Alzheimer’s Tool Helps Families Cope.

[ Alzheimer’s Families: I received this incredible letter from a new subscriber. She wanted to help spread the news about how Presto helps her family cope with her Mom’s disease and allowed me to publish it here. — Peter Radsliff, PrestoCEO ]

Dear Mr. Radsliff:

With an aging mother in the early stages of Alzheimer’s it’s become increasingly important to find ways to connect with her and engage her in our lives, no matter where we are in the world. While we were at ISE last week in Amsterdam, I was able to do just that.

Thanks to Presto, Mom got automatically printed emails with pictures of the various sights we saw and I was able to schedule a few notes ahead of time just to say Hi and to tell her we were thinking of her during trade show days when I knew I wouldn’t have time to check in with her. The best part? She was able to rest assured knowing we were safe but having fun and she felt like she was part of the trip if even in a small way.

Alzheimer's tool Presto emailPresto is wonderful. I simply can’t say enough about the service, products, and total ease of use. Mom’s in no way technical but this was the easiest thing to implement and the best way to keep her in touch with the family. Being one who has an intense eye for aesthetics and that doesn’t stand for clutter, the machine had to be small to pass muster. Honestly, if it were clunky in any way, it would be out the door just as many other tech notions before it had gone. Mom’s a stickler for detail. Fitting the bill perfectly, the Presto Printing Mailbox is small enough to inconspicuously sit under her bed, out of sight from all who enter her space. It automatically prints her emails on a predetermined schedule that’s convenient for her. We didn’t want the sound of pages printing to awaken her but we wanted her to get updates throughout the day if possible. Setup as a recurring order, Presto automatically sends mom new ink and paper when they are running low. I administer everything in the cloud and get confirmation of everything that’s sent to her so I know nothing unauthorized is slipping through (it’s a totally secure system).

To help her as she ages, we sent her a three-ring binder so she can put each printed Email into it in order, giving her a book she can look back through to keep track of time, places, people, and the like. It’s our way of helping her remember without her feeling uncomfortable for the things she’s forgotten or forgetting.

Alzheimer's tool used by patient daughter for her mom.To put it succinctly, Presto is a simple, secure, and simply wonderful way to give aging parents a new view to the outside world. If you’ve got aging folks in your life, give Presto a try!

— Katye McGregor Bennett


[ Thanks, Katye, it’s great to know how Presto is helping 
families in different ways. In honor of your Mom and for all the other Mothers out there, we have a special offer for Mother’s Day. — Peter Radsliff, PrestoCEO ]

LINK TO SPECIAL OFFER <

If you have any questions about Presto or would like to contact the PrestoCEO directly, please do so here:

70% age 70+ have “no interest” in hi-tech communication gadgets.

Thinking of getting grandma or grandpa a Kindle, iPad, iPhone or laptop so they can Skype or Facetime with the grandkids? Think again. Almost 70% of over 1,600 respondents 70+ years old said they had “no interest” in those devices in a survey conducted by Link•Age, a senior living think tank and trade association. Those percentages extrapolate to over 19 million Americans who are saying “meh” to tech.

70% age 70+ show "no interest" in tech

Link-to-SurveyBut why?
So many of us today can’t live without emailing, texting, chatting, instant messaging, Instagram-ing, Facebook-ing and mobile phoning 24/7. So why have the vast majority our grandparents, and even many parents opted out? Are they Luddites or technophobes? Are these members of society “afraid” of today’s techie world?

Is it them?
Remember, those who decided to say “no thanks” to today’s tech were the same ones who built America’s telephony and electric grid infrastructure. They successfully transitioned from a horse on the farm to an automobile on the interstate. In fact, they built the interstate. They were the ones who transitioned from sailing on ships to go abroad, to flying on planes around the globe. Oh, and by the way, they won two world wars while they were at it, building 2,700 Liberty Ships, 12,000 B17s, and 49,000 Sherman tanks along the way. Today we tend to think of microprocessors as representing the peak of technology in all of our fancy, pocketable gadgets. But don’t forget, our grandparents developed nuclear power and the atomic bomb, preserving our nation’s freedom in the process.

