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Here’s an interesting piece of technology that we came across recently. A new collaboration provides a rich, digital connection between family members and their senior loved ones without requiring them to use a computer or have Internet service. Minnesota-based Ecumen, which offers senior

housing and services, and Presto Services, a provider of computerless email for seniors, announced last week that they have signed an agreement to make Presto Mail service available to seniors.

Ecumen has been using an innovative approach to using technology to help their senior customers age in place.

“We had been searching for the right solution to enable kids, grandkids, extended family and friends to be able to digitally connect to our customers who don’t use computers,” said Larry Jorgensen, CIO of Ecumen through a press release statemtnent. “Presto provides an elegant way to link our customers to their friends and family all over the world without anyone needing to learn anything new. People just send email with attached photos or documents. Our customers just receive beautifully formatted letters that are automatically printed out of a special HP printer connected to their phone line. The absence of complexity is what caused us to choose Presto.”

Presto Mail is a communications tool for family members who make decisions about the support and care of their aging parents and who need a simple, convenient, and cost-effective way to communicate with them. It consisting of a specially designed printer and online service that seamlessly bridges the technology gap and redefines the way families can share their lives, conversations, and information, while still allowing them to use the methods of communication they prefer. At Presto Services Inc. we use our technology skills to make it unnecessary for you to use yours.

“Since our launch in 2006, Presto has been purchased directly by families looking for a solution to bridge the digital divide with their parents,” said Peter Radsliff, CEO of Presto Services, “Through this new relationship with Ecumen, Presto now has the opportunity to expand deployment of its Presto Mail service to people who might not otherwise have known it existed.

The Presto Mail service provides a customized email address for Ecumen customers and a managed “friends” list that eliminates spam or junk mail from non-approved senders. The friend’s name and phone number are printed on the top of each message to facilitate return phone calls. Many other functions are provided including message scheduling, delivery confirmation, auto-delivery of Facebook photos, and online ink & paper level monitoring.

Jorgensen continued, “Besides providing more joy in our customer’s lives through a closer, real-time connection to family, having a digital link can also connect them to important community services, local businesses, and even medical personnel and caregivers.”

For more information on Presto Mail, visit

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by MeCC Interiors   I love the asymmetrical shape and wrap-around interior beams of the modern concept developed for Dwell on Design earlier this year.  How fabulous would it be as an alternative to a gazebo?  A dinner pavilion of sorts, if you will.   The Dwell concept is more streamlined than some of the […]

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green kitchen design

Wood floors unify the new, open-plan
kitchen and family room, both equipped
with bamboo-veneer cabinets.

From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 3: “A Tree Grows in a Spring Valley”

Like many homeowners, a couple in DC wanted a kitchen island, which could serve as a family gathering spot, a place for the kids to perch for snacks, and a casual social center at parties. After reviewing some home magazines (a step I often recommend to clients), they gravitated toward making it a round island, which my female client found inviting and practical. Little boys run into corners, she commented, and a round island doesn’t have corners.

In keeping with the homeowners’ goals, fitting out the new space also meant considering some green materials. From my point of view, there are many eco-friendly aspects to remodeling, and materials are only one of them. On this project, for example, the green remodeling aspects also included energy-efficient appliances. Also, the decision to remodel an existing home is far greener than the common alternative of tearing down an old house and building a new one in its place. Remodeling not only preserves the look and feeling of an old house and its neighborhood, but it also avoids wasting the material, energy, and labor that went into building the house to begin with.

There’s also a need to look at building products, which are often new to the market. We and our clients agreed to keep our choices simple and budget-conscious – but still found several very successful options.

Features Included in the Child-Friendly, Green Kitchen Design

Recycled glass tiles (from glass otherwise destined for a landfill) proved to be a beautiful choice for the backsplash, which became, as it often does, the aesthetic highlight of the kitchen. Bamboo, a quick-growing renewable resource, was the veneer of choice for the island, kitchen cabinets and family room built-ins.

In addition to the recycled glass tiles and bamboo veneer, we found an incredibly eco-friendly and tough material for the countertops. It was perfect for the client, who wanted a child-friendly, green kitchen design. To learn more,download the eBook

Illuminetrix. An affordable option for LED under-, in-, and above-cabinet lighting, Connexx Tapelights with pre-fixed adhesive strips install in minutes with just a pair of scissors, the manufacturer says. Each light uses 0.5 watt, lasts 25 times longer than conventional incandescent lighting, and pays for itself in a year, according to the maker. The LEDs are color-corrected to emit a warm incandescent-like glow. The starter kit includes two tapelight strips, a plug-in transformer, a connector lead for up to 24 lights, an on/off switch, and mounting accessories. 888.827.3544.

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In many older homes, people have doors for their shower stall. Some people prefer having curtains because they can change them whenever they want and if they break, they are relatively cheap to replace.image

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