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Meet or hear Laurie in one of the following:

HIMSS Orlando, February 20,21, 2017

What's Next Boomer Business Summit, Chicago, March 22-24, 2017

Boston, April 30, 2017

Washington, April 29, 2017

Boston, May 1, 2017

 

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Monthly blog archive

Tech design -- we're getting older, but is it getting better?

The best consumer tech is barely out-of-the-box usable – for anyone.  iPad, Schmipad. Although there is always a story here or there about one who loves the device and wants to teach others (60 days of classes!!!), apps like Family Ribbon to make it easier to use continue to pop up along with training both in store and beyond. So in the face of so much enthusiasm, it is hard for me to say this, but guess what? If you aren’t born imagining that 4 fingers would reveal the already created task row of previously used apps, that menus disappear, that the style of user interface for various apps is inconsistent, that screen-to-screen navigation varies from touching a tiny dot at the screen base to swiping a swoop to the next page, 60 days of training sounds like a pretty good idea. And as far as user interface design, this is the best of the best and it is not acceptable!

Memory care and child day care -- two sides of the same coin

Are we at the crossroads of care? We are at an interesting and somewhat ominous crossroads in the care of those with dementia.  AARP (and the media that quote them endlessly) repeat that adults want to remain in their own home as they age.  Nice goal, but, not such a good fit for everybody. So combine the growing longevity of middle class adults with the beginnings of a multi-year revival in home sales and perhaps home prices, seniors may have an easier time selling and moving that will shift the average age of residents below today's age 89. To families searching for options, expensive assisted living memory units may look like good care options for those with serious functional memory loss.  But are they really good care?

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Four elements of tech reimagined

My brain hurts.  AARP is hosting an upcoming innovation competition for their Life@50+ event in New Orleans – and they are soliciting entrepreneurs: 'LivePitch pitch event participants will be focused on consumer-oriented health technologies for the "50 and over" market.'  So what IS a consumer-oriented health technology for the 50+ that is not also a consumer-oriented health technology for the under-50?   In fact, 50 is an arbitrary dividing line for AARP based on its stated mission – someday that may be re-stated as the 40+, or more sensibly, with our lengthening life expectancies and lengthening work lives (see new LinkedIn partnership called 'Work Reimagined'), maybe it will be the 60+ or the 70+.  Or multiple AARPs – as there are today that are based on language and geography.  There’s a reason AARP is not spelled out to include ‘retired persons.’

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Home care organizations should prepare for a tech-enabled future

This advice is for non-medical home care, home health care, and geriatric care management organizations and is drawn from the July 31, 2012 report, Future of Home Care Technology Report. The report surveyed 315 organizations spanning 34,509 workers. Based on the limited use of technology today, but the growing wave about the inevitability of data sharing about care recipients across the significant boundaries of home care, home health care, hospitals, rehabilitation/nursing homes and assisted living. Organizations of each type of care delivered into the home will need to prepare now for the inevitability of a Home Care Information Network that must be sponsored, delivered and adopted over the next five years. To maximize its benefit, organizations that deliver care must:

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Self-delusional or optimistic – marketing to mindset

If asked, older adults are content with their lives. Is life good? So concludes a new poll: "USA TODAY partnered with United Healthcare and the National Council on Aging to gauge the attitudes of Americans age 60 and above. And, surprisingly, most are content with their finances, their health and where they live, and most are optimistic about the years to come: "75% of seniors in their 60s expect their quality of life to get better or stay the same over the next five to 10 years." But do those surveyed really have reason to be optimistic, or with a stated median net worth of $212,000, which includes the value of their house, is this self-delusion?  

Best cities for successful aging -- can you believe it?

We are a society that loves rankings. But sometimes they just seem plain silly. Not long ago, the World Health Organization published a guide to Age-Friendly Cities – and surprise, there was New York City! Services, public transportation, technology galore – despite the crushing crowds on the street, eye-popping apartment rents and tough-as-nails subway riders – if you live there and you're growing old, you can do fine, says the WHO. Okay. So now we have the Milken Institute (a West Coast think tank) study about the 10 best cities where we can age successfully, and it’s much-publicized and picked up in the media, for its, uh, surprising, result. Factoring in affordability (!), weather, convenient transportation systems, aging-centered technology, there it was again – New York City, and now -- Boston is # 4!  For cities that are named on these lists, of course that means positive PR for city managers. Hear applause all around among the town marketers (see, there’s our town, Provo, Utah!!!). In the meantime, Louisville, KY, staking its future as a hub of age-related businesses and opportunity, ranked only 69 on the Milken scale.

Who's watching Mom -- and what is watching the watchers?

Variable care, yes, but no tech in home care.  The NY Times recently published a blog post about the variability of oversight and quality among the unregulated non-medical agency-based home care industry.  Among the many stressed-out comments and observations from readers (“we too had poor home care quality, how awful”), none suggested that this industry should (or will) have oversight technologies injected into it of any type. Yet, according to this just-published Future of Home Care Technology 2012 report, maybe augmenting a labor-intensive industry with just a little bit of overseeing and communication technology is seen by industry insiders as a good idea -- someday.

Five new technologies for aging in place

Rounding up from a series of press releases over the past two months, here are some new technologies and/or services that may be new to you, for use by or in support of older adults.  All material is from the vendor published information:

Securus, Inc. offers the eCare+Voice Mobile Medical Alert System.  "eCare+Voice was designed to enable active seniors to live confidently and independently. It is a one-­‐of-­‐a-­‐kind, compact emergency phone that connects users with the Securus Emergency Care Center via two-­‐way voice communication, just by pressing the alert button. Unlike other medical alert devices, eCare+Voice is fully self-­‐contained and works indoors and outdoors, anywhere in the US, with a powerful microphone and speaker built directly into the unit. The eCare+Voice unit has a long-­‐lasting battery and can be recharged using a cord-­‐free, inductive charging pad."  Learn more at SecurusGPS.com.

Alpha Geek caregivers and health apps -- really?

Who knew that Alpha Geek caregivers may be interested in health startups?  Pew’s just-out research publication, Family Caregivers Online, prompted a column in tech pub Gigaom to suggest that health startups should market to Alpha Geek caregivers. These front-running tech types give us a sense of 'what the future will be like.' There are so many mutually exclusive words (health startup, caregiver, alpha Geek) in that phrase that it begs for analysis.  Let’s start with the Pew data: 30% of adults play some sort of caregiving role, and eight in ten of these caregivers have access to the Internet, making them ‘online caregivers,’ the majority of whom look for health information more often than online users who are not caregivers.  No kidding. This reinforced and is roughly consistent with the National Alliance for Caregiving report of similar in 2009.

Put the human back into engineering

The product user interface of today can madden the seniors of tomorrow.  I am looking at the console of a Volvo right now. Mulling over the SOURCE/Push Scan knob -- turn it to switch from FM to AM, PUSH it to SCAN the channels, PUSH again to stop scanning.  This is an eight-year-old car, and it took most of the first few years of perusing the owner’s manual to figure out how to use the radio (PTY, TP, NEWS buttons I’ve left untouched). But brand new cars have achieved a new level. Just starting up a newer car -- never mind the radio -- requires a long training session, watching the sales rep, taking notes. For one car expert I know, it was not clear how to get a brand new, automatic transmission BMW out of PARK -- without instruction. 

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