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Washington DC Feb 15-19.

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December 2023

AARP 2024 Tech Survey: Change Continues to Outpace Older Adults

The 2024 survey is out – some might say it is positive about tech adoption.  Older adults (age 50+) own nearly every tech owned by those age 18-49. They have smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, wearables – with the same disinterest in smart home technologies. The cynical among us might say that some tech change (like the 3G to 5G cutover) forced smartphone adoption.  And so the growth in smartphone ownership is led by older adults And it’s pretty tough to buy a ‘dumb TV’ these days even if you wanted one, though it’s feasible.  

Five technologies for older adults -- 2023 wrap-up (2 of 2)

The pace of innovation in tech for older adults accelerated in 2023.  New product announcements, incubators/accelerators, government grants (see NIA) seem to be multiplying. Companies emerged or announced updates addressing dementia care. The concept of an AI Caregiver to augment limited staffing took on new significance as the crisis in care work worsened throughout the year. Senior living organizations showed signs of accelerating tech adoption, particularly in areas of AI for remote monitoring and safety. The time is right for engaging with an AI-powered avatar for health advice, including assisting with fall prevention. Here are five more from 2023, all text from the company websites. More to come after CES 2024 begins:

Five new technologies for older adults -- 2023 wrap-up (1 of 2)

AgeTech is a niche market no more.  As we approach 2024 and the plethora of tech introductions from CES 2024, let's reflect. This past year underscored the demographic changes that have brought an aging population -- turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day -- into the sight lines of investors, startups and health providers. The very recent monumental investment that swept AI and media visibility underscored how AI could help older adults. And the shortage of labor in the care industries put a spotlight on the gaps in care that AI tech can help close.  No doubt 2024 will reveal more investment and innovation in tech for older adults.  All material is drawn from the websites of the companies.

The care future for older adults needs housing and tech support

The Harvard study describes a bleak care future. And the NORC study underscores the housing problem for the Forgotten Middle. Life expectancy for the 65+ is another 20 years on average.  But only 14% of Americans can afford long-term care in the home. And if they could afford it, only 4% of their homes are aging-ready. Nor are they telehealth-ready – where 36% of Americans do not have high-speed internet in the home. For low-income individuals, home and community based services may have a 3-year wait to obtain them. Further, 42% of women aged 75+ live alone

Consider ever-changing tech hurdles for older adults

The more technology changes, it’s a step back for some.  You probably think the inevitability of tech change is mostly positive. And in a macro sense, maybe it is. But for some older adults, it’s one negative experience after another. The closing of thousands of bank branches in favor of online banking, the elimination of paper social security statements, the near-elimination of paper savings bonds for the grandchildren, and the ubiquitous introduction of the QR code in restaurants – saving labor.

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