Tech for aging in place -- still waiting, integrators wanted

Product potential and interest is there.  Within the past few weeks I have been briefed by no fewer than 10 firms about products/solutions being developed to serve the 'aging in place' consumer -- a few are launched: they represent some combination of offerings for senior, caregiver, provider -- with and without devices directly in the home. Some of these startups are steadfastly convinced that offerings can be sold directly through consumer channels, while those with more configurable products may see the need to recruit channel partners to get into the market. Meanwhile, in the past year or so, I have heard from various local service providers (some have registered in this Forum entry) about delivering solutions, even testing them in labs, to help seniors. This is good. >>> Read more . . .

What's in a name -- Older Americans Month and other changes

May is Older Americans (not Senior Citizens) Month.  The Administration on Aging notes that this 'acknowledgement of the contribution of older Americans' was launched in 1963. Prior to 1980, it was known as Senior Citizen Month, but was renamed and became a 'tradition' during the Carter Administration. Looking through the list of themes, some seem to be efforts to acknowledge the forgotten: "America, a Community for All Ages" and "Honor the Past, Imagine the Future: Towards a Society for All Ages".  But today the term "senior citizen" has been erased by the AoA and the theme "Age Strong, Live Long," reflecte lengthening life span and unprecedented multiple generations of 'older Americans'.  Assuming that 'senior' is 65+, there will be 71.5 million by 2030 -- life span and baby boomer encroachment are driving other changes as well... >>> Read more . . .

Checklist for acquiring a technology product or solution

'The Checklist Manifesto' has applicability to buying tech for aging. I just finished reading "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" by Atul Gawande, a surgeon who developed a checklist to improve surgery safety for WHO and his own operating room. Which brings me to the question of whether caregivers and organizations with caregiving responsibility -- like families, home care organizations, senior housing, GCMs, doctors, non-profits, etc. -- have a checklist they follow when purchasing a product or service? So here's a proposed checklist which needs revision, I'm sure. Input is most welcome! >>> Read more . . .

Quality of life improvements for seniors -- small, low-tech

After reading this week about the Senate Aging in Place testimony and recommendations (see in-depth description from Intel's Eric Dishman), it is discouraging to read about the major barriers to adoption of 'e-Care'. So it's a pleasure to talk about a few cheap, low-tech, big benefit ways to improve quality of life of seniors -- as we come into those two Hallmark seasonal events -- Mother's and Father's Day. The seniors you help, of course, don't have to be relatives -- they could be neighbors, they could be members of a community, or visitors to a local senior center. >>> Read more . . .

Self-determination of seniors -- a product design framework

Many products and services want to help mitigate aging issues.  The great news is that I meet and hear new vendors tackling one or more opportunities emerging from our 'longevity revolution'. As I just heard AgeWave's Ken Dychtwald describe yesterday, we are in the midst of the first global societal experience in history of what it means when people live as long as they do today. And so it is a great experiment -- what is needed, what helps seniors and caregivers, what works and what doesn't, and as such, more firms, both large and small, will launch products and services. >>> Read more . . .

No Impact for Seniors: Paper books, Health IT, FCC and other GOALs

Excuses everywhere as to why not this and can't do that. If you're trying to make sense out of lack of progress in terms of Internet adoption and seniors, look no further than Friday's Senate hearing, with its overreaching title: "Aging in Place: The National Broadband Plan and Bringing Health Care Technology Home." Read and absorb a veritable laundry list of reasons why we need to buckle down and get a plan in place to get health technologies into the home -- maybe by 2020. >>> Read more . . .

Another week, more caregiving app vendors

In a non-travel week, I have more time to speak to vendors, both pre-launch and launched.  Here are three launched to add to the list of tech vendors to support caregiving (or 'circle of care' as it is sometimes described). None require any specialized equipment or device in the home. And no doubt each would welcome your contacting them to learn more about their offerings: >>> Read more . . .

The BBC Brain Training study -- let's flip it around

There's no such thing as bad publicity.  This study is being reprinted on every website that has even a remote connection to boomers, seniors, or game-playing or is suffering from a slow news day. (Although you have to wonder how senior housing executives will react to seeing it published in McKnight's). So I am not going to set foot into the quagmire about whether this is a good study or a bad study -- as observed by Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains and Steven Aldrich of Posit Science.  I will also bet that this study will not slow the cognitive fitness market down, which SharpBrains sizes as $1 billion within 5 years -- you have to work hard to slow a market that fits so well with the fear, uncertainty, and doubt of baby boomers about aging and brain-related impacts. And like all studies (wine is good for you, wine is bad for you, more exercise, but not too much), no doubt there will be another study contradicting it soon enough. Instead, let's turn it around. >>> Read more . . .

Tech vendors -- the 2010 AARP event in Orlando seems like an opportunity!

You've got products to improve the lives of AARP members. This week I had a chance to chat with Jackie Berdy, who is 'Exhibition Space and Sponsorship Programs Consultant' for the AARP Orlando@50+ event September 30-October 2. Although it is not yet posted on the AARP website for event sponsors and exhibitors, Jackie tells me that the event planning prioritization process has placed technology top of mind for this business-to-consumer event that attracted 24,000 last year.  >>> Read more . . .

Boomers, barriers, and myths

Assumptions, aspirations, and realism.  In recent here-there-everywhere travels, I was often intrigued by assumptions that were cited as fact.  I heard about barriers to adoption, narrow-cast definitions of broader opportunities, and sweeping generalizations about markets too broad to characterize. That last, of course, is the so-called baby boomer market -- discussed all day at a well-run event in Tampa -- the Florida Boomer Lifestyle Conference. Talks were packed with baby boomer market possibility. But boomers are no more a market with meaningful shared characteristics than adults, women, or workers. You know this when you hear a discussion of an age segment in which the target market year begins with 40 or the upper end extends beyond 64. Or when the speaker apologizes and says "I'm not a baby boomer, but..." >>> Read more . . .

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