Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
Helpful tips for May 2020
In this issue:
Articles of the day
*Pressure Cookers are Back Safer than Ever
* diabetes management devices and technology for people with visual
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
* Completion of customs and immigration forms
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca
Scams of the month:
Before giving you our scam tips of the month, here are some very valueable
You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.
Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.
What scammers are presently doing?
They are using phone calls made by persons from outside of North America to
try and tempt you to accept bogus offers of low interest loans.
Simply hang up when you receive one of these phone calls.
These are becoming more frequent and just delete them upon receipt.
Ignore these emails:
Those from those pretending to be government reps asking you to contact them
in order to receive benefits under government programs.
Keeping track of your credit card!
Never let it out of your sight whenever you are purchasing anything and
especially during these days of the Corona virus.
Be very careful when you purchase online!
Make sure to verify where you are purchasing from.
How often should you be changing your sheets and pillow cases?
The recommended time is at least once every two weeks.
How often should you be changing your bed?
The experts say every 7 years.
What is the difference between using glass containers and stainless
The stainless steel containers are better conducters of heat
and they cool off more quickly.
Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team
Pressure Cookers are Back Safer than Ever
Pressure cookers, those big monster pots we recall from childhood, are
making a big comeback, and bringing good news with them: They are not the
spitting, noisy, steam generators they once were. Modern improvements have
made pressure cookers as safe and easy to use as slow cookers, but with
To understand what a pressure cooker is, think of a pot that you use on the
stovetop that has a locking lid. When the liquid inside boils, it is
trapped. The steam that is generated builds up pressure creating a higher
cooking temperature and shorter cooking time. The pressure is measured in
PSI (pounds of force per square inch), a term you’ll find in pressure cooker
Pressure cookers have a gasket or rubber ring that creates a seal, which,
for safety reasons, is essential. Safety valves that automatically release
pressure if it builds too high, and safety lids that are impossible to open
until the pressure has
reduced are huge improvements over old models from yesteryear.
Pressure cooking has so many advantages that you might wonder how you ever
lived without one once you give it a try.
NUTRITION. Because food is cooked in less liquid for a shorter amount of
time, more vitamins and minerals are retained than in traditional or slow
FLAVOR AND TEXTURE. Because food that is pressure-cooked becomes done
so quickly, you will notice increased flavor and better texture in
everything from steamed vegetables to potatoes, chicken and all types of
meats. That’s not always the case with food that’s been in a slow cooker for
six to eight hours.
TIME. Food cooks up to 70 percent faster under pressure. That means what
normally would take one hour will be done in about 20 minutes. And pasta or
rice that normally take 15 minutes to cook? They’ll be done in five minutes.
You can get home from work, place the ingredients in the pressure cooker and
have the meal done in just a few minutes, which is probably as long as it
takes to set the table and tidy the kitchen.
ENERGY. Quick cooking means you will use a lot less energy. Even at a high
temperature, you won’t heat the house during the summer because of the short
period of time your cooker will be turned on. By saving 70 percent of the
gas or electricity normally used in conventional cooking, the pressure
cooker can pay for itself in just months.
CLEANER. When everything is trapped inside the pressure cooker, you won’t
experience anything boiling over or splattering all over the stove. That
makes cleaning a cinch.
BUYING A PRESSURE COOKER. Different models have varying features, but
generally you want to get a pressure cooker in a size that will fit your
storage area and family size. Pressure cookers come in sizes from 2-quart to
21-quart. Large ccookers are typically used for home canning.
I have the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 5-quart model, which is called the Mercedes
of pressure cookers. I’ve found that it is called that for a reason, because
it really is a lovely thing. Time has ceased to be much of a consideration
when I prepare dinner in my pressure cooker. I can fix perfectly cooked
artichokes in just a few minutes and ditto for a roast, chicken, potatoes,
beans, rice, you name it and I’ll
bet I’ve cooked it under pressure.
There are many other models of excellent pressure cookers with great
reviews, as low as $50 like this Presto 6-quart model and going upwards to
$400 or more.
If you have an older model pressure cooker or one you picked up used or
inherited, make sure you have all of the parts and that they are working
well. For safety reasons, this is very important. Check the manufacturer’s
website to get the user manual for your particular model if that is missing.
