September 2009

Who are we kidding -- our houses aren't the enemy, we are

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 . . .

Why not an AgingTech Systems Integrator?

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 . . .

What does it mean -- Business Week Special Report on Aging in Place?

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 . . .

From nursing homes to homes -- money follows the person -- but so late

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 . . .

PERS vendor/product comparisons sought from non-vendors

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 . . .

Heal for America -- A great idea -- shape it to help the aging and frail

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 . . .

Why don't large vendors invest more in technology for seniors?

This is a rant. I am tired of youth-oriented tech vendors with their back-to-school laptops.  I am tired of how clumsy and non-intuitive most computing technologies are -- especially home networks. I am convinced that vendors like Apple, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft must be populated with thirty-somethings who design products for themselves and their inner geek. (Gee, why have a device that can be plugged in and just works? Instead, why don't we just add these 14 configuration steps?). So it has always been thus and so perhaps will always be. But with so many boomers who insist on staying put in their homes and who have more disposable income (even accounting for the recession assault on their portfolios) why not make and market home technology for them? >>> Read more . . .