March 2013

Helping seniors get online -- whose job is it anyway?

It’s a puzzlement – finding the organizations trying to get older adults online.  Last June I wrote a post about getting older adults online – in particular, the age range from 75 and beyond – only 34% of those folks were online at that time. Yet so many organizations offer online assistance in coping with a variety of concerns of older adults, whether it is taxpayer assistance, help with online banking, obtaining coupons for grocery savings, even a Geek Squad coupon from AARP -- and it is, naturally, available online!  -- to help with problems that older adults might have using computers. Duh. And a new campaign, Everyone On, has produced Connect2Compete, a public-private partnership that has been launched to help low-income individuals cross the digital divide – but only if they have a child on the ‘federal free and reduced-cost lunch programs.'  >>> Read more . . .

Pew induces chest pains in the body of the health tech market

Now we know. Although older adults track health indicators, they are not using any app or tech tool. Further, only 21% of all health trackers, mostly young folk, do so with an app -- but note app participation of only 3% of those aged 50-64 and 1% of those aged 65+.  So sayeth Pew Research in their Tracking for Health survey that was published in January – and enough 'quantified self' hysteria followed that the detailed demographics were obligingly published by Pew last week.   >>> Read more . . .

Does the aging services vision need a transformational overhaul?

Aging in Chicago – a confluence of committed professionals. Another year older, and again, Aging in America is over. Large non-profits, social services staffs, senior center leaders, nurses, senior housing execs, health insurance companies, councils on aging -- not to mention a gaggle of consultants and experts -- were there. More than 700 sessions were listed, visions for a better aging life were communicated, networking was had, training was held and CEUs were obtained.  All of these laudable folk are in professions that are committed to helping older adults – in fact, many of them were clearly older adults themselves – people who serve, but may also need services. We heard visions of retirement reinvented to last 30 more years and new research identifying criteria for evaluating a city’s livability for older adults.  And much more, a lot of it CEU-eligible. But did attendees learn anything new? >>> Read more . . .

Five New Technologies from What's Next Summit 2013

What's next in tech for older adults. At the Aging in America 2013 event in Chicago last week, attended by more than 2000 professionals who serve older adults, there were several tracks within the large event, including the Business Forum on Aging, National Alliance of Caregiving Coalitions and for new entrants targeting the boomer/senior market, there was a chance to hear speakers and meet other entrepreneurs at the 10th Annual What's Next Boomer Business Summit 2013.  At the Summit, these startups were eager to meet with AARP executives, investors, and other players in the space (like GreatCall and Philips Home Healthcare).  So here are five of the new products/services from those in attendance -- listed alphabetically; all of the material comes from their own websites: >>> Read more . . .

The gap between real assisted living residents and what they need

We don’t see ourselves as aging with dementia – and neither did senior housing providers.  Chew on this thought from a senior housing strategist, who encourages providers to "look at entryways differently," Traci Bild says. "You often see a lot of furniture where people sleep in the lobby. Instead, make it a place where people can congregate to talk, rather than to sleep, by placing high top tables." Meanwhile, back at the reality ranch, where sitting at high-top tables, uh, may not work so well -- the average age of resident move-in to assisted living is now 87 -- says Allison Guthertz, Vice President, Quality Resident Services at Benchmark Senior Living: "These days when residents move in, they already need help with three to five activities of daily living (ADLs)." >>> Read more . . .