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:
The New Era of Connected Aging. May, 2013, Source: Center for Technology and Aging. Described as a "Framework for Understanding Technologies that Support Older Adults in Aging in Place. From Telecare Aware: The Center for Technology and Aging’s latest white paper posits their vision on how online and mobile technologies will increasingly be used to support older adults in living independently longer and in better health, as well as assisting caregivers. Use of mobile phones, social networking and tablets have all been on a gradual growth curve, with phones well above 60 percent in the over-65 age bracket. The technology is also moving away from single-purpose devices to those that integrate with phones and tablet."
Leading Age’s Center for Aging Services Buyer’s Guide (Technology). Leading Age "is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow old. We advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age." The organization provides a buyer’s guide, primarily for use of its member organizations, that is populated with advertiser-provided listings (at multiple levels of sponsorship) for products in multiple technology categories, including communication, assistive devices, wander management, etc.
First Street Online – For Boomers and Beyond. Self-described as a site for finding unique gifts/gadgets, which are 'Technology Made Easy,' the organization manages an online, print, and telephone-based catalog business: "We have a huge selection of unique, easy-to-use tech gifts and gadgets for seniors and beyond. From simple-setup computers to amplified phones and more, we offer technology gift ideas for all occasions." This site is reported to have a user base comprised of both seniors and their adult children.
AARP articles and recommendations about technology. AARP has populated various articles about tech trends with reviews/ and lists of apps over the past few years. They also have a list of technology-related books as well as a post entitled 9 Need to Know Technologies for Caregivers. A few years ago, AARP also sponsored a research report entitled: Connected Living for Social Aging: Designing Technology for All. Currently they are sponsoring presentation opportunities for health innovation at the AARP Live@50+ conference in Las Vegas.
Market Overview Technology for Aging in Place 2012. Finally, I will add the research report published on this site initially in 2009 when this website was launched and then updated at least annually, most recently in November, 2012. The report includes a vendor appendix of offerings in the aging-related tech segment. Next update will be in November of 2013. Related News Articles are posted and Vendor Press Releases are always welcome.