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Mary E.
Reply with quote  #1 
Well, I spent all afternoon and evening at my mother's house with the technician from the cable company - making her telephone, cable and internet - Digital.  There had been a special promotion to add high speed internet and unlimited telephone service to her current cable and the whole package will cost less than her current cable and phone service. 

It was a struggle even to order this promotional package, because the company would only speak to the account holder and my mother didn't really understand the reason for the change - only knew she'd get more TV stations.  I wanted to be there when the tech arrived so watched for his truck.

I wanted this not only because my mother would get more stations, but the lower cost would be in effect for the next 12 months AND my brother loves to use the computer when he comes to stay with our mom for a couple of days and when he gets on the computer, it ties up her phone line and people call me, worried that she's in trouble.  So, all in all, many good reasons to do it.

The technician was very nice - friendly to my mother and I know impressed that she was still in her home at age 90 and even more impressed that she had a computer (she doesn't really use it any longer because of her eyes).  However, these are the things I  wanted to share if others do the same.

She has an alarm call button which is tied to the phone line.  I hadn't realized that this wouldn't work on digital service.  Now we have to get a seperate phone line just for this service. 

The remote for the new TV call box is very long and large with tiny buttons and of course, even though my mother's mind is good, it's hard to learn new things at her age, hard to see the buttons (never mind read the tiny printing), hard to press the buttons with her hands kind of affected by spinal problems and hard to remember what to do when.  It's even hard to turn the TV on and off - I'm hoping we or my OT daughter can help.  My daughter mentioned that there are some remotes geared toward the elderly - only hope they're compatible.  At least she has another TV without a box so all will be normal. 

Also, the technician left the house thinking all was set.  We had tried the dial tones in her many phones (all over for security) and there was a dial tone.  But when I tried to call the alarm company there were many problems with echoing, answering machine pick ups, etc.  It was obvious she couldn't use her phone and her alarm so I was panicked that she would have no way of calling for help.  I finally realized that the technician had left all the phones plugged into the telephone line as well as the new connection to the cable, so we were calling out on two services at the same time.  Whew - disconnected from the phone line and all was OK. 

The remote is still the problem but she may be able to master it. 
Maggie J
Reply with quote  #2 
We just went through this with my Mom, who's 83 and living indpendently in her own home.  She made the big switch to Verizon Fios last month, and although it took some getting used to, she loves it.  It has saved her about $50 a month.
Her big thing is that all long distance calls are now free, which is good because us six kids live all over the country.  She likes her high-speed internet too, and is very comfortable with email and web surfing.  She's even learned how to download the pictures we email her to her digital picture frame.
She also has a cell phone for when she's out and about, and a GPS system in her car.  She's a very with-it Grandma.  (Soon to be great-grandma, when my nephew and his wife have their baby in June!)
Maggie J
Reply with quote  #3 

Forgot to mention - my sis was there the day Verizon did the big installation to make sure Mom understood what was going on.  Good thing she was, too.  The technicians run through things way to fast for Mom.  I've noticed she takes a little longer to process things these days, but she "gets it" just fine with a little patience.

Mary E.
Reply with quote  #4 
I spent an hour on the phone with the telephone company explaining the situation - that the alarm won't work on digital service.  Now my mother will have to get a seperate phone line just for that device and have a second phone line.  I realized it won't be such a bad thing.  Often she leaves a phone off the hook and I have to run over there.  Now, I'll hook a phone up to the "new" phone number and be able to ring that one if something is wrong with the primary line.  I guess we're making lemonade out of lemons...  We have more devices and back up "emergency items" than I could ever have imagined.

Just something to keep in mind that the alarms have to operate on phone lines - and won't work on digital -  evidently house alarms are the same.  
Reply with quote  #5 
And while you're dealing with all this, you take time to comment on someone elses' thread. What a special person you are. Your Mom is very fortunate to have you.
Reply with quote  #6 
that remote control thing is definitely an issue with elderly people. My mom just can't handle the huge remote with the 300 tiny buttons. Often the 'universal' remotes are iffy too -- don't work all the time, or have to be re-set every 4th week or something -- another thing my mom can't do! I am keeping her life simple - she has an older TV, Time Warner Cable, and a VCR!! That's it. I will not be the one to upgrade her to the true digital age. I have no patience for that. I just hope her VCR tapes don't wear out! I don't think she could even handle a DVD player personally, because she never got the hang of the simple little CD player that I got for her.

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