While the options for active aging are extensive, television continues to play a role in the lives of many seniors.
50 -- The median age of broadcast (not cable) television viewers, as reported by Magna Global Media in June 2008
65+ -- The median age of viewers of the Fox News Channel's daytime and primetime programming
789,000 -- viewers aged 50 and older in the Indianapolis media market
In October 2008, the Nielsen Media Research company issued a report on the nation's preparedness for digital television. The report found:
9.6M -- households in the U.S. were unprepared for the DTV conversion
9.8% -- of households in Indianapolis were unprepared for the DTV conversion
5.5% -- of households with head-of-house aged 55+ in Indianapolis were unprepared
10.3% -- of households in Evansville were unprepared for the DTV conversion*
15.5% -- of households in Ft. Wayne were unprepared for the DTV conversion*
8.4% -- of households in Lafayette were unprepared for the DTV conversion*
13.2% -- of households in South Bend/Elkhart were unprepared for the DTV conversion*
*55+ figures are not available for these markets because they are non-metered markets
Digital TV: Are your clients ready?
In the 1990s, the U.S. Congress mandated that full power TV stations, including affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS, must switch from analog to digital signal transmission by February 17, 2009.
Analog transmission can result in weak, staticky or "ghosted" images. Digital transmission offers improved quality pictures, surround sound and virtually no interference.
Once the conversion takes place, the analog airwaves will be put to use by public safety agencies so they can communicate more effectively in times of emergency. In addition, analog channels will be available for use by wireless broadband services.
Why this is important On February 17, 2009, anyone who uses rabbit ear or rooftop antennas to tune in their television programming and who has not installed a digital converter box on their analog television will see this:
According to Ann Elliot of Nielsen Media Research, one surprising fact is that households with heads-of-house aged 55+ are slightly more prepared for the digital conversion than younger households.
"One reason for this may be that older adults have more disposable incomes and are in a better position to subscribe to cable or satellite or purchase a new TV," said Elliot, who noted that the statistics would likely be different if the age group measured was 65+ or 75+.
For many older adults in those age groups, particularly those with low incomes or
in poor health, the television is a critical connection to the outside
world. Isolated by economy or health, these older adults rely on the television
not only for entertainment, but also for important information including news and
People who subscribe to pay TV services, such as cable or satellite, should not be affected by the digital TV (DTV) transition and will not need to purchase converter boxes or upgrade their television sets.
What consumers can do One of the easiest and cheapest ways for consumers to get ready for the switch is to buy a DTV converter box that connects to their TV set. These boxes are available at
several retail outlets, including Target, Radio Shack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. They range in price from $40-$70.
Congress has appropriated $1.5 billion to fund a converter box coupon program. The program, administered by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), offers households up to two (2) $40 coupons to use toward the purchase of up to two (2) DTV converter boxes.
There are a variety of way to apply for the converter box coupons.Learn more at https://www.dtv2009.gov/Options.aspx Nursing home residents can apply for one (1) coupon using this application
. Coupons may take up to 12 weeks to arrive and expire 90 days after they are mailed from the NTIA.
Other options for consumers include subscribing to satellite or cable television service or buying a television with built-in digital tuner.
To help keep older adults -- and others -- connected after the February 17, 2009 digital television conversion deadline, the University of
Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community, in partnership with Noobie, Inc., has developed the Digital TV
Connection Project (DTCP).
What is DTCP? DTCP is a free, downloadable
toolkit to help faith-based and community organizations implement a
short-term volunteer effort to help keep their senior members connected
through television by providing information about the conversion and
assistance with converter box coupons and installation. Everything
needed to implement this program is available at the CAC website at http://cac.uindy.edu/digitaltv.php.
By using this ready-to-go program, a handful of
volunteers at a church, senior center or other community organization can help senior members stay connected to the world via
television and avoid becoming the target of unscrupulous people who might try
to sell them services or products they don't need -- such as cable, satellite
or a new television.
n4a awarded $2.7M to help with DTV conversion The U.S. Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(NTIA) announced this week an award of $2.7 million to the
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
to help seniors transition to digital television
through the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. Click here for more information about how n4a will use the funding to keep seniors connected.
Everybody's doing it...now let's talk about it.
Some people do it quietly.
Some people are loud and quite open about it.
Some like to take charge.
Others are ok with being told what to do.
Some people try to stop it while others can't wait for it to happen.
Some see it laced with burden; others view it as endless opportunity.
"It" is aging. Whether you're feeling the effects of age yourself, work in the aging industry, are caring for a parent or grandparent, or are making decisions today that will affect the way you age in the future, aging is one topic that affects everyone. So let's talk about it.
Indiana Association of Homes and Services for the Aging will host its Spring 2009 conference on May 4-5. Click here to access the Call for Presentations. Submissions are due November 28.
The Indiana Health Care Association will host its 2009 Long Term Care Convention & Expo on May 5-7. Click here to download the Call for Presenters. Submissions are due December 5.
November is National Family Caregivers Month The theme for National Family Caregivers Month 2008 is "Speak Up." It was adopted by the National Family Caregivers Association in recognition of the fact that caregivers speak up on a daily basis on behalf of those for whom they care.
Family Service to host National Family Week event
On Tuesday, November 25, Family Service will present When To Step In: Protecting Older and Challenged Adults, a community forum about the issues of protecting and making decisions on behalf of incapacitated persons, and the need for an organized, systematic response to this growing community need. This event will be held from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Senior Center, 708 E Michigan St.
Topics will include determining when a loved one or client is no longer able to make sound decisions, how to protect their interests while keeping them involved as possible in decisions, and how to know if you are making the right decision in matters of guardianship and protective care. Lunch will be provided. Click here to register for this event.
The "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, has made a return to several Indiana cities. Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community
organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts during the holiday season. Local businesses and
retail stores to help facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts
by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations.
If you are interested in being a Santa to a Senior, visit one of the following locations:
Walgreens (Indianapolis, Lafayette)
Fifth Third Bank (Evansville)
Martin's Supermarket (South Bend)
To locate other participating retailers, visit the
Be a Santa to a Senior website. Dates
vary by location, however, the program typically begins the first week
of November with gift collection taking place through mid-December.
Volunteers deliver gifts prior to Christmas.
Have something to say?
If you have an idea or suggestion for the IANA e-news, or if your organization has an announcement you would like published, please contact Amy Magan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 791-5933. All submissions are subject to editing for length.
The IANA e-news is published monthly by the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.
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