Posts made in March, 2013

Minding your language!

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Features, News

Mindings gives your family and friends a really easy way of sharing your pictures and messages with someone they care about.  For example, you can send text messages and connect through Facebook and Twitter accounts.  That way your loved one can see what everyone is up to.

We find that with social media like Facebook and Twitter, people sometimes use language which they wouldn’t use when talking directly to an older family member.  To help avoid offence, we have a special filter which masks any detected swear words with asterisks.   So, for example, if ‘naughty‘ were a swear word, it would be displayed as ‘n*****y‘.

The swear word filter has three settings: off, mild filtering, strong filtering

Of course, swearing is a matter of opinion and we may not stop every word which could cause offence, so the best approach is to remind people that their loved one may be reading their status updates!

Mindings Team

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New Feature: Increased Calendar frequency

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in News

We know that Mindings‘ multi-user shared calendar is useful because our users keep telling us!  Some of the features that make it so effective are:

  • Simple and clear display
  • Built-in calendar application
  • Synchronisation with most popular online calendars including iCal, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar and Windows Live/Hotmail/Outlook
  • Supports subscriptions to public calendars such as public holiday and weather calendars
  • Options for past events to be removed, or shown faded
  • Supports recurring events

And, of course, your Mindings account can be set to the timezone of the user (ask our Australian and American users!).


We believe that the calendar is a powerful tool because it helps families share everything from important events such as health appointments, to personal events such as family birthdays, a reminder that someone is visiting (no-one likes unexpected visitors!) or even a reminder about that final episode of that TV drama they’ve been watching.

“I know that my mum wouldn’t like to forget a family birthday.  To remind mum the day before or the week before so she’s got time to buy a card and put it in the post is really useful”.
Gill (Mindings user)

There’s a good reason that the calendar is so powerful and effective.  It was designed and built with input and feedback from real users (we call it “person-centred design“).  In that way we know that what are are creating really is a useful tool to help people live independently.

“We use the calendar to help mum know what’s coming that day.  It only shows what’s on that day which is perfect for mum … it tells her what’s coming and when and how long it will last.  I’m certain that Mindings is really helpful for mum in helping her stay independent at home”.
Susan (Mindings user)

So, our latest calendar feature came from a plea from a user: 

“I’m writing to see if there is any scope to tweak the calendar function for Mum – (her) confusion over forthcoming events and the profound anxiety that this has caused is by far her most distressing problem and the most difficult to help.
We have been unable to find a paper calendar format which is suitable for Mum … unless a person is physically there to change the calendar sheet for her she has no idea what day it is…she is losing the ability to recall the sequence of days. Clearly, the Mindings calendar is the ideal solution…
Is there a way that the calendar could display on alternate screens within the stream?”

Cal_FrequencyThe answer was yes, and today we’ve rolled out the new feature for everyone.  We’ve even given some additional frequency options.  Check in the Settings in the Calendar tab of the Mindings Admin website.

We mean it when we say that we value feedback!

We hope that you find the feature useful.

Mindings Team


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New iPad Mindings App coming soon!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in News

iOS_Mindings_iconMindings is now better than ever on an iPad.  We’re currently doing final tests on our new iOS App, which means it will be much easier to find, install and try out — as well as performing even better than our current web App.
Our new App works on all iPads so, if you’re upgrading, you could pass your old iPad 1 on to a relative or friend who would benefit from Mindings.  Alternatively, you could treat them to a second hand iPad 1.  They can be great value, as they’re such good build quality and people look after them.  Your local CeX Computer Exchange is a good place to look – quality second-hand goods with a twelve-month warranty.
The App will also work on iPhones.  Wherever you are, you can now try out Mindings on your iPhone before subscribing a friend or family member.  Once they’re up and running, you can then use your iPhone to check in on what’s appearing on their screen.

Watch this space!

Mindings Team

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Mindings showcased at London Fellow’s Day event

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in News

Organisers Chris Moon-Willems and Simon Duffy, facilitating discussion of Stuart's presentation.

Organisers Chris Moon-Willems and Simon Duffy, facilitating discussion of Stuart’s presentation.

The Centre for Welfare Reform, in partnership with Relative Matters, ran a London seminar yesterday on innovation and policy for older people.  Hosted by Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, and Chris Moon-Willems of Relative Matters, the event was well attended by people from as far afield as Coventry and Monmouthshire.

Presentations were made by, among others, social care innovators such as Gill Phillips of Whose Shoes?, Chris Minett of Action for Ageing, and Mindings‘ Stuart Arnott. Lively discussions followed, with contributions from Martin Routledge of Think Local Act Personal, and social care writer and advocate, and host of the Disruptive Social Care Podcast, Shirley Ayres.

Shirley Ayres and her new "The Click Guide…" publication

Shirley Ayres and her new “The Click Guide…” publication

The event focussed on “adding life to years” and the challenges being faced by a social care service of a growing senior population, reducing budgets, and delivering better services – putting older people at the centre of their care, giving them choice and control and treating them with dignity, compassion and respect.

An entertaining lunch session encouraged participants to sum up their care services in a simple poster. Mindings‘ Stuart Arnott won the prize for fewest words (and most use of the colour pens) with this poster. Does this explain Mindings to you?

Mindings Team

Chris Minnett’s book “Action for Ageing” is available on Amazon.

Read more about Shirley Ayre’s publication “The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Care” on her website.

Stuart's Mindings poster.

Stuart’s Mindings poster.

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Mindings presented at Kent care events

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in News, Testimonial

Mindings’ Stuart Arnott and James Lampert, Commissioning Manager, Families and Social Care Directorate at Kent County Council

Mindings Stuart Arnott has been a guest of Kent County Council for the last two days at social care events.

On Thursday 28th, Howfield Manor Hotel in Chartham Hatch, Canterbury hosted “Reablement (Intermediate Care) Conference for East Kent”, with Mindings being demonstrated as a social tool for early-stage dementia care.

On Friday 29th Stuart was invited by James Lampert, Commissioning Manager, Families and Social Care Directorate at Kent County Council to be a keynote speaker at “Kent County Council Families and Social Care Community Prevention Conference” in Lenham, Maidstone.

James is a Commissioning Manager at Kent County Council with a professional background in rehabilitation and a passion for improving health and social care services. His current portfolio includes long term conditions, end of life care, falls and has a strategic lead for integrated commissioning.

A terrific programme included presentations by Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care and Director of Health Services Management Centre at Birmingham University, Caroline Hallett from Big Society Co-operative, and Mike Jenn, from Camden Town Shed, talking about the wonderful Mens Shed movement, which originated in Australia.  Men’s Sheds usually offer a workshop, tools and equipment so men in later life can use existing skills, learn new ones and be productive while enjoying the benefits of working in a social group.

Stuart was presenting the concept of creating a “virtual community” to develop meaningful relationships with Mindings users who may not have a community of family or friends. Some great new features are being developed to help in this endeavour, and some exciting relationships are being forged to trial Mindings in care settings with these virtual communities.

Watch this space!

The Mindings Team

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