Also, consider replacing the rubber ring or gasket as these can become
cracked and brittle
Finally, use recipes designed for pressure cookers when you get started,
until you feel confident in adapting traditional recipes. America’s Test
Kitchen has a great pressure cookbook, too. You’ll find the most
comprehensive information on cooking under pressure, including recipes,
how-tos, resources and forums, at
hipPressureCooking.com and MissVickie.com—websites devoted to all things
Everyday Cheapskate is a Registered Trademark www.everydaycheapskate.com
diabetes management devices and technology for people with visual
(note: links inserted by dan after checking for activity.)
for most of my 53 years on this planet, i have had very little reason to
visit a doctor for anything other than the occasional required checkup that
generally consisted of a cursory
examination by my physician, a few minutes of filling out information on a
form, and my happily going on my way. even though i was born totally blind,
my condition could not be
aided by medical intervention, and i had no problems with my eyes that
required treatment. when my mother and sister were both diagnosed with
diabetes several years ago, i didn’t
take a lot of time to contemplate whether i should be more diligent in
having my own medical condition thoroughly evaluated. my wife had a glucose
meter–a device used to measure
blood sugar levels–around because of some medical issues she was dealing
with, and i thought about asking her to check my blood sugar, but i always
found excuses to put it off for
the first signal from my brain to my body indicating that there might be
trouble was a chronic, nagging thirst that was especially evident when i
drank sweet beverages. i reduced the
amount of sweets, drank a bit more water, and felt better, so i figured all
was well. when the nagging thirst became almost intolerable, and wasn’t even
quench by drinking water, i
began to google my symptoms. no matter how many searches i conducted, and no
matter how much i read, i came back to the same conclusion. one evening when
i was feeling
lethargic, achy, and, of course, thirsty, i asked my wife to check my blood
sugar. although several readings yielded different results, they were all
high enough that, at her insistence,
i took a trip to the emergency room. i was evaluated, my glucose level was
brought down to a reading that wasn’t quite as dangerously high as it had
been, and i ran headlong into a
brick wall of reality–i was a type 2 diabetic.
a few days later, a trip to my family physician’s office started me on a
journey that i will be on for the rest of my life. in this article, i will
tell you a bit about my journey, give you some
tips about how you or a loved one who is blind can manage this disease as a
blind person, and explore the possibilities that lie just around the corner.
managing diabetes as a person with a visual impairment
my doctor immediately placed me on oral medication to help reduce my glucose
(blood sugar) levels, protect my kidneys, and lower my blood pressure.
later, i began to take
medication to assist with lowering cholesterol–all important elements in
the proper treatment of diabetes. although i could have used braille or some
other tactile method to label my pill
bottles, i chose to keep them in separate locations in order not to mix them
up. whatever method you choose, the important thing is to keep your
medications straight. for me,
injections have not yet been necessary, but we will discuss them later in
i have always been a reader, so i began doing as much research on diabetes
management as i possibly could. for anyone who is comfortable with
technology, electronic books on
the subject are in abundance, and there are titles available from the
national library service
(nls) program for those who have specialized players
or smartphone apps for reading this content. i will not recommend one
specific title, since a book that speaks directly to one person might not be
as helpful to another, and new
research is taking place on a regular basis.
as important as proper medication is to the successful management of
diabetes, healthy eating is vital. a nutritionist with whom i spoke stated
it this way: “everyone should eat like a
diabetic.” i became intensely interested in how many grams of carbohydrates
(carbs) were in my food, as well as other key ingredients. the
my fitness pal
app on my iphone
became my best friend, giving me instant access to all of this information
no matter where i was.
the service can be accessed from the web and other mobile platforms as well.
later, i began using the
i.d. mate galaxy
from en-vision america to read the information found on the bar codes of the
foods i was preparing for myself.
wrote about this bar code scanner
in the august 2016 issue of accessworld.
monitoring blood sugar as a person with a visual impairment
for the first few days of my diagnosis, my sighted wife checked my blood
sugar regularly, since i had no way of doing so independently. my pharmacy
told me that they had access
to a talking glucose meter–a device that shows the glucose level on a
digital screen and, in some cases, announces it audibly. the glucose meter
obtained by my pharmacy was the
prodigy diabetes care, llc
i later learned that this is the oldest product from that company, and it
didn’t quite meet my needs. it is not possible to fully set up the unit
without sighted assistance, it does not allow
for 90 day averages of glucose levels–something that we will discuss
later–and the use of one button to do most actions made the device
inconvenient for me to use.
