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Social Worker Offering Advice for Older Adults on Streaming TV Service

Macie Smith offers advice on aging on Saltbox TV.

Macie Smith offers advice on aging on Saltbox TV.

South Carolina social worker Macie Smith has devoted her career to helping people older adults and people living with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and developmental disabilities – and their families — live life to the fullest and get the best possible care.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hindered her ability to do more in-person consultations, Smith ramped up offerings on her YouTube channel, “Just Ask Dr. Macie, the Social Gerontologist.” Smith uses the channel, which has about 8,000 followers, to offer information on a variety of topics related to aging, including caring for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Smith’s YouTube channel got the attention of Saltbox TV, the first-ever streaming service created to offer engaging, informative programming to older adults. Saltbox TV is free – you don’t need a password or account to watch it – and can be watched on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

Patty Carver, a writer, singer and entertainer who is co-founder of Saltbox TV, was looking for an expert to offer advice for caregivers of people living with dementia. She found Smith’s YouTube channel, loved Smith’s easygoing and engaging style, and invited her to join Saltbox TV.

“There was something sincere in her voice and she was excited to talk to me,” Smith said.

SaltboxTV

Saltbox TV logo

Smith is now in her second season on Saltbox TV and has complete control over the content she provides. She uses the platform to offer advice to older people and their caregivers in short, digestible bites. The segments usually last anywhere from eight minutes up to 20 minutes.

Smith, who began her career in social work at the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and was president of the National Association of Social Workers South Carolina Chapter, said there is a lot of information on the Internet about coping with aging and caring for loved ones as they age.

However, there is so much information that it can become overwhelming. During her career Smith has tried to get people to focus on the resources and information that best fit their particular situation.

“The motivation and the drive for me is helping people get to the next best level of care,” Smith said. “It really hurts me when people don’t know what to do or where to turn.”

Just because a person is aging does not mean they will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s, Smith said. You can actually live a fulfilling life as you age provided you take steps to plan and take care of your physical and mental health.

“I think Americans we are programmed just by the nature of the way our society functions,” Smith said. “ No one wants to get older in America, not realizing we get older every day. Because we fight the natural progression of aging we don’t get prepared. You can prepare yourself and plan for it.”

Social workers such as Macie Smith help people who are older live life to their full potential. To learn more, visit the the National Association of Social Workers Help Starts Here Seniors & Aging website.

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