Considering technology to help older seniors be involved and connected.
This has been going on for some time -- the slow or no growth in the home security industry -- and the potential for expanding into a new line of business offering Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), aka 'medical alarms'. This security industry article outlines the great opportunity for home security providers and their 'rapid response' (RMR) call center vendors. These paragraphs from the article about the anticipated boom (11.6% annual growth) caught my eye - and particular items are here in bold: >>> Read more . . .
Music therapy on iPods. Let's start with a quote from today's WSJ article, which gets right to the point: "Ann Povodator, an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient in Boynton Beach, Fla., listens to her beloved opera and Yiddish songs every day on an iPod with her home health aide or her daughter when she comes to visit. "We listen for at least a half-hour, and we talk afterwards," says her daughter, Marilyn Povodator. "It seems to touch something deep within her." >>> Read more . . .
November is National Caregivers Awareness Month -- and with those 85+ turning out to be the fastest growing population in the US, we know there are many stressed caregivers out there. And more to come, with 65% of those over 65 will require some long-term care during their lives. So author and AgeWave founder Ken Dychtwald wrote a Huffington Post column,that is really an argument that in order to help your frail and illness-plagued aging parents in their own homes, buy long-term care insurance now before they become frail and ill (or for yourself, before you become frail and ill). >>> Read more . . .
I was compelled to attend. AAHSA 2009 "Changing Lives" Conference -- 9000 people, 425 exhibitors. This was a beautiful (and may soon be gone) venue -- McCormick Place Lakeside Center. Gorgeous multi-story windows facing the 180 degree panorama of nearly boat-free Lake Michigan. Turn the other way, and you faced the AAHSA Idea House, an attractive and interesting layout of cool design ideas and enabling technologies for the home. >>> Read more . . .
Another day, another misleading article. Call me amazed reading today's NY Times article on Oregon Health and Science University research (funded by Intel) about fall prevention promoting their work. The implication: there are no sensor-based monitoring products already in the market. Interviewees observed that a research project was beginning to make progress in this area, noting motion sensing and pattern detection to help alert to changes in walking patterns (for example, frequency of bathroom visits) and that this research was helping the cause of preventing falls among seniors. The article quotes Intel's Eric Dishman: “The independent-living industry could have a huge payoff in innovation, jobs and competitiveness,” said Eric Dishman, an Intel research fellow and director of strategy for the company’s digital health group." >>> Read more . . .
Okay -- it's another rant. Last week at a UCLA panel I was on, an exasperated audience member asked for a definition of 'senior', annoyed at what sounded like stereotypical patronizing about technology use. I stupidly responded that it was a census definition of age 65+. Actually the census categorizes percentages multiple ways: 60-plus, 62-plus, 65-plus, and 75-plus. Wish everyone did that. Sixty-five is the year of Medicare eligibility, it was once the year for pensions and mandatory retirement and for many it is the year of full Social Security eligibility. It has been used as a political demographic, synonymous with 'seniors' as in the example of the $250 stimulus check to seniors. >>> Read more . . .
Internet use reduces depression in the elderly by 20%. Whew. I've got to read those news alerts more carefully -- looks like I missed quite a bit of press about the October 15 announcement of a Phoenix Center Policy Paper of data analysis and conclusion by George Ford and Sherry Ford. The news articles about the study are quite confusing -- mixing up terminology (elderly? seniors?) so let's look more closely at the process that produced the conclusion. >>> Read more . . .
The truth about cars. As a society, we're not getting any younger. And our driving is going to imperil us, sooner or later, as this Times article painfully illustrates. On the 'positive' side, older drivers are not responsible for the bulk of traffic accidents (adults age 20-34 have that distinction) and they experience fewer fatal crashes per licensed driver. Okay -- so that's the good news. >>> Read more . . .
Woohoo -- Internet usage is up. Those of us who are technology enthusiasts get all excited with this sort of data (from Pew Research, January, 2009): "The biggest increase in internet use since 2005 can be seen in the 70-75 year-old age group. While just over one-fourth (26%) of 70-75 year olds were online in 2005, 45% of that age group is currently online." And 24% of those age 75-84 are online. And of course, there's my favorite broadband statistic about broadband access among 65+ rising from 19% in 2008 to 30% in 2009.
Reimbursement pain is so last-year. The 2008 Connected Health Symposium was, I thought, a somewhat gloomy affair -- gnashing of teeth and hand wringing over government and insurer footdragging, limited market penetration, and still no reimbursement for remote monitoring and other telehealth technologies. This year, despite a worsening economy, the mood was much perkier. >>> Read more . . .