is fully audible from setup to test results, has a button to repeat the last
message spoken, has buttons that are easy to distinguish from one another,
has a screen
that is easier to read for those with low vision, provides 7, 14, 21, 30,
60, and 90 day averages, and has a headphone jack that will afford privacy
for those who don’t want their
glucose levels announced to the entire world. quoting from the company’s
website, “the prodigy voice is the only meter to receive an access award
from the?american foundation
for the blind?(afb) and an access plus award from the?national federation of
the blind (nfb). the access plus award is given to products that afford
blind patients the same?
convenience and features available to everybody else.”
my first attempts at checking my own blood sugar were spectacularly
unsuccessful. i was stressed, my motions were clumsy, and i managed to smear
any drop of blood that i
successfully acquired before i could get it to the test strip. six months
after my diagnosis of diabetes, i still find that i sometimes need to stick
myself three or four times before i am
able to get a drop of blood onto the test strip. i do not have dexterity
issues, but the test strips are fairly small. they come in a bottle that
resembles a pill bottle with a hinged lid. when
the container is full of strips, it can be a challenge to remove only one
strip without bringing several of its friends along. there are times when i
am able to perform a glucose level
check on the first try. sometimes a finger is particularly easy for me to
use, until, that is, a callous forms on the place where i inevitably stick
myself several tests in a row. i then have
to find a new spot, and the process of getting comfortable with sticking
myself in that spot starts all over again.
lancets, the needles used to stick yourself in order to acquire blood for
the test, are small, and some may have difficulty handling them. i use a
lancet holder, and change the lancets
regularly. you are supposed to change them every single time. i have
discovered that, if i decide to re-use a lancet, a stick will become
increasingly painful the duller the lancet
becomes. it is possible to obtain disposable lancets that are only used one
time, and do not require the use of a lancet holder. i am told that
disposable lancets, which have a preset
penetration level when performing a stick, are more painful than using a
lancet holder, where the depth of skin penetration can be adjusted.
i have a high pain tolerance, so others may disagree with the following
statement, but i would not say that sticking my finger to perform a glucose
level check is particularly painful.
the lancet is retracted into the lancet holder. placing the holder on your
finger and depressing a button will cause the lancet to spring forward and
administer the stick. for a while, i
tried using a lower penetration setting, but found that, with a fresh
lancet, setting the level to the maximum penetration depth was more likely
to produce a good drop of blood, and did
not cause me significantly more discomfort than a lower penetration level.
sticking the sides of the finger seems to cause less pain than the pads, and
certainly the tip of the finger,
which has the most nerve endings.
i find that washing my hands in warm water helps with blood flow, as well as
providing a clean environment for performing the test. milking–gently
massaging–the finger can also help
to bring blood to the area before performing a stick. i find that having a
plastic container that contains all my supplies–glucose meter, test strips,
lancet holder, lancets, alcohol wipes,
and tissues to help ensure that blood flow has stopped after the test has
been performed–is invaluable to my success since it helps me stay
any talking glucose meter should tell you if there is not enough blood on
your test strip, if the strip is wet or has been used, if the glucose
reading is out of range, and certainly, what
the actual glucose reading is at the time of the test. it should be possible
to cycle through a history of past readings, and be able to look at averages
over a period of time. when i
went back to my family physician for a three-month checkup, the average
reading obtained from my doctor’s lab was very close to that given by the
glucose meter i was using at the
time. these readings are known as your a1c, which is a marker found in your
body that allows your doctor to know what your average glucose level has
been over the past two or
three months. while your glucose meter will give you an average reading of,
for example, 154 milligrams per deciliter, your a1c will be read as 8.0. it
is possible to find a1c
converters using a smartphone app, or looking on the web.
it used to be necessary to manually calibrate glucose meters when a new
bottle of test strips was opened, but this is no longer the case with any of
the current meters on the market,
so far as i am aware. each test strip has a notch on the end that needs to
fit into the meter, and a good talking glucose meter will tell you when the
unit is ready for testing. finally,
meters allow for alternate site testing–taking glucose readings from your
arm, for example, but from what i have read, results are often less accurate
than those obtained from the
finger, so i have never attempted alternate site testing.
because i was not happy with the glucose meter i first tried, a friend
recommended the solus v2 from
biosense medical devices
the meter is currently
available from amazon
for $13.99. however, in researching prices for this article, it appears that
the test strips for the solus v2 are no longer available. if i
can’t find them again, i will need to consider
purchasing the prodigy voice
, available for $39.99 from amazon.
