Should we entrust the care of people in their 70s and older to artificial assistants rather than doing it ourselves?
"The more things change the more they remain the same." It's been over a year since I posted a criticism of the 'gadget' approach to technologies for aging in place. Rather than randomly selected gadgets and gizmos, I suggested a more structured way of thinking about the market -- I referred to as 'the senior value chain'. Let's recap from 9/23/08 with a few additions: >>> Read more . . .
You know and I know that all older adults do not love and relate to their computers. And their computers are not loveable. I will spare you a rant this time and not count the ways. For those who are uncomfortable with their computers, there are a host of imperfect alternatives to 'help.' >>> Read more . . .
At least with directory sites -- you basically know where you stand -- somewhere in them is a business model for listing long-term care housing and service directory entries, referring and being compensated for leads about those entries, and advertising. Not so with caregiving portals. Here, if there is a business motive, it's about advertising and a cut of the commerce, if any, on the site. >>> Read more . . .
Recently Caring.com (targeting family caregivers) acquired Gilbert Guide (a senior care directory, also aimed at family caregivers) -- combined firm gets more critical mass and content than either had separately. What happens now and is it significant? I talked with Caring.com's CEO Andy Cohen and Gilbert Guide's CEO Jill Gilbert to try to figure it out. >>> Read more . . .
Years ago when I was searching for a nursing home for my mother, I was amazed at how few websites there were that help in finding senior housing. That was then. Now there are oodles -- almost impossible to keep straight and the business models may not be obvious, the value even less so. Today I will attempt to clarify types, offer a few examples, and attempt to explain the busines model. As with every other web-based initiative, consolidation and shakeout in this world is inevitable and appropriate. >>> Read more . . .
I tend not to write about gadgets -- but the TV remote has bugged me for a while -- since the analog-digital switch, my mother-in-law struggles to use the remote control of her new digital TV. Sometimes she gets it by reading printed directions. Sometimes she just yanks the cord out of the wall to turn it off. Somehow, I don't think she is the only one who used to have an older-style dial TV that you walked up to and switched on. From an e-mail I received recently: "When we gave the new TV to my husband's mother, she said, "what's with all the buttons? Up, down, off, on. >>> Read more . . .
It's only early October -- many trade shows and events ahead. Prior to attending any of the fall and winter product launching events, I wanted to let you know of some companies I've heard from in recent months -- and invite those in the aging technology, caregiver website/directory business, and telehealth arena to send me your press releases (now posted on the site). And if you know of someone I should know about, let me know. >>> Read more . . .
Simplicity. Recently I ranted about Apple and their non-recognition of the age 50+ market. And of course, Amazon doesn't really acknowledge how much boomers and seniors love the Kindle. So today I listened to Arlene Harris describe Jitterbug's long-standing brand message, that Jitterbug was never explicitly targeting seniors. Instead, its intent was to brand a message of 'simplicity'. She noted that preferences among market audiences would enable the marketplace to figure out if seniors might like it. >>> Read more . . .
Denial of need, current and future, has been a recurring theme lately. We have a push to get people out of nursing homes and into independent living, we have boomers who want (mostly) to age in their own homes, generally in the suburbs. Although they want lots of technology and community services, they don't see a priority for wide doorways or separate showers that could make bathing safer, according to the latest NAHB/MetLife 55+ Housing Study. Meanwhile, the worldwide home health monitoring market was estimated at $11 billion in 2008. Which raises a question -- should everyone at home who is monitored for chronic disease really be there? And where are the transportation systems that will support suburban seniors who can no longer drive? >>> Read more . . .
Another aging tech gap that must be filled. I received an e-mail the other day that pointed out: "I’m very interested in the role of technology and read about a lot of products – the thing that I don’t see much about is what types of solution providers are doing the installation, servicing, etc. It’s actually a business I’ve considered entering – but have yet to find any reference points on this side of the industry." >>> Read more . . .