100 years of innovation

Is it us?
Could it be that the value of today’s tech-infused lifestyle hasn’t merely been overlooked by the GI Generation, but consciously passed over? Could it be that the modern tech learning curve is just too steep for those who retired before personal computers became de rigueur? Or is it that the cost and hassle to learn today’s technology has not proven to be important enough to those who were brought up with a different set of values?

What to do?
Should people force the issue by giving a computer, tablet or smartphone to a parent or grandparent who doesn’t want it, thereby wasting money and creating the need to provide “tech support.” Would it be better to have a method where extended family members could use the communication technologies of their choosing, while their parents or grandparents use the technology of their own choice? Is there a technology available that could manage the translation between these two different users?

Specially designed solution provides best of both worlds
What if you could tap out an email from your Android phone, or transmit a digital photo from an iPad, and have it arrive at your grandparent’s house in a few hours—even though your grandparents don’t have a computer or Internet service? How could this even be possible? Would octocopters pick up photos from an Amazon.com distribution center and drop them on your grandparent’s doorstep?

Presto Printing Mailbox

In 2006 (well before commercial drones) Hewlett-Packard developed a special printer that didn’t need a computer or Internet connection. It connects to a virtual computer in the “cloud” via the user’s existing telephone line. This cloud service provides an email address to subscribers and allows only approved senders to deliver messages and photos to the machine. It is almost like a high-resolution, full-color “fax machine,” except it doesn’t ring and instead autonomously dials out to retrieve mail five times a day.

The best kept secret
HP never promoted the printer or service themselves, possibly their focus was on other products. The cloud service company that invented the concept is Presto, which has been located in Silicon Valley since 2004 and has provided almost 500,000 family members with the ability to connect digitally with their offline loved ones.

Map of Presto users in the US

Map of Presto users in the U.S.

Sexy secret technology
These days, most people consider thumbprint-activated smartphones or paper-thin tablets to be “sexy.” But the sexiest technology is one that provides the highest value with a stellar user experience for everyone involved. HP and Presto’s solution is still the only one available that allows communicators to send how they wish—by email—and recipients to receive how they wish—by letter—without any incoming ringing, or need to touch any buttons or screens. An even more unique and “sexy” user-experience was discovered by HP and Presto during early field testing: users wanted to reply by telephone, not digitally. This allowed the machine to be much less complicated and less expensive than it would have been otherwise.

The need for this technology is great. The nearly 20 million Americans who’ve decided they have “no interest” in electronic communications gadgets don’t know they can connect digitally to family any other way.

Can This “Secret” Technology Help Someone In Your Family? Click Here >>

Presto “How To” #2: Getting the Rest of the Family to Send Presto Mail

As wonderful as the Presto system is, if no one sends any mail to your Presto user, it won’t provide nearly as much value as it could. We have developed supplements to family emails, but those will be covered in a different section. This Presto “How To” is all about getting the extended family and friends to engage with your Presto user by sending mail via Presto. As the Account Manager, if you follow these four simple steps, you can greatly improve the life of your Presto user while making your life easier as well.

————  FOUR STEPS TO THRIVING FAMILY CONNECTIONS  ————

1. INVITE  >  2. MONITOR  >  3. NUDGE  >  4. REPEAT
The single most important thing you can do as a Presto Account Manager is ensure the right people are added to the approved sender list for your Presto user. These approved senders—whom we call “Presto Friends”—are the only ones whose emails will be allowed to get through the system. There are three ways to add people to the Presto Friends list:

Presto Friends

Three Ways to Add Presto Friends:

i. Add them online
 – Presto Account Managers chose a username and password when signing up for the Presto Mail service. This allows them to access the PrestoConnect account manager website located at: http://account.presto.com. To add a friend or family member to a user’s Presto Friends list, sign in to PrestoConnect, and select “Add a friend” in the teal “Friends” section. On the window that opens, be sure to fill out as much of the information as you can because many times, people use more than one email address to send email to their Presto user (i.e. work, personal, gmail, etc.). Try to also input their name and phone numbers which will be printed on the top of each Presto Mail printout to facilitate callbacks.

