the health care facilities at once. As the medical professional is available for every single minute, the elderly can have a proper and professional care.

2.      Familiarity with the environment:

Older people needs to have a familiarity with the environment in which they will be living. This can be attained only in the house where they can relate to the surroundings. It is also essential for their mental well-being. Residential homes, on the other hand, does not allow them to live in a familiar environment but there are some people who prefer living with other people of their age as compared to living at their house alone.

3.      The cost of health care facilities:

The last but not the least factor that is to be considered includes the cost of the health care facilities. On general, it is noted that people can have all the facilities at home but they are quite expensive. In residential care houses, the cost for the care of elderly is much less.

 

Both of these caring facilities has their own advantages and disadvantages. There is a need to select the one that best suits the requirement of a family.

The Importance of Staying Connected

The Importance of Staying Connected

Staying connected is why people predominantly use social media (a close second is selling).

More than anything else, more than the fun, more than the brain training, or reading news articles or watching cat videos—staying connected is the biggest reason seniors should be (and are) on social media. Because for age that is so connected, loneliness and depression are at an all-time high.

Why are we lonelier than ever?

In an age where talking with friends is only a few clicks away, people are lonelier than ever. Sadly, depression and a deep sense of loneliness is most prominent in older Americans.

What’s surprising is that even those who are married or live with partners are also lonely or depressed. This is because, despite their friendships and relationships they feel they are alone. What this tells us is that it’s not how many relationships you have, it’s the depth of the relationship. Typically, it’s seniors with depression or a deep sense of loneliness whose health declines rapidly, and who die sooner.

It’s been hypothesized that people who lose the will to live, simply go to bed one evening and die peacefully in their sleep—how this happens is still unclear.

We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, implying social media could solve this problem. What we are saying is that: seniors are not alone. And they should not have to feel alone.

An online chat or video call with friends or family each day can help remind them they are still loved, still interesting and that they are not alone.

One way they can connect with people, with friends, with loved ones is through the internet—whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, email or some other form of social media.

 

Social media cannot solve your problems. These platforms are only tools, and how you use those tools can either help improve your interactions with your friends and family and the world—or it can exacerbate your loneliness.

Loneliness is a horrible feeling. Being surrounded by people who love you, and who you love, and still feeling hollow is a hard thing to describe. It’s a hard place to be, mentally. A lot of darkness and not much hope.

Facebook can help you stay connected with friends and family. You can read the news and watch trailers for movies, TV shows, learn about new technologies and ideas. Facebook’s groups allow you to find people with similar interests who you can show new things to and vice versa.

Twitter, the internet’s cocktail party. You’ll find politicians tweeting, celebrities sharing photos, football scores, basketball scores. You can receive short updates about storms, snows, traffic accidents and road closures.

Twitter is where you can reach out to people and find out information that you need to know. You can actually tweet to celebrities, news broadcasters and politicians and ask them questions. There’s no guarantee they will reply, but on occasion you might be surprised.

LinkedIn is the best way to connect and interact with businesses—if you’re looking for work your LinkedIn profile can act as a resume. LinkedIn is the largest network for professionals online. You will not find a better place to interact with the professional community online. LinkedIn will provide you with a platform to blog about your ideas both business and professional—seniors can leverage their experiences both professional and personal to teach others.

Google+ has its uses. But it’s limping along behind the bigger, better social platforms. By all means explore and see if this platform is right for you, but in truth Facebook is a better place to be. Facebook is constantly evolving with the user in mind. Google is the best search engine on the internet. But as a social platform it lacks a lot of the subtleties that make the other platforms enjoyable.

Snapchat is platform for short video messaging that only lasts 24 hours from the time of taking it. Snapchat also has news, sports, entertainment—in itself it’s a platform for sharing messages and funny videos and can be a source of entertainment for seniors.

Pinterest is a visual bookmark for all the activities you’d like to do, recipes you’d like to make. It’s a way to explore new ideas, and old ideas, to find new books, new knitting patterns, new music, and new fashions.

Social media can help seniors with stay connected across continents, across the world. You will find that in engaging in social media, the platform you chose will help you to feel more awake, more alive. But remember: any social media platform is only a tool, and like any tool it requires someone who knows what they’re doing to make it work.

Used properly, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest can provide entertaining, education and connection. Used properly, these platforms can help you stay connected and active.

keeping track of social media accounts

Senior Advice: Keeping Track of Social Accounts

Want to use multiple social platforms but are daunted by the idea of keeping tabs on each one? Thinking it’ll take up a lot of time that you don’t want to spend in front of a computer or on your phone?

The thing is you, you can choose to stick to just one social media platform, say Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.  However, it’s not uncommon for people to have an account on 6 or 7 social media platforms.

The reason for this is that the people we interact with on Facebook aren’t necessarily the same people with talk to on Twitter, and those whom we send snaps to, are not the same people we interact with on Instagram.

Each social media has its own purpose, its own audience, and its own style. And each gives you a reason to use it—even if it’s only for five minutes a day. You can send a 30 second snap to a friend, or send a message to a friend on Facebook Messenger.

Or you might spend hours pinning pins to one of your Pinterest hobby boards. Or using Twitter to read up on the latest news and information—or the football score.

What if there were a way you could keep tabs on each of your social media platforms: post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Instagram with just one website?

Social media manager tools

Social media manager tools were developed for business with multiple social media channels who wanted to talk to (and with) their audience on each social platform. These management tools reduced a business operators time and cost by aggregating all social platforms in one place.

This allowed business owners to more effectively reach a wider audience faster, quicker and with fewer errors. Social media management tools range from the basic like Hootsuite and Buffer to the more far reaching corporate platforms like Sprout Social and Hubspot.

A social media manger tool is a website that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in just one place. Well, not all of your accounts. Pinterest and Snapchat are still fiercely independent, saying if people want to use them they need to be on the platform itself.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus are fine with people scheduling out content and posting from social media management tools. And let’s be honest, Google Plus will take all the help it can get.

For the casual social media user, a social media manager tool may be unnecessary. After all, if you’ve only got a Facebook page you don’t need a social media manger tool.

If you’re thinking of using social media to either help kick start your business or give it more exposure. Then a social media manger tool like Hootsuite or Buffer could the ideal option for you. Buffer and Hootsuite offer the option of posting content to a calendar—that is, you can schedule content out so if you spent an hour every few days you could ensure there’s a enough content for a week.

Using an app like Buffer or Hootsuite allows you to track your social posts, as well as engagement and valuable insights into your potential customers.

Buffer

This is by far the most popular as well as the cleanest and easy to navigate. The set-up process for Buffer is easy:

You can use either your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account to sign-in or create an account using your email address.

Once you’ve signed in, you can then attach your other social media platforms and create content calendars. The benefit of Buffer is that it can, based on your location and time zone, offer suggestion for the best times to post, which days, and how often each day.

Hootsuite

Manage all your profiles from a single dashboard. Unlike buffer, which doesn’t care whether you use it for person use or business, Hootsuite requires a login email that has a business URL attached to it. If you don’t have one, we suggest you use Buffer.

For those who do have a business email—this is essentially an email that is @yourbusiness rather than @gmail or @hotmail.

Hootsuite and Buffer have many similarities, but it what comes down to in the end is what you want from a social media manager dashboard. Hootsuite’s okay, if you’re willing to pay for it—and to navigate its somewhat clunky dashboard.