Caregivers turn to smart-home technology and wearable devices to monitor family members.
Online searches – not always helpful -- underpin the caregiving role. The latest Pew research about health information and family caregivers reinforces what we know. Family caregivers search online for information to help them provide care. Information about medical problems, treatments and drug information top what they seek – and I bet they find. The Internet has become a 'neighborhood' for asking what might be difficult to ask your next door neighbor. In this online neighborhood, you find that others have symptoms like yours, experienced relief from medications or found a cheaper pharmacy. Yet these resources are not quite like the neighborhood of old: Given that 84% of family caregivers have gone online seeking information, only 59% of caregivers with Internet access indicate that online resources have helped them with caregiving, and only 52% indicated that they help with caregiving stress. >>> Read more . . .
Connecting through glass by older adults – forward, but slowly. The Pew numbers are out and offer confirmation that -- as consumer devices -- feature phones are nearly dead and laptops may be dying. But smart phone ownership among seniors is marginally up from the previous 13% – now 18% of the 570 surveyed adults aged 65+ and 39% of boomers aged 55-64. What’s different is the dominance of the device among younger adults – 55% of those aged 45-54 and 69% of those aged 35-44 have smart phones. Meanwhile tablet ownership among the 65+ has progressed to that same 18%. (Uh, could those be the same folks that own smart phones?) And tablet ownership, a newer category and less dominant than smart phones, fits an older crowd: 49% of adults aged 35-44 own one, and 38% of those aged 45-54 have them. >>> Read more . . .
For med management – are blister packs the state of the art? Recently I heard about a presentation in a senior housing provider family meeting that should not have surprised me. A pharmacy exec was presenting the benefits and savings of switching residents from pill bottles to blister packs - warning of the sizable penalties associated with continuing with labor-intensive pill bottles. Wal-Mart is deploying this cardboard packaging for a multi-drug regimen across 4600 stores. Medication management is a big issue for senior housing (AL and SNF) and there are state-by-state regulations for its proper oversight. But just like the presentation I heard about, is technology use for its dispensing and management considered? Perhaps seeing that, check out how Philips is bundling several technology-enabled services for senior housing organizations to deploy… in private homes, that is, for the folks who may never move in. >>> Read more . . .
Groundhog Day --the future resurfaces regularly. The UK media just discovered the granny pod, four years after a similar granny cottage concept appeared, And this new discovery comes three years after AARP discovered MedCottage, which AARP described as a portable alternative to nursing homes (seriously, folks?). Ditto on companion robots (including the ever-popular Paro) from the same UK article. Can you believe it? Companion robots are just around the corner, and the future is just ahead. Says the Financial Times writer: "People are living longer and the result, according to the UN, is that there will be two billion people aged over 60 worldwide by 2050." Let’s see, doth a projection 37 years from now a market make? Even if you buy that being over 60 constitutes a candidate customer for a MedCottage or companion robot (seriously?), it must be just too hard to find a number of how many would benefit today. That’s because caregiving robots of today are still in the experimental stage (even though nurses may prefer them to people). >>> Read more . . .
MetLife Mature Market Institute work is done. It’s been a bad year for losing the stalwart icons of life and thought. Car Talk stopped producing new shows because Tom and Ray had had enough and that means that all those Saturday shows are repeats. Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) passed away. Then recently I received a note recently from Dr. John Migliaccio at the MetLife Mature Market Institute: “As of June 1st, 2013 the MetLife Mature Market Institute will cease to produce new research and materials, or have the MMI team available. MMI content will continue to be available for use on the MMI website for a period of time.” This is the MetLife that segmented the ridiculously broad boomer population into younger, middle and older boomers and produced that gut-wrenching report “Buddy Can you Spare a Job?” in 2009 about baby boomers looking for work. MMI sponsored Aging in Place 2.0 in 2010 that looked at the challenges to actually realizing the AARP responder vision of remaining in their home. >>> Read more . . .
Directory of tech offerings -- is there one? Are you often asked the question – where is the list of technology products for older adults – is there one Consumer Reports-like resource that reviews and will help me figure out what is available that could be useful for an aging relative or client? Unfortunately, there really isn’t one source, but there are some resources that could be useful – here is a getting-started list that you can feel free to augment with comments: >>> Read more . . .
May 30 marked the beginning of the AARP Life@50+ National Event in Las Vegas – and it also marks the results of the Health Innovation@50+ event sponsored by the Thought Leadership team led by Jody Holtzman at AARP. The finalists are noted below, with their descriptions drawn from the AARP website. Not noted are two firms, Lively and CareMerge, that we have described following the 2013 What’s Next Summit in Chicago. Here are the other eight finalists, all information is from the AARP site: >>> Read more . . .
Windows 8 – the interface that needed a ‘Start Me Up’ revision. The emotion that has been unleashed by the launch of Windows 8 is fun to read about – unless you have a new computer pre-installed with it. Then you are in deep trouble – you are dealing with a mysterious user interface designed for a Windows phone that nobody will buy – nor will you – but sadly, you are running it on a computer. You cannot find the Start menu, locate a network printer, find where files are placed -- and that’s actually before you’ve done any work. The lack of a Start menu alone immediately spawned an entire software industry of add-ons! But thankfully, someone tells you about a downloadable START button – and you’ve taken one small step forward – at least until the complainers are silenced with Windows 8.1. >>> Read more . . .
When the 911 call may be necessary but not sufficient. The news about the no-CPR policy in an independent living community in California brought me back. In the incident reported everywhere, the nurse claimed that the policy in independent living did not include providing CPR – and as a result, the elderly woman died. Years ago when my mother spent some time in an assisted living facility, 911 was invoked nine times within a single year before they ejected her to a nearby nursing home, claiming they could not provide care. Each of her ER visits involved either my sister or me – racing to the ER from work so that we could explain her history – one time we stopped a dose of Bactrim that she was allergic to – another time we interrupted her inaccurate description of her medical history cheerfully being offered to an intern who had not checked her chart and apparently did not know she had dementia. >>> Read more . . .
Does rising cost parallel consumer distaste for long-term care? Perhaps this caught your eye – the NY Times article on escalating long-term care costs noted that the assisted living industry, according to its trade association, ALFA, now has a national resident population of 730,000, that the move-in age is now 87, and that the average time of residence is 2 years. As has been noted several times on this blog, if the move in age is rising, the industry must be continuously marketing its capacity. Tours with those not yet in need must be painful -- the assisted living resident increasingly resembles the nursing home resident of yore -- and at the same time dementia care costs have risen to their current daunting average level. Furthermore, dementia care is the most profitable service -- and fastest growing offering -- in today's assisted living industry. >>> Read more . . .