October 2008

A look at medication reminders

I admit it: I often forget to take my fish oil tablet, one of the several tactics my doctor recommends to drive down my bad cholesterol. It’s a fact of life; everyone forgets to take a medication dose at one time or another. But as we age, the list of medications prescribed by our doctors grows and the number of times per day we have to think about it multiplies. For a growing number of Americans, forgetting a medication dose or taking the wrong dose can threaten both health and quality of life. >>> Read more . . .

Abledata -- a customizable database of assistive technology products

This site makes me think about customized and regional online product/service detabases of tech products for seniors. In fact, one council on aging in Silicon Valley used California state grant money to do exactly that. >>> Read more . . .

Disconnect between university research and go-to-market product viability?

I admit it. This blog has only been in place for a few months and already I am just a little tired of reading and posting press articles that describe a new YARC (Yet-Another-Research-Center) examinging technology to help seniors age in place.  There seem to be plenty of grants from the federal government (national Science Foundation, National Institute of Health and perhaps more) to help universities do research on technology for aging in place.  I won't even begin to provide a list (two different Texas school announcements just recently, plus University of Florida, Georgia Tech, UC Davis, Drexel, etc. etc. etc. But if someone has a full list of all the programs, please advise -- I'll post and refresh it regularly. >>> Read more . . .

Successful aging -- computers and the internet

Successful aging is not an oxymoron. First the textbook definition (from "The Realities of Aging, Kinsey/Kart): "aging in which external factors either have a neutral role or counteract the effects of internal aging processes, resulting in little or no decrements in functioning." Whew. What does that mean? >>> Read more . . .

BigScreenLive -- to go

I've become a bit obsessed with searching and thinking about PC simplification products (note previous entries about Presto and Celery) that enable seniors to connect to others (family, friends, caregivers...) Maybe I got into a searching frenzy after a 79-year old family friend just confided to me last week that the e-mail appliance in her home has stopped working and she can no longer exchange e-mail with her teenage grandkids. >>> Read more . . .

Who knew? Brain function improves when you search the Web

What a relief. Looks like all my time spent chasing around the Internet is well-spent in terms of brain fitness (my biceps and quads -- that's another story...).Looks like our brains benefit, but apparently only if we are experienced at Yahoo'ing and Google'ing. Novices must first become 'experienced'. >>> Read more . . .

Zuri -- color me skeptical about this and other online health records

Monitoring your health at home looks like an incredible opportunity for big and small vendors -- including Zume Life, which just announced the 'Zuri' -- a hand-held device which prompts users to take their pills and keeps track of health-related issues, including upload to a Web page that can be shared. >>> Read more . . .

Let's keep perspective on Project Lifesaver for wandering Alzheimer's

Many who want to age in place suffer from some early memory loss themselves -- or they have a spouse or other relative with dementia. But is this technology consistent and optimal across state boundaries? It looks like every state (now 11 or more) can and probably will implement Project Lifesaver Silver Alerts that use some sort of bracelet with a notification to local police. >>> Read more . . .

Cameras -- not necessarily a privacy invasion for dementia

For those who provide care for those with dementia or other limitations -- AARP's Healthy@Home notes that seniors may not object as much as thought to an obvious barrier -- fear of privacy invasion if it can a) make them feel safer, or b) give them more personal peace of mind as well as that of their family and friends.. >>> Read more . . .

The Pill Phone -- an app for medication reminders

I've spoken before about the difference between technology that connects outside the home (and can be upgraded and improved) versus gadgets and gizmos that are one-off and destined for obsolescence. The former has the potential for connecting seniors to caregivers as well as connecting seniors to information they could use. >>> Read more . . .

Microsoft Guide for Aging Computer Users

My arms and hands have been hurting for a while. So I was pretty happy when I stumbled (so-to-speak) on Microsoft's "Guide for Aging Computer Users" aka "10 Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing" -- including tips for those XP users who may never upgrade to Vista. Here's an excerpt: >>> Read more . . .

Fall detection -- human airbags -- nonsense or good sense?

The 'inventive' Japanese who brought you the web-connected tea kettle in 2005, have something to offer for fall detection and prevention beyond motion sensors. A Japanese company has invented an airbag that inflates in 0.1 of a second if it detects a person falling backwards. >>> Read more . . .

BigKeys, BigTrack mouse and other assists for battling (or avoiding) computers

Many folks I know provide the tech support for their elderly parents -- a CEO of a very large software company in California once told me that about being sole tech support for his Florida-based father -- he made regular cross-country trips to fix this or configure that -- turns out his father only trusted him and so saved up all of his problems. >>> Read more . . .