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On Aging in Place versus Healthcare Unbound

Having watched the home health technology market crawl along at a snail’s pace for most of the last decade, I’m excited to expand my focus to aging in place.  I see a fundamental — and absolutely critical — difference between the narrow focus of healthcare unbound/remote health monitoring market and the more expansive purview of aging in place.  That difference can be summed up as the difference between fear and hope.

Healthcare-only solutions tap into the fears that as we age, we will fall apart or become helpless.  None of us likes to face those fears, nor do we particularly enjoy the efforts we have to put towards keeping them at bay.  So we don’t run out to buy the technology and services that help us monitor our weight, keep our blood pressure or sugar levels in check, or even prevent falls — at any age.

Aging in place, on the other hand, helps us tap into our hopes that we can still contribute, still connect, and still experience new pleasure as we age.  Yes, we need to maintain our health and our safety and security in order to have those opportunities (two fundamental pillars of aging in place), but we are doing so in order to create a solid foundation from which to continue living, not merely a means to stave off dying.

As I explore aging in place solutions in the weeks and months to come, I will be looking for platforms that marry these critical elements together.  Many thanks to Laurie for creating this forum to explore this critical landscape.

-Liz Boehm

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Liz, glad to read about your focus! I refer to what you are taking about as "tending to wellness." That is, not focusing only on our problems, illnesses, diagnoses, disabilities, etc, but nurturing what makes our lives vibrant and satisfying, DESPITE our problems, illnesses, etc.

Wellness is not merely a state that is an absence of illness, but one lives can live along side of illness -- all the moreso if we tend to it. And it's a lot more likely to be the case when we don't only follow the medically prevalent disease-based model, which focuses only on illness or its absence. Just that broadening of perspective alone is life-giving. I look forward to hearing more of your views in this blog.

I'm looking forward to this one.  My wife retired about 5 years ago and I went out about 18 months ago.  We are hoping for a long, long time in our new 'careers'.  We're both young(no ss or medicare) and our home has the ability to stay in it as we can certainly make it usable on one level..there ... your first thing to comment on...

Let's not just do technology as many 'simple technology' tools don't plug in!!


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