May 2013

Five Directories of Technology Products for Aging in Place

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 . . .

Eight New Technologies from AARP's Health Innovation@50+

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 . . .

Complexity is killing us – where is the Universal Easy Mode?

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 . . .

Memory care – the door is locked, but is anyone home when the ambulance arrives?

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 . . .

The assisted living industry shrinks as the need for it grows

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 . . .

Your Social Security is smart about phones

Social Security has a smart phone app.  Never one to be behind the technology times, Social Security has announced the availability of a smart phone site, noting that 35 million page views come via smart phones -- over what period, how many repeats, we can only guess. The site must be a work in process, however. Before I could even type my password into MySocialSecurity, a message informed me that the information which I had not yet requested was best viewed on a desktop. No kidding. There are more options and tidbits of information on the desktop site than on the mobile site, including the non-trivial process of applying for benefits. On a phone would be a study in persistence in the face of daunting obstacles. But life is good: "phone users can connect with Social Security on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest."  Whew, if we couldn’t connect through Pinterest, I just don’t know what we’d do. >>> Read more . . .

Six New Technologies for Aging in Place

Center for Tech and Aging Builds a Mobile Health Program. “Mobile health (mHealth) technologies hold great promise for helping health care providers deliver high-quality, targeted care to aging Americans with chronic conditions. The Center for Technology and Aging (www.techandaging.org) today launched a comprehensive online mHealth Toolkit that offers key resources to organizations that want to develop a best-in-class mHealth program for chronic disease management.  The mHealth Toolkit contains vetted techniques for using mHealth interventions in many health care settings for individuals with a range of chronic care needs.” Learn more at Center for Technology and Aging. >>> Read more . . .

Can best practices for helping seniors span barriers that inhibit adoption?

May is Older American's Month  -- service is local, but standards of care can be national.  As the AoA puts it, unleash the power of age. And the federal government wants to help those who are aging.  A few weeks ago after ASA ended, I posted about the inverted triangle of associations and federal websites all aiming one way or another at helping older adults. As you may know, there is a Senate Committee on Aging that includes long-term care on its issues list, and a Sub-Committee on Health and Aging that includes renewal of the Older Americans Act. There is a Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) that promotes, understandably, improving quality in assisted living. In addition to those national entities, we have the various associations of lobbying, advocacy, and concern. These include senior housing and nursing home groups, LeadingAge, ALFA, and an association of state agencies, NASUAD (home and community services). Is there a navigator tool for consumers that helps decipher the web of entities that are trying to serve? And is there a common framework, a thread that even that connects all of these, other than the words senior, older, aging? >>> Read more . . .