Tag Archive 'Internet'

Mar 18 2009

Profile Image of edcohen

One way to raise awareness, money on the Internet

Ed Cohen

March 17, 2009

Caring.com, a website for caregivers, says it conducted an experiment in viral marketing last year that raised $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Actually, as Gary Alpert, the site’s VP for business development described it at a session this afternoon, Caring.com agreed to donate $10K to Alzheimer’s Association for cooperating in the experiment.

Caring.com’s programmers developed a way for anyone with a website or blog to add a purple “Act to End Alzheimer’s” ribbon to their Web page. Participants had their choice of shades of purple and could pick from three sizes of ribbon. They could also customize the ribbon to honor or memorialize, by name, an Alzheimer’s sufferer such as a loved one.

Caring.com agreed to donate $10 for every ribbon activated. There was also a link on the activation page to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association. The ribbons themselves didn’t solicit donations. The Alzheimer’s Association helped out by marketing the campaign through its website and e-mail lists.

Alpert said the campaign reached 1,000 ribbon activations – earning the Alzheimer’s Association its $10K — in six weeks. The total is now up to 1,600 activations, he said. (The only place the campaign is being advertised now is on Caring.com’s own website.)

Alpert said enabling people to design the ribbons and to personalize them so they honored someone close to them were keys to success.

He said the campaign not only demonstrated the potential for fundraising using the Web but how viral marketing can spread the word about a cause. The ribbons ended up — and are still up — on hundreds of niche websites, many having something to do with caregiving. Combining the audience for all of those sites, he estimates that the ribbons exposed more than 100,000 individuals to the Alzheimer’s Association name and cause.

No responses yet

Mar 17 2009

Profile Image of edcohen

Easier Web surfing for people with reduced vision

Ed Cohen

March 16, 2009

If you know someone whose vision problems make it difficult to surf the Internet, consider downloading the experimental LowBrowse plug-in for Mozilla’s free Firefox Internet browser. (First you have to download and install Firefox, of course.)

The software was developed by Lighthouse International, an organization dedicated to fighting vision loss. Lighthouse’s senior vice president for policy and evaluation, Cynthia Stuen, presented at the conference. She’s also chair of the board of the American Society on Aging.

Here are some facts from her talk on vision and health literacy:

  • Each decade past age 30 we need about 20 percent more light to see well because of yellowing of the eye lens and other forms of eye deterioration.
  • In a 1995 survey, 17 percent of people 64-75 said they had visual impairment that their corrective lenses didn’t solve. The figure was 25 percent for people 75 and older. Some of that may be due to there being people who need stronger prescriptions but either can’t afford them or refuse to get them, she said. She estimated that about 12-13% of seniors have uncorrectable vision problems because of conditions like macular degeneration.
  • Nearly half of diabetes patients have retinopathy, damage to the retina caused by a problem of blood flow to the eye. This is a growing concern because diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent, she said.
  • Here’s a simple visual assist device: Use black or dark-colored measuring cups instead of white because most of what we measure when cooking (flour, sugar) is white, and the contrast between  light and dark makes the measuring lines much easier to read.

No responses yet

Mar 17 2009

Profile Image of edcohen

Great new sources of caregiving info online

Ed Cohen

March 16, 2009

There are 34 million people serving as caregivers in the United States, according to Jill Gilbert, president and CEO of GilbertGuide.com. That’s a website dedicated to helping caregivers find practical advice fast. She was part of a panel session today featuring administrators of websites geared to caregivers.

Andy Cohen, CEO and co-founder of the site Caring.com, said 50 percent of Baby Boomers are already caring for an elder loved one. These Boomers spend an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving, 71 percent of them buy products or services for their parents, and the first place they look for information on caregiving is the Web, he said.

The federal government’s own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is making a new push into social media. Susie Butler, director of the centers’ division of provider affairs, said the idea is to help beneficiaries by reaching out to the people who are taking care of them. At the CMS site, caregivers can also sign up for an e-newsletter for caregivers that was launched last fall.

The Alzheimer’s Association website, www.alz.org, has message boards where caregivers can share information with each other. There’s also a separate section where there are posts by actual Alzheimer’s patients, people under 65 who have been diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association also staffs a telephone helpline available 24/7: 800-272-3900.

Nevada caregivers looking for info should also keep in mind the Nevada Care Connection/Aging and Disability Resource Center site, http://www.nevadaadrc.com/.

No responses yet