Post CES reflection on role of technology and Alzheimer's.
Boston, mid-May, 2016
Silver Smart Technology Center -- a storefront in a CCRC. Recently I had a chance to chat about with Sharon Whalen who works in the Passavant Retirement Community within Lutheran SeniorLife -- a 700-person CCRC in Zelienople, PA. Lutheran SeniorLife's CCRC is comprised of skilled nursing, memory care, personal care (their term for assisted living) and residential living villas and cottages (their term for independent living.) Sharon has just set up the Technology Center there to demonstrate those "assistive devices that residents, staff, family, and other members of the community can touch and get a feel if this is something they want" -- then they can decide whether to purchase on their own.
Showing, not selling. The storefront is positioned in the 'Main Street' area of Passavant, near the café, gift shop, computer lab, and 'center for creative expression.' Sharon says that technology selection is focused on those tools that are generally low cost, that help with every day living and maintaining independence, or as she says, "adding to an abundant life." First and foremost, the emphasis is on safety she selected tools that help those with vision impairment, which applies to at least a third of the residents that she encounters. Initially the CCRC has purchased these devices, but Sharon is considering applying for a grant to continue to fill the demonstration center with products that would be of benefit to residents. Here's the initial list (links are to sites I have found, not specifically named by Sharon) -- those at other locations doing likewise are invited to post a comment!
In addition, Sharon is looking at SentrySilver GPS units that could be used to set up an individual Geo fence -- which could be the whole campus -- this could send an emergency text message or e-mail, displayable on a Web portal where the viewer could pull up a map, expanding and shrinking as needed.