THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRiDAy, July 24, 2020 Page 17 avvya yavvy eniioor iorn or y io iori by Jim Miller Video Calling Solutions for Tech-Challenged Seniors Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some simple devices that can help tech-challenged seniors with video calls? My 80-year-old mother has been isolating herself for months now in fear of the coronavirus and I haven’t been able to see her face-to-face in quite a while. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Video chatting is a great way to stay connected and keep tabs on an elder parent when you can’t be there, but it’s even more important now during this pandemic as many isolated seniors are also suff ering from chronic loneliness. To help connect you and your mom virtually, there are various products on the market that off er simple video calling for seniors who have limited ability or experience with technology. Here are four devices to consider. GrandPad: This is a top option for simple video calling, and much more. The GrandPad is an 8-inch tablet specifi cally designed for seniors, ages 75 and older. It comes with a stylus, a charging cradle and 4G LTE built-in so it works anywhere within the Consumer Cellular network – home Wi-Fi is not required. Ready to go right out of the box, GrandPad provides a simplifi ed menu of big icons and large text for only essential features, providing clutter-free, one-touch access to make and receive video calls, send voice emails, view photos and videos, listen to personalized music, check the weather, play games, browse the Internet and more. A GrandPad tablet costs $250 plus $40 monthly service fee and is sold through Consumer Cellular at GrandPad.net or call 888-545-1425. Amazon’s Echo Show: With its built-in camera and screen, the voice-command Echo Show also provides a simple way to have face-to-face chats with your mom, but she’ll need home Wi-Fi installed. Echo Shows, which come in three screen sizes – 5-inch ($90), 8-inch ($130) and 10-inch ($230), will let your mom make and receive video calls to those who have their own device, or who have the Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet. Once you set up her contacts, to make a call your mom could simply say, “Alexa, call my daughter” And when you call her, she would ask Alexa to answer the call (or ignore it). There’s also a feature called “drop-in” that would let you video call your mom’s device anytime without her having to answer it. Available at Amazon.com, the Echo Show also off ers thousands of other features your mom would enjoy like voice-activated access to news, weather, her favorite music and much more. If you decide to order an Echo Show device for mom, be sure your ask Amazon to mark it as a gift so it doesn’t get tied to your Amazon account. For instructions to help your mom set it up, or if she doesn’t have a smartphone, go to Amazon. com/gp/help/customer/display.html, and type in “Help Loved Ones Set Up Their Echo Show Remotely” in the “fi nd more solutions” bar. ViewClix: This is a smart picture frame specifi cally designed for elderly seniors that lets family members make video calls, send photos and post virtual sticky notes with messages to their loved ones ViewClix from their smartphone, tablet or computer. Seniors, however, cannot initiate video calls from their ViewClix. Home Wi-Fi is also required. Available in two sizes – 10-inch for $199, and 15-inch for $299 – you can learn more about this product at ViewClix.com. Facebook Portal: If your mom is a Facebook user, a voice-command Facebook portal (see portal.facebook.com) is another simple way to stay connected – home Wi-Fi is needed. Portals, which come in three sizes – the original 10-inch Portal ($179), the 8-inch Mini ($129) and the massive 15-and-ahalf-inch Portal Plus ($279) – are like Echo Shows, except they connect through Facebook. With a Portal, your mom can video call your smartphone or tablet (and vice versa) using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. By Bob Katzen THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives' votes on roll calls from the week of July 13-17. There were no roll calls in the House last week. CHANGES IN POLICING (S. 2800) Senate 30-7, approved and sent to the House a bill making major changes in the state’s policing system. The measure creates a Police Offi cer Standards and Accreditation Committee (POSAC)—an independent state entity composed of law enforcement professionals, community members and racial justice advocates—to standardize the certifi cation, training and decertifi cation of police offi cers. Other provisions ban chokeholds that are performed with the intent of or with the result of causing unconsciousness or death; ban other deadly uses of force except in cases of imminent harm; require the use of de-escalation tactics when feasible; create a duty to intervene for offi cers who witness abuse of force; limit qualifi ed immunity defense for offi cers whose conduct violates the law; expand and strengthen police training in de-escalation, racism and intervention tactics; and ban racial profi ling, require racial data