Reader response to a Wall Street Journal question.
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 . . .
This is truly special. Business Week has devoted a special report to Aging in Place. We've seen newspaper and magazine articles, usually on the social curiosity or human interest aspect of using technology to help seniors. In this case, there are many, many small vendors and organizations who are investing and slowly growing their businesses that will serve us as we age. >>> Read more . . .
Why does this bug me? It sounds so good. Another state as described in today's NY Times article, this time Pennsylvania, uses federal funds and state Medicaid money (totaling $1.75 billion) to move individuals from a nursing home out into the community. Hopefully, this will save $44,000/year in nursing home costs, although that is unproven and in the process of being researched. Money follows the person, as I described in January, is the result of a 2003 Congressional act to assist states in moving long-time nursing home residents back into the community. But I am uneasy because it addresses the housing issue after all property is lost. >>> Read more . . .
Following the post I did on the Philips call center, one anonymous comment was quite critical of the service, particularly in terms of response time. I assume this was written by a departed Lifeline employee who has joined another company, which is the reason for it being anonymous. Okay, fine. >>> Read more . . .
Yay! Heal for America is an idea whose time may be just in time for the aging in place of boomers and seniors. No doubt you've been reading for years about 'Teach for America' -- a much sought program for those newly minted college grads, these 'best and the brightest' want to inject their enthusiasm and energy into teaching in public schools, often in areas of the country where talent is most scarce. >>> Read more . . .
The one consensus about health care is that its cost growth is unsustainable: according to some estimates, it is expected to reach $2.7 trillion in 2009 or 17.3% of GDP, according to the Center for Medicare Services (CMS). With little general agreement on how to contain costs, some consumers and providers still find ways to get or deliver care outside of the walls of the doctor’s office and emergency room. >>> Read more . . .