Dear Smartphone: Older People Do Rideshare?

Rideshare for Seniors

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE:  I AM POSTING FOR MY GRANDMA, ROSAE. SHE IS 81 AND QUITE HEALTHY. SHE LIVES ALONE IN A BIG SUBURB WHERE THERE IS NOT A LOT OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. I TELL HER THAT SHE NEEDS TO GET A NEW PHONE AND USE RIDESHARE TO TRAVEL AROUND. SHE IS RESISTANT TO THE IDEA. Granddaughter, Irvine

Dear Grandaughter: I commend you for taking charge and for helping out with your family. You did not mention whether or not your Grandma Rosae still drives. If she does, she could save a lot of money, up to $7,000 a year by no longer keeping a car, paying insurance, and doing vehicle maintenance. Meanwhile she could benefit by having a safer means of transportation, one that provides door-to-door service ( e.g., no need to find a parking space), and 24/7 availability. There is considerable research that shows that older people who keep more active and mobile also stay healthier. Email me if you want the references. In the interim, take a few rideshare trips with your Grandma, make her comfortable with the apps, and show her how convenient it can be.

Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla

Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice”

Dear Smartphone: Teen in Car

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I AM THE MOTHER OF A TEEN AGE BOY. HE GOT HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE LAST YEAR. I LET HIM USE MY CAR ON WEEKENDS AND WHEN HE GOES ON A DATE. I JUST RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE THAT HE PROBABLY MEANT TO SEND TO HIS FRIENDS. I AM FAIRLY SURE HE WAS ON THE ROAD WHEN HE SENT IT. Worried Sick, Sacramento

Dear Worried Sick: You have reason to be concerned and as a responsible parent you must take action. Teenagers have a high accident rate than any other age group. In the U.S. in 2015, 2,333 teens ages 16–19 were killed and 235,845 were injured by a vehicle crash.

You could install an app that will shut off his phone when he drives. Here is a list of apps that Verizon posted, and most of them work on either an Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Teen in Car”