collection for all police stops and require reporting and analysis. “We have lots of wonderful police officers, and I am grateful for their service,” said Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont). “But we cannot turn a blind eye to the problems that do exist in the state which have been so recently documented by the United States Department of Justice. Nor should we pretend that those problems are the only problems in the state. This legislation is long overdue and I’m glad we are moving forward.” “I voted no because the bill that was brought before the Senate was hastily written and then pushed through to a vote in less than a week,” said Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “These actions result in a fl awed product with multiple unintended consequences. For example, the language in this bill signifi cantly dilutes and diminishes qualifi ed immunity, not just for law enforcement offi cers, but for all municipal employees. Additionally, the bill would make it illegal for police and school administrations to communicate about gang and drug-related activity occurring in the school district, in turn making our schools and students less safe.” "This bill is a vital step towards a new vision of public safety: one that’s built on accountability, de-escalation, and care," said Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Boston). "It begins the long, necessary work of shifting power and resources to black communities and communities of color who have, for too long, faced criminalization and punishment instead of investment." “In my opinion, we don’t know enough about how changing these standards of qualifi ed immunity and collective bargaining will aff ect law enforcement, municipal employees, court systems, and labor unions in our state,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Westfi eld). “I believe we need subject-matter experts to help inform us and make recommendations, in order to be absolutely certain that we are meeting the goals of our legislation without any unintended consequences. That being said, I also believe that there is a lot of good work accomplished in this legislation, and I fully intend and hope to vote for a conference committee bill that accomplishes our goals and will be signed by the governor.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against it.) Sen. Sal DiDomenico Yes STUDY QUALIFIED IMMUNITY (S. 2800) Senate 16-24, rejected an amendment striking a section of the bill which sets new limits on qualifi ed immunity protections that currently shield police and other government officials from civil suits. The amendment would replace the section with a special commission to study the state’s current qualified immunity Beacon Hill Roll Call and report back to the Legislature within six months. Qualifi ed immunity is a judicially-created legal doctrine established by the U.S. Supreme Court. Under current qualifi ed immunity, police offi cers and other government offi cials can only be held accountable in civil suits for violating someone’s rights if a court has previously ruled that it was “clearly established” those precise actions were unconstitutional. Supporters of the study said they are not saying that qualified immunity should exist without some change nor that it should be abolished. They are simply saying that the Senate needs more information on the subject before taking any action. “We don’t have enough information,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Westfi eld), the sponsor of the study amendment. “We need to do a deep-dive." “We need to hear from stakeholders," continued Velis. "Our job is not to watch CNN or Fox News to get informed; it’s our job to vote in the best interest of constituents.” Opponents of the study said the limits the bill places on qualifi ed immunity are reasonable and fair and are a compromise between doing nothing and abolishing qualifi ed immunity outright. Critics say that qualifi ed immunity has shielded violent police offi cers from being personally responsible for their actions. Supporters of it say that limiting qualifi ed immunity puts police offi cers at risk of frivolous lawsuits. Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said setting some limits on qualified immunity is a start. “In order to make any laws about excessive use of force meaningful, it is absolutely essential to reform qualifi ed immunity,” said Rose. “While the ACLU and many of our allies still wish to see qualifi ed immunity eliminated, we commend the Senate for taking this critical action and urge the House to do the same. The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association is opposed to the limits placed on qualifi ed immunity. “To be clear, qualifi ed immunity is a bedrock protection extended to all public employees,” tweeted the BPPA. “Not just police offi - cers. It does not protect bad cops. In fact, it only protects police offi cers who act reasonably and within the rules and regulations of their respective departments.” (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against the BEACON | SEE PAGE 19

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