What one new technology product do you think would be the biggest help to older people?
Microsoft and AARP -- boomers and technology. Yesterday's New York Times 'Bits' blog summarized a study dated October, 2009 -- funded by Microsoft and AARP and conducted through 60 dinner interviews in four cities of boomers age 50-60. The comments posted on the NY Times website are more revealing (and scathing) about what boomers really want from technology (and as an added bonus, how younger folks really can't stand self-interested boomers). I suggest that rev 2 of this study analyze these and release an addendum. >>> Read more . . .
The Business of Aging -- or Aging and Implications? Just came back from a stimulating conference in a delightful and sophisticated city -- Toronto. Sponsored by the Government of Ontario and the MaRS Discovery District, this conference was titled 'The Business of Aging'. However, it was less about business, much more about the social 'phenomenon' of aging and its implications for where and how we live. Translating that, however, this was one of those 'what it means' events for those who want to start and expand businesses to serve and target this market. We clearly need more of this type of high-value context. >>> Read more . . .
GE buying Living Independently Group doesn't matter. While a bit of noise is being made, this has no significance in the near term and I suspect little money was spent on this compared to the sizable sum that must have been spent to market LIG's offering since its launch in 2003, first unsuccessfully to consumers, then to senior housing organizations after that failed. And while QuietCare is certainly used in some independent living facilities, there are a number of issues associated with it and in general with the category, which is a very early market, requiring much improvement that perhaps GE will eventually fund as part of their 'health care' focus: >>> Read more . . .
As we celebrate our holidays (or don't) -- maybe surrounded by our aging parents (or maybe not) -- let's give some thought to how older people connect with others, stay safe and well, and keep on contributing to the world around them. Here are five reminders about care about our older relatives, things we can all initiate, that have some technology elements. This advice is, of course, easier to give than it is to follow. And the technology is insufficient without the involvement of people. But take a look and observe older family members and think -- is there a way to enhance quality of life? >>> Read more . . .
Press awareness (if not politeness) is growing. So on the positive side, reporters (like the NY Times) seem willing to write about technology that can help seniors. On the negative side, the headline writers diminish the benefit with condescending titles like "Helping Grandpa Get his Tech On." But as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity, especially when educating the market by expanding awareness is a prerequisite to expanding adoption. >>> Read more . . .
Remember the post on why vendors should do a better job of targeting geriatric care managers as a referral channel for their technology? And of course, I hear all the time about how vendors want to get into the Florida market. Here's a chance to do both. I just got a brochure in the mail for the 2010 Annual Conference of the Florida Geriatric Care Managers Association, held at St. Pete Beach on January 15 & 16, 2010. Website is www.fgcma.org. >>> Read more . . .
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 . . .