PrestoConnect Friends Card Request

ii. Call Presto and have us add them for you – Presto Users and Account Managers can also call Presto CustomerCare toll-free at 1(800) 919-3199 between the hours of 6:30am—3:30pm Pacific, Mon.—Fri. Names on the Presto Friends list can be added or deleted, or contact information can be updated after Presto users or account managers verify their identity to the Presto CustomerCare agent.

iii. Let family and friends add themselves – When the Printing Mailbox first connected with the Presto Mail service, it printed out a welcome packet and a sheet of “Presto Friends Cards.” These are incredibly handy items, printed 8 to a page like business cards, ready to be cut apart with scissors.

Presto Friends Cards

On each card, instructions and a unique, one-time security code are printed that allow someone to add themselves to your Presto user’s approved sender list. These cards are great for giving to a trusted service professional’s office (i.e. doctor, handyman, caregiving company, retirement community office, or neighbor) so that they can send written notifications, instructions or announcements to your Presto user via email. Another sheet of Friends Cards can be forced to print by calling Presto CustomerCare or by signing on to: PrestoConnect and then clicking on Manage Friends and look for the underlined link in the top paragraph: click on: “Presto Friends Card.”   

SCREEN-Friends-Page-Inset


1. INVITE  
>  2. MONITOR  >  3. NUDGE  >  4. REPEAT

As Presto Account Manager, you have the unique ability to see who is sending mail to your Presto user and how often. You cannot read those private messages, but you can see the frequency statistics by visiting: PrestoConnect > View Activity Details > Friends Activity or > Printing Mailbox Activity. On either page, you will see all of the approved senders and how many emails they have sent over the last 30 days. In the Printing Mailbox Activity page, you will also see all printouts of subscription pages. This will give you an overview of how digitally connected your Presto user has become, or if change happens over time.


1. INVITE  
>  2. MONITOR  >  3. NUDGE  >  4. REPEAT

Everyone needs a good kick in the rear now and then. Presto makes that easy by putting a “nudge” link right next to the activity report for each approved sender. Clicking “nudge” auto-composes an email addressed to the corresponding Presto Friend with a canned message of encouragement. Or, you can change the message to personalize it before sending.

Presto Nudge feature


1. INVITE  
>  2. MONITOR  >  3. NUDGE  >  4. REPEAT

For Presto families, it seems that: “The price of family connection is eternal vigilance.” As the Presto Account Manager, you are in a unique position to have situational awareness of your Presto user’s online socialization. The best thing to do is set a reminder for yourself once a month on a calendar or in your smart phone to review the Presto Friends List and update any contact info changes, review how many emails have been delivered and from who, and nudge those who need nudging. This simple task performed a dozen times a year will go a long way to improving the live of your Presto user. It will also help ease the job of being a family caregiver just a little by spreading around the task of keeping mom or dad’s in the know about family events to everyone in the family.

Bottom Line: no one in your Presto user’s friends and family network needs to know that Presto even exists. They just need to know your mom or dad’s Presto-provided email address. Once they do—and once the approved senders’ email addresses are put into the Presto system—all anyone needs to do is…send an email…with a photo…or an occasional PDF document. Presto is like leading the proverbial horse to water, but you can’t make him email grandma. Encourage everyone to put your Presto users on their family distribution lists. Have the local senior center email announcements via Presto. And be sure to remind people to keep mom and dad in the electronic family loop. They may not have text messaging, Skype, or Facebook, but grandma and grandpa now have email without any of the hassle or cost of a computer and Internet connection.