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08/24/2016

A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

08/24/2016

Detecting changes in condition in real-time among private duty home care recipients.

08/23/2016

UMaine faculty shared aging-related research projects with students and colleagues.

08/22/2016

Service example: Icontrol Networks Inc., which helps set up smart homes for clients.

08/20/2016

For profit companies can now offer PACE services, reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid.

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Tech support comes of age

Facebook friends are fine, but devices rule. Yesterday’s Facebook hullabaloo should be placed in a larger context – not only do they not make a physical product, but your Friends beam at you through a gazillion different and ever-more-mobile devices.  Forget Facebook for a second, because it might be just today’s pet rock front end. Let’s mull over those gazillion different devices. Just who will support you, regardless of your age and how tech smart you think you are, as they multiply in your environment like weeds? Who helps you with making these devices work properly with other tablets, computers, and cloud and installed software? The Genius at the bar is a bit vendor-specific, don’t you think? And the IT folks that you know are busy battling enterprise-wide viruses, and there you are at home and on the phone, with your relatives of all ages as they peer helplessly at glowing screens, plaintively intoning that old refrain, “But it worked yesterday!”

The skills of life expectancy -- working past 65

Perhaps we need a new set of work and life expectations.  Doesn't it strike you as interesting that the so-called 'retirement' age (that is when you can receive full Social Security benefits) has been 65 for a long time? It has bumped up just recently -- but then so has average life expectancy. According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration:  "A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 83. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 85. And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95." The oldest age that SSA considers for initial full eligibility is 67 -- for those born in 1960 or later. Meanwhile, the average anticipated retirement age in the US is, what a surprise, age 67.  

You can’t always get the email you want

Biting the hand that reads you.  Your inbox, I bet, is filled with stuff you don’t want, some of which gets trapped into your spam filters and can be made to disappear with a poof. But what if the sender’s software thinks it is smarter than you are at knowing what that is?  Lately this has happened more than once and I think it is a bit creepy. Today’s example is LinkedIn, which has monitoring tools to see if you’ve opened the e-mail it has sent you. If you don’t open the e-mail often enough, LinkedIn helpfully offers you the opportunity to reduce the frequency of those digests -- summary of posts from my membership in forty LinkedIn Groups.  “Would I like to switch from daily to weekly?” Ya know, if it was really that irritating, maybe I would have switched the settings myself. So I switched the setting back to daily – but LinkedIn will no doubt try to outsmart me.

Born this Way: The 50+ Folks are Digital Immigrants & Innocents

 Back in 2001, Marc Prensky coined the terms digital native and digital immigrants in this seminal paper. He said, "Today's average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV).  Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives." Today’s young adults are "native speakers" of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. Digital natives have always been around technology and devices. They are accustomed to trying new tech, having things not work right, and talking to their digital native friends to group troubleshoot and learn what works best. 

The long view of Pew -- most older adults are still not online

The Internet haves and have-nots. Pew Research produced an intriguing summary in April, Digital Differences, a long-term comparison report of changes in Internet use between the years 2000 and 2011.  In June 2000, only 12 percent of the 65+ population (aka seniors) were online – and today, 41% are. And just in time for US government agencies switchover to online requirements: the other 59% will need a backup plan. According to a new Washington lobbying group, paper versions of tax forms, savings bonds, annual social security statements and social security checks (switching to direct deposit) will soon be just a memory. So it is important to have accurate data about who has online access and who doesn't -- particularly within a vulnerable population of older adults.

Geriatric care managers need your love and support

Geriatric care managers need your support. I was lunching recently with a friend who is a geriatric care manager (GCM) and I decided to ask her a few questions about why we don’t see more technology interest from GCMs. For those of you who haven’t heard of GCMs, here is the definition from their National Association (NAPGCM): "A professional Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a health and human services specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. The GCM is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology." In essence, GCMs are the go-to professionals for families dealing with the frail elderly.

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Alzheimer's Association -- it's about the cure, but why?

The National Dinner -- heartrending and motivated.  I was fortunate to attend an amazing dinner last night in Washington as a guest of Philips. This looked like, but was no ordinary awards banquet. The National Alzheimer's Dinner, the organization's largest (and most well-attended, ever) Alzheimer's Association annual fundraising event, hosted by Meredith Vieria and with a parade of famous folk. These included Jane Seymour who has made a documentary about Alzheimer's sufferer Glen Campbell, Maria Shriver who produced The Alzheimer's Project on HBO, and Pat Summitt, the famed Tennessee coach who has early onset (beginning at age 58) Alzheimer's Disease, who was there with her son. Beyond those folk (!), the evening's ceremony included heart-stopping comments from individuals who currently have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. But then the audience stood up in groups -- first to stand were individuals who have a current diagnosis, then those with a family member diagnosed with Alzheimer's, followed by those caregiving for someone with the disease, finally those with a family member who died as a result of Alzheimer's. Emotionally drained yet?

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There goes telehealth, taking it on the chin again

It's another health tech day and Mayo Clinic concludes a study. So who knew? Telehealth monitoring is not effective at keeping patients out of the hospital! So reports a new study from those who (repeatedly) study these things. Does that bode ill for telehealth marketers, who fervently hope that pending re-hospitalization penalties would energize a long-lived but relatively small market. Use of telemonitoring equipment, the study concluded, should continue to be limited to studies. And oh, by the way, doctors need to 'learn how to do something with all of that data!' Yeah, no kidding. Apparently, knowing nothing about the patient's condition except for 'routine' primary care visits with doctors ($$) and specialists ($$$), we learn that with only 205 elderly patients from Minnesota, half (103? 102?) were chosen to be monitored by the now-defunct Intel Health Guide, reborn last year in a GE-Intel spinoff as the Care Innovations Guide

The Future of Home Care Technology Survey

Home care technology use needs to be understood now.  Today there are a plethora of surveys in health and aging services topics – ranging from consumer preferences about housing (MetLife), technology product use (Pew and Nielsen), and family caregiver concerns and health technology adoption (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP). But there are no recent surveys about the use of technology among skilled home health providers, geriatric care management and non-skilled/companion care

Aging research projects focus on the same-old, same-old

The more tech is commercialized, the more researchers ignore it. It’s so interesting and fun to read about research that is going to help seniors, don’t you think? Reporters love to write it, readers love to read it.  Someday, they say and readers agree, there will be tech that will finally help us age in our own homes. A recent AARP Bulletin offered up an article about living laboratory research into ‘possibilities’ for improving our capabilities for independent living/aka aging in place. We can feel good that work goes on at Orcatech, at Mayo Clinic, and MIT's Age Lab.  And many others have researched the same exact categories previously, as noted in 2008 in one of the very first blogs on this site. As always, the researchers interviewed offered no observations about whether there were commercial versions that were viable for consumers, and really, no acknowledgement of commercial vendors at all. Guess that’s not the point of research.

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