It was an assignment any college-age student would relish — listen to Pandora, spend hours on social media and ferret out interesting facts online.
As an intern at Silver Key Senior Services, Kara McDaniel was charged with beefing up interest in the agency’s Facebook page and Twitter account, where valuable snippets of information could be relayed to Silver Key’s older clients and their families.
When they started promoting social media two years ago, Anne Temple, then a Resource Development associate for Silver Key, and McDaniel, a psychology major at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, employed a weekly post of relevant trivia called “Friday Fun Facts.”
These posts evolved into more frequent “Daily Living” items designed to offer healthy-living tips for seniors. Now both McDaniel and Lorri Orwig, Director of Resource Development at Silver Key, keep a regular flow of facts moving online.
Since the early days of the social media push, usage on Silver Key’s Facebook page and Twitter account has jumped by 150 percent.
“I’m very proud of this increase,” McDaniel said.
Clients not only read the posts, but they share them with others.
McDaniel, who is scheduled to graduate in May, hopes to go on to graduate school and then become a child advocate
Taking her own advice
During her time at UCCS, McDaniel adopted one of the “Daily Living” hints she shared on social media.
That advice encouraged Silver Key clients to turn down that morning cup of coffee “and get a better kick from the natural sugar in apples to start the day.”
The jolt of caffeinated drinks can indeed fool the body into waking up, increase the heart rate and kick the metabolism into gear, her online research showed. But then there’s the crash.
Apples help spur a higher energy level in a more natural way, all the while adding nutritional value. Plus, there’s no crash.
Other hints include:
• Be careful if you drink grapefruit juice because of potentially toxic interactions with a number of medications such as those to reduce cholesterol, tranquilizers, calcium channel-blockers and several antihistamines.
• Bananas are a well-known source of potassium that can help keep blood pressure at healthy levels. For variety, use them in banana bread or a smoothie.
• When walking uphill, the level of harmful fats in the bloodstream can decrease. When walking downhill, blood sugar levels are reduced. So alter patterns of exercise depending on your own health needs.
• If you take more than 500 mg of calcium supplements daily, take half in the morning and half later in the day. The body absorbs smaller amounts of calcium more efficiently than large doses. Taking calcium with food also makes it more efficient.
It’s not just about living longer these days — it’s about living better. Do you know someone in our community who would be a good subject for a “Living Well” story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.