amazon also sells
a 50-count box of prodigy test strips
in the february, 2012 issue of accessworld, an article by darren burton,
john lilly, matthew enigk, and ricky kirkendall entitled
diabetes and visual impairment: an update on
accessible blood glucose meters
discusses what to look for in a glucose meter that is accessible both from a
totally blind, and a low-vision perspective.
in that article, four glucose meters were considered fully accessible. they
the prodigy voice from prodigy diabetes care
the solo v2 from biosense medical devices (also known as the solus v2)
the fora v20 from fora care, inc
the fora v22 from fora care, inc
of the first two, it appears as of this writing that the prodigy voice may
be the only meter still available whose test strips can be easily purchased.
the fora care v20 and fora care
v22 appear to have been replaced by the
fora care v30a
, although i have been unable to find any reviews of this product from a
blind person’s perspective.
fora v30a talking blood glucose meter (english / español) | foracare inc.
there are currently glucose meters that connect with a smartphone via an
app, but i have yet to find a review or audio demonstration from a blind
person who can recommend one of
when pills aren’t enough: administering diabetes injections as a person with
a visual impairment
as i stated earlier in this article, i have not needed to give myself
injections of insulin or other medications thus far in the treatment of my
diabetes. in the july, 2006 issue of
accessworld, darren burton and mark uslan wrote an article entitled
diabetes and visual impairment: are insulin pens accessible?
although 10 years old, this article gives some excellent tips on deciding
whether to use re-useable or disposable insulin pins. it appears that the
pins recommended in this article are
still available today.
independent blood pressure monitoring for people with visual impairments
my blood pressure has been stable every time i have visited my doctor, and i
have not been told to regularly keep track of blood pressure readings. if i
ever decide to do so,
however, there are talking options available to me.
a search for talking blood pressure monitors from independent living aids
yielded two results, with prices of $59.95 and $79.95.
lists one for $79.95.
a search on the applevis website yielded a
review of the qardioarm wireless blood pressure monitor
written by elena brescacin. rob armstrong has recorded a podcast of the
review and demonstration of the qardioarm wireless blood pressure monitor
and its companion ios app
, also on
. i am confident that, should i need to monitor my blood
pressure, i could do so independently, thanks to these talking devices.
looking toward the future of accessible diabetes management
continuous glucose monitoring (cgm) using such technology solutions as
dexcom incorporate a sensor placed under the skin, a receiver that fits onto
the sensor, and an app that
sends the data to your mobile device. according to a friend who uses this
technology but wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, the system is
a bit tricky to set up, but
can be used by a blind person.
researchers in south korea are
working on a wearable patch
that can use sweat to monitor glucose levels,and deliver medication through
microneedles. in conjunction with an
accessible app, imagine how convenient this could be for blind people who
need to regularly monitor their glucose levels.
the bottom line
this article from the american foundation for the blind
gives some excellent guidelines that will help you determine what your blood
glucose levels should be at various times of the
day, along with information previously discussed in this article.
this youtube video
walks you through setup and use of the prodigy voice glucose meter.
for anyone, whether blind or sighted, a diagnosis of diabetes is a
life-changing, and likely stressful experience. for someone who is losing
their vision, or is totally blind, the
experience can be even more daunting. the good news is that, with the right
monitoring tools and techniques along with patience, no matter whether you
are young or old, it is
possible to manage your diabetes independently, or with minimal assistance
although diabetes is a serious disease, there is no reason to let it keep
you from living your life to the fullest extent possible. whether you are a
young person who is just finding out
who and what you want to be, or an older adult who wants to enjoy their
retirement years, you can take control of diabetes starting today!
From the pages of Donna’s diary
Completion of customs and immigration forms
When it comes to doing this, your options are extremely limited and if you
are determined to protect your precious details then the best persons to ask
would be the in flight agents aboard the aircraft.
Normally, these persons are extremely conscientious when it comes to
safeguarding your privacy but you need to ask them to assist you with this
before the flight commences.
There is talk that airline staff may not be allowed to help with this moving
forward so you need to check either with your airline before hand or phone
the 1800 o Canada number which is 1800 622 6232.
Your last resort if you are unable to gain assistance from in flight agents
would be to ask those agents escorting you to customs and immigration to
Remember; those forms ask for details such as your home address, date of
birth, and passport number. All of which are what most scammers and hackers
are constantly on the prowl for.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.
To learn more about me, visit
On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio
mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go!
In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase
or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at
and you can now take advantage of our free downloads here.
Follow me on Twitter @accessibleworld and at author_jodhan
And like me on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan and at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan