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Questions tagged with 'elderly' at Ask MetaFilter.

older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3) | 4 | newer

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    Any recommendations for a tai chi DVD for an 87 year old woman? My grandmother will be 87 this year. She has always been very active, but a couple of foot surgeries in the past year or two reduced her mobility and she has not been able to build it back very much. She has low back problems, neuropathy, and arthritis, and had her hip replaced eight years ago. She used to go for walks for exercise but now is afraid she'll get out and go too far to get herself back. She knows that when she doesn't get to move around much her joints kind of freeze up more (and worse). She'll check with her doctor before she does anything, but I'd like to find a tai chi DVD that stays gentle and easy throughout so she can see if that helps. She is in a small rural town so there really aren't any classes she can go to to try anything out. Probably best if it avoids going on about technical aspects, qi, energy, or woo in general, since she goes to a fairly conservative church and might get put off by that, and needs to be a DVD since she doesn't use the internet at all. Thanks for any help!

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    My dad is 70 and wants to play some super easy casual games on PC, iOS, PS4, and possibly Wii or Wii U. Recommendations? He doesn't want any games that require a lot of skill, and his reflexes probably aren't that great. He can't sit at a PC for long either but computer games are okay. He has a Windows jigsaw puzzle game that gives him a free puzzle every week but he's getting bored with it. We already have Bejeweled. I have a PS4 and I could give him my old iPad, and I have Steam. I gave away my Wii but we would be willing to buy a new Wii or Wii U if there are enough easy games on it. I don't think he'd get much use out of my 3DS because I think the screen is too small for him. I have a Chromebook also for browser games.

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  • 08/26/16--14:32: Music for Dancing Grammas
  • What music styles or specific songs do 85-year-old ladies like to dance to? I'm putting together a playlist for some dancing grammas. Certain criteria: Familiar songs (popular in the 1940s-60s); Upbeat (no slow dancing at this crazy ol' party); not loud (no rock please, not even Elvis); bonus for international songs or sung in non-English, especially German! Perfect examples so far:
    Bei mir bist du schon, by The Andrews Sisters
    Tu vo'fa'l'americano, by Renato Carosone

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    Over Thanksgiving, my super-hip and modern 80yo mother mentioned that she wanted to get one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" devices and a lockbox with a code for helping first responders get into the house. My sister and I talked with her, and I bookmarked some options for her on her iPad, and she said she'd research things when she got back home. And then she fell down, went boom. We need advice. Three days after Thanksgiving, she slipped on the corner of the comforter while stripping the bed, fell into the wall, and badly fractured her wrist and her neck. When she fell, she was able to crawl to the cordless phone (there's one in almost every room) and called 911. (I'd encouraged her to carry around her iPhone instead of the cordless, so she can just shout "Hey, Siri, call 911," but she prefers not to use her iPhone unless she's out of the house. She didn't want an Amazon Echo, even when I explained that it could also handle this issue.)

    Meanwhile, when the plumber kept ringing the bell and she didn't answer, he called, and she told him with (amazing) clarity what was happening, and directed him to the neighbor next door, to get the key for the first responders, but the neighbor wasn't home. Eventually, the first responders gently broke in the side door to the garage (that hadn't been used since 1971) and went in through the (miraculously not-locked utility room door). There was some delay in doing this, but not much.

    (Because you're MeFites, I know you care, so while she's really pissed that it happened, she's in rehab and doing as well as one can, and maintaining her sense of humor.)

    She'll be coming home soon, and she wants us to help her get this squared away. I'm trying to find two solutions.

    1) Alert Button Doodad -- She's insistent that she wants something she can wear on her wrist rather than on a necklace/pendant. She liked the general look of the Lively Wearable from Great Call, but says she knows there are sleeker, less bulky ones than the one I showed her at the Great Call site.

    I'm not seeing anything nicer/smaller than that, and the HomeSafe ones recommended by her local Visiting Nurses Association has two versions of the button thingie, one (higher end, with fall detection) that they say has to be worn on a pendant, and a lower-tier one that can be worn on an elastic wristband or a watchband. And she thinks both are ugly. (She's super-stylish, does full makeup and hair even when there's a blizzard outside and won't see other humans, and strangers come up to her to compliment her on her looks. The idea of wearing something plastic is abhorent to her, which puts a point in the Lively Wearable vs. the HomeSafe doodad.)

    Does the hive mind have any recommendations for an alert button doohickey that:
    a) can be worn on the wrist,
    b) is not huge (she's got tiny bones for a tall lady), and
    c) is reputable?

    Possible snowflake: Some of the devices I've seen show a base (like a cordless phone base) but my mom's house is two stories plus a basement and is pretty large -- would it even be able to communicate over that large a space? Wi-Fi gets to the far corners fairly well, but is the size of the space and distance from the base an issue?

    And she says she doesn't want the more expensive ones she's seen "with GPS" because she figures if she ever falls anywhere except in the house, there will be people with her, and if she's ill in the car, she can call to Siri.

    2) Emergency Access -- The Visiting Nurses Association recommends a lock box (like a realtor box) that can be affixed to the door. I guess there's a code on the box and the code reveals access to an actual key? Their rep will come out for free, show my mom (and my sister, who is visiting during this hospital/rehab/home transition) the features, and sell the lockbox to her for $40. I don't know if this is something that needs to be "installed" or just hooked on the door -- I suspect the latter. They also said you can get them at Home Depot, and the ones I see there are about $10 less, but don't come with a nice visiting rep to patiently explain things. Is there likely an advantage of one type over the other? Is there one best type?

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide on either aspect.

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    I am a property manager. One of my tenants is an elderly woman who lives alone. Over the weekend she fell and was taken to the hospital. This is the third time she fell in a four day period. I am concerned about her and about her dog who is alone in the apartment. My tenant lives alone in an apartment building I manage. Lets call her Mary. Mary is in declining health and as far as I know, has no friends or family. She has not given us any emergency contact. I spoke to a nurse at the hospital where she’s been since yesterday and she said that Mary is awake and alert but they will be keeping her a few more days. Mary is not responding to my phone calls or emails.

    I am heartbroken thinking about this poor woman all alone. I am concerned about her being sent back home and falling again, or worse. I am not a doctor but everyone on my staff (doormen, super, etc) think she is declining rapidly and should not be left alone. Should I… tell someone? She is Section 8 and I don’t want to get her in trouble or take away her choices, etc. She is normally a very feisty, independent woman.

    Of most immediate concern is that she has a dog. A member of my staff gave the dog food and water last night but… A. we cant keep doing that and B. the dog needs to be walked/cared for! I spoke briefly to an animal rescue place today and they offered to come by once a day and feed/water the dog until Mary returns but I’m afraid that they will come by, decide the dog shouldn’t be there, and take him away. This dog is all this woman has in the world. I realize the dog’s safety is the most important thing but…. AHHHH I don’t know what to do!

    So my immediate question is, what should I do about her dog, and then my second question is, should I alert someone about the woman herself? Presumably the hospital won’t discharge her if she’s really that bad, right? But then they discharged her last week after her first fall, and then she fell two more times. So maybe they're just pushing her through the system. There must be something I can do to help. We're in NYC if that matters.

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    I have an elderly parent living alone who has agreed that they are down with a) a daily phone call check-in service, and/or b) some kind of medical alert/emergency notification system (a la Lifeline). Does AskMe have personal recommendations for either? Otherwise I'm just Googling around. I actually don't need advice on choosing between the two options. Rather, I'm looking for specific recommendations for companies/brands for either type of service.

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  • 06/12/17--17:41: Fiction for the Elderly?
  • My dad is 97 and likes to read. I want to send him a small package of books and am looking for appropriate recommendations. By appropriate, I mean (from his own words):
    - nothing convoluted; he does best with a straightforward plot, ideally with some easy surprises
    - he likes plot-driven novels, such as mysteries; relationship fiction not so much
    - No sci-fi
    - clarity of prose; not too "literary"

    About my dad, he's in assisted living, tries not to watch too much television, and has what might be called mild dementia. On his good days, he can tell a pretty good joke. On his bad days, he forgets that he was married to my mother.

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    I've been spending a lot of time teaching older adults computer literacy skills. I've worked in retirement and nursing homes for years, and I'm very comfortable with older adults, and I love teaching, training and coaching. In order to further this service at work, I'm interested in creating a website that I can use a resource for my students, but I'm also interested in possibly expanding this as a future personal business. Please hope me name it! I will be focusing on building comfort with computers and mobile devices for seniors, and I want to tackle topics like Building and Managing Passwords, Using Online Banking, Social Media Skills, and even things like basic HTML5. My thought is to start with narrated slideshows, ala Khan Academy, and cover a wide range from very basic to relatively advanced info. If I wind up doing this for money, I would also probably make house calls for tech help. So what's a good name for this not-yet-a-business? The best I've thought of so far is Computer Comfort, but that sounds dumb to me, and also is already taken by another organization. Give me your best names, Metafilter!

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    My 82 y/o dad lives alone about 30 minutes away (with no traffic) and we sometimes cannot make it to see him physically on a regular basis. He's had health issues in the past which he won't mention on the phone but where if I had seen it in person (or video) we could have prevented an emergency hospital visit. So.....my solution was to buy him iPad so we can video call regularly if a physical visit would not be possible. I settled on an iPad after many weeks of researching but we may need a better solution. I've removed or hidden non-essential apps already.

    He has essential tremors of the hands (not Parkinson's disease) and bad eye sight so even the simple act of "slide to unlock" is difficult. I got him a stylus but I don't think that has made a difference. I've looked at the IFTTT or Workflow apps but those don't seem to have any functionality that would auto-answer or make it easier to answer a facetime or skype video call or use the iPad.

    I've looked at several products targeted to this problem like the Bloom (where's the buy button?), Skype for TV (discontinued), Amazon Echo Show ("drop-in" function is most promising. I would get one for him and use the app on my phone), Ily (again, how do you even buy this? It's got an app for one of the parties), Nucleus (promising, I think I'd need to buy 2 to make it work) and some other ones.

    I can't seem to find the "one". Does it exist? I don't think another iOS app is the solution. It's the hardware that is the challenge right now. I need to get him onto the iPad first before dealing with software challenges.

    Do I just suck it up and spend the $229 (+tax) on the Amazon Echo Show and "drop-in" whenever needed? None of the other functions like Alexa, music, smart home etc. would be useful or used. I literally only need the video calling. Is it a waste for it to be a single purpose device? Does it matter?

    Does anyone have any experience with any of the other products I listed? Or can you recommend something I haven't seen yet? I think I read somewhere that iOS 11 will have the ability to auto-answer phone calls, but I don't know if that would apply to facetime on the iPad, and it's another few months before it's released anyway.

    I've already spent over $300 on the iPad, a stand and a stylus. If the Echo is the best solution then I'll bite the bullet and get one, but here in 2017 is this the best there is to communicate with a technologically challenged eldery parent?

    Thank you.

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    I have a cold. Help me decide whether or not to visit my 94 year old Grandmother this coming Tuesday. Timeline of events so far.

    Saturday July 22--bought plane tickets to visit 94 year old Grandmother.
    Tuesday July 24th AM--Grandma sends e-mail saying she is excited to see me. Last sentence reads, "Can I count on you to be free of respiratory infections?"
    Tuesday July 24th PM- I feel a cold coming on.
    Tuesday July 24th--Friday Jul 28th (today)--I have been sick in bed with an upper respiratory infection.

    Of. course.

    So, friends, I'm supposed to head off to see her in T-minus 4 days and I am agonizing over what the best thing to do is. How will I know if I am indeed "free of a respiratory infection?" Even if I feel fit as a fiddle, is going still a terrible, no good, very bad idea?

    I can't find any sort of consensus on the contagious period of the common cold. Some sources say up to two weeks, some sources say four days after symptoms begin. The CDC doesn't even bother to comment on the subject. They only say that most people recover in 7 to 10 days. I even called them. I think this is because it all just depends on a variety of different factors. The virus, the person, the weather, whether or not mercury is in retrograde etc.

    Based on googling, common sense, a microbiology 101 course I took earlier this year, and a general gut feeling, I don't believe a person is no longer contagious once symptoms begin. Numerous friends have told me this in the past few days with frightening confidence so this seems to be a prevailing belief.

    I shouldn't risk it, right? Any virologists out there?

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  • 08/30/17--15:58: Help Me Help My Dad
  • I am visiting my dad who lives out of state. He had cataract surgery yesterday and needs to take a bunch of drops for the first week and fewer over the next three weeks. He has phone problems, money problems, and more. Help! First off, my dad has a housemate who is struggling with his own disability. My dad has a hospice nurse who comes once a week. My dad is poor and I am struggling. Even if we had money, my dad is sufficiently stubborn to say no to almost all the help he is offered. If you have dealt with an elderly person or another person who has difficulty understanding and difficulty being understood, please help me figure out a couple of things.

    1. What's the easiest, most obvious way of helping my dad and his housemate track my dad's remaining eyedrops over the next 3 1/2 weeks? I was supposed to go home last week and found out about the surgery by accident and extended my trip by a week. But I can't stay past Friday. My dad needs 3 types of eyedrops 4x daily until next Wednesday. After that he needs 2 types 2x daily for three more weeks. A simple chart with big writing listing the times and days for his drops might work, but if there's a better solution please tell me.

    2. My dad keeps buying and losing shitty tiny flip phones that he can't even use. Has anyone used or known people who use jitterbug or other phones that work well for elderly people or thise with hearing, vision and dexterity problems?

    3. My dad is a veteran, and I'm on his emergency kist. I know there are ways to monitor his appointments but I'm not sure how. Also, he takes a blood thinner and because of HIPA apparently the pharmacy can't call me to tell me if his dosage changes after a blood test. But they often can't tell him either because he doesn't hear his phone ring, and is unable to use the voice mailbox feature. If I knew what the change was I could text his housemate. Yikes! Dunno what to do about that one.

    4. My dad has a hospice social worker but she can't do much when he says no to all of her suggestions. My dad is determined to stay at home and I am determined to help him, but it is increasingly hard for him to keep track of things, including bills and cash. I do have a signed power of attorney from several years back which I haven't used yet because he will rip me a new one if I do.

    Any suggestions, advice, or moral support is welcome. I love my dad and would like to make life easier for him if it all possible. I am watching him become more and more isolated and it's hard on both of us.

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    I'm at a point where my mother's mere existence is causing me so much stress. I don't know what to do or how to deal with her for the rest of her life. I wrote thesethreequestions about her. I've taken the advice and encouragement given to me in those posts and I'm in the process of moving out, but what next? I'm at such a loss. I don't know what to do about her. Long story short my father died this year and he basically did everything for my 72 year-old mentally ill (she was diagnosed with schizophrenia 14/16 years ago, but I don't know any more than what my father told me at the time). My mother takes very poor care of herself. She doesn't bathe, brush her teeth, rarely changes her clothes, doesn't wash her hair, etc. She only leaves the house to go to the local bar. (She says she just has two beers, but you would think she's had about six or seven. She comes back soooooo wasted.)

    Right now all her bills are set up to be automatically withdrawn from her bank account (everything from property taxes to house insurance). I think she has a decent amount of money that she SHOULD be able to live on for the rest of her life from my father. She also owns her house. She doesn't want to move to a senior's home ever (well the other day she did say when she's 75 she'll move, but whatever). I mean, she says she can "live on her own," but can she??

    I know I should look in to power of attorney at some point, but I dealing with her has just become so draining. There's no way she'd ever agree to be evaluated by a mental health professional or declared incompetent, or whatever. I don't think doing that is something that's realistic. I just... I'm at a point where I don't know what else I should be doing. Is it OKAY if I don't do more? I just feel like I'm at a loss. I'm constantly worried that she'll somehow "spend" all her money at the bar and I don't know, I'll just have to spend my life taking care of her until she dies.

    I'm 29 and moving out later this week. In addition I've started grad school and I'm still working and I just....... want to live a life at this point. I feel like I'm doing nothing for myself anymore and I spend so much time worrying about my mother and worrying about the worst case scenario and frightened that I won't be able to live any sort of life because of her. And then of course I'm trying to really deal with the deep seated shame and resentment I have towards my mother, which I didn't think about too much until my father died. I am seeing a therapist. But what else should I do? I just... I'm lost and worried. Like, is there still hope for me to have a real life despite my mother?

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    They're quite expensive, and my mother-in-law is satisfied with the comfort of the relatively new, non-lifting recliner that she already owns. She just can't stand up easily, so I'm looking into retrofitting the recliner. Is this - Enhansit (FB link) - a good solution? Any other advice about lift chairs would be appreciated.

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    My mother and her husband are in their early seventies and recently face substantial physical limitations. Would something like a Roomba work for them? He's in treatment for stage-IV cancer and isn't able to do much lately. My mother's always been unusually healthy, active, and youthful, but lately she's suffering from a herniated disc and some other pains and so, along with looking after her husband, she's been unable to do the housecleaning she prefers.

    She's always kept a tidy and clean home and it is making her very anxious and unhappy that this lately hasn't been as much the case. Especially when there's company due to visit.

    Vacuuming the carpets is a big, frequent job and so she's been wondering if a Roomba would help. They are both usually home, the house is mostly tidy, they have a dog, and there's two floors. He has an oxygen line and could switch to a portable unit or leave the room when the robot vacuums. The kitchen is a linoleum floor, otherwise the house is carpeted, excepting the main bathroom.

    So we're wondering how well such a solution might work for them. We're interested in other people's experiences, especially for older couples in similar circumstances. How often would it need to run, what about the two different floors, and so forth. Would this take one big chore off her plate? Or would it not work well and come with a whole other set of problems?

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    What do you get a 83 year old woman who watches Fox News all day? I am stumped. She wants for nothing, doesn't really need anything.

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    My beloved grandmother is facing terrible knee pain that prevents her from even getting out of bed sometimes. She will try almost anything I suggest and anything I buy her, EXCEPT seeing a doctor. What is the best way to help her? She is old-world stubborn: has health insurance, but fundamentally distrusts doctors because she has no connections to them and doesn't trust they will tell her the right thing to do. I can't communicate with her doctor because HIPPA, but what WOULD a doctor tell her? What is the best way to relieve severe knee pain in the elderly?

    I know this is a thing that's eminently googleable, but the problem is it is TOO googleable. Everyone is trying to sell stuff directly to gullible seniors, and a lot of it is snake oil. Please share stuff that isn't!

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    A bed bound relative of mine has a bed which is lowered to the floor most of the time. She needs some way of holding her drinks and snacks which will be easy to reach and not spill over if she falls asleep. Help me find a solution for her! An elderly relative of mine unfortunately had a stroke which has paralyzed the left half of her body, to where she lives in a nursing home. Because she has a tendency to roll around in her sleep, and sometimes off the bed, the nursing home has put her in a (single) bed which can be lowered all the way to the floor.

    The problem is that she’s unable to have her drinks or snacks within arms reach while in bed. She doesn’t have the core strength to reach over to the floor to grab things. Previously she used to be in an elevated bed with side rails which prevented her from falling out (but her current nursing home now doesn’t allow those as they are viewed as constraints). With the normal height bed, she had a hospital style over bed table which we could place drinks, etc. on and which she could reach. I would really like to find something like this which would be suitable for the floor height bed.

    Do they make over bed tables for floor height beds? Or is there some other solution to this problem? I thought maybe I could get her some sort of tray that would either sit on the bed or on her lap. But I’m not sure how we could stabilize the tray. She tends to nap a lot and unless the tray is somehow anchored down, she will probably cause it to tip over.

    I can kind of imagine devices that would solve the problem, but can't find anything commercially available (and I'm not super handy so probably wouldn't be able to make something myself unless it's very simple).

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    I just found out my dad has been sleeping rough for a couple weeks, and I am looking for next steps to help him find housing and stability. Do you know of resources for housing for people over 55+ who are functionally out of the system (but have a SSN)? My dad has been homeless off and on for about 30 years. He is an expert couchsurfer. He is an alcoholic, and is very manipulative - borrows money and moves himself in with anyone who allows it. He has no experience with shelters or dealing with the "system" - he has worked as a carpenter, paid under the table, his entire life and has been struggling as he ages out of the workforce. I have siblings who are much younger than I am and more vulnerable to his manipulations - I went no contact with him for 10 years until his dad died and keep a strong distance between us. I do, however, pay for his phone, which was stolen yesterday when he was asleep under a bush near a job site.

    I don't know if he's ever paid into social security, he hasn't had a driver's license in almost twenty years, and I don't really know where to start to do my own research for what is available for him in the Wildomar/Elsinore/Temecula area of Southern California. He may have briefly had Medicare a couple years ago.

    He lived with a relative and a friend for the past few years, rent-free, which predictably didn't end well. When it did end, he immediately started hitting up my siblings for a place to stay, which burned up any good will he'd earned during his brief period of stability, where a "visit" to see grandkids was in all actuality a real visit, where he paid his own way and left after a short duration. Recently he attempted another visit which cost my siblings several hundred dollars (that they can not afford) and which ended when I stepped in and had one of them buy him a bus pass back to the Wildomar area. My grandmother lives there and drives him to jobs and medical appointments, but is far beyond the point where she can care for him (and he absolutely cannot live with her).

    I am sure he is dealing with untreated mental illness, and in fact you are witnessing the sole remaining shred of my sympathy toward him - I do want to help, but I also want to mitigate the damage to my grandmother and siblings. Should I be gathering info on homeless shelters? He is not quite old enough to apply for Social Security, but will be in the next few years (provided he's paid anything into it, and I don't believe he ever has). Are there programs available to homeless seniors, specifically? Rehab? Jobs he may be qualified for that provide housing? Long term camping? Any leads are very much appreciated.

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  • 02/28/18--08:54: Books to read together
  • Hello! I lead a read-aloud group for seniors, and we need a new book! We have been meeting for about six months now; I prepare large-print packets to read out of, and we take turns reading a page at a time before we discuss. We have a range of abilities and we usually can do 2-3 chapters a week. What should we be reading next? We are finishing Murder on the Orient Express, which we've loved, after doing some Damon Runyon stories, which were decidedly unloved. We started with two PG Wodehouse, which were very fun, but some people had trouble following/remembering the slang. Here are some guidelines:
    -So far we've enjoyed light reading, but we may be open to heavier stuff
    -Foreign languages and idiosyncratic slang is really tough; that killed the Runyon stuff
    -We've liked British material so far, but we'd like to spread out a little more
    -The group is made up of people in their 80s and 90s in Seattle, who are mostly American and locals.

    What would you read next?

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    My elderly father refuses to let anyone accompany him to the doctor and we’re concerned that he’s minimizing some increasingly serious symptoms at his appointments. What’s the most effective way for us to inform his doctor about the difficulties he’s been having? (We realize the doctor can’t tell us anything or even confirm that he’s a patient - we just want to tell the doctor what’s going on.)

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