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Laurie Orlov's blog

Microsoft Guide for Aging Computer Users

My arms and hands have been hurting for a while. So I was pretty happy when I stumbled (so-to-speak) on Microsoft's "Guide for Aging Computer Users" aka "10 Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing" -- including tips for those XP users who may never upgrade to Vista. Here's an excerpt:

Fall detection -- human airbags -- nonsense or good sense?

The 'inventive' Japanese who brought you the web-connected tea kettle in 2005, have something to offer for fall detection and prevention beyond motion sensors. A Japanese company has invented an airbag that inflates in 0.1 of a second if it detects a person falling backwards.

BigKeys, BigTrack mouse and other assists for battling (or avoiding) computers

Many folks I know provide the tech support for their elderly parents -- a CEO of a very large software company in California once told me that about being sole tech support for his Florida-based father -- he made regular cross-country trips to fix this or configure that -- turns out his father only trusted him and so saved up all of his problems.


Nursing homes -- horrendous nationwide -- pump up the volume on aging in place!

This makes me very angry -- I hope it will enrage you as well. I must post this study about violations found in nursing homes, even though I am a long-term care ombudsman (volunteer -- we don't certify nursing homes!).

Elders tell their story online

I love this site -- Astimegoesby.net and its 'The Elder Storytelling Place.' There are probably sites all over the Internet like this -- but this is one I stumbled upon. So much energy about aging in place tech for safety, health and its correlary -- monitoring.  What about just communicating? And talking -- and being heard?

Is home monitoring privacy a non-issue for seniors?

Not so very long ago -- 5 years --  an inventor I spoke with received funding from a VC firm to create a remote-controlled telephone, one that would record messages and remind seniors to take a pill and press a flashing button when they took it. However, after focus groups were conducted, the project was dropped. Seniors objected to the privacy invasion and interference by their adult children.

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GE Healthcare Partners With Living Independently's QuietCare

GE Heathcare announced this week "that it will distribute and co-market Living Independently's QuietCare products globally." QuietCare "alerts caregivers to behavioral changes that may signal potential health issues or emergency situations." My view -- this represents an intersection between the health and aging in place marketplaces. How it gets categorized may significantly influence market adoption.

AARP Healthy@Home Survey Provides Clues About Technology Uptake

For those interested in technology for aging in place, the 2008 AARP Healthy@Home Survey by Linda Barrett, Ph.D, of AARP Knowledge Management, is a remarkable resource and should be carefully studied - I have only begun to absorb some of the key points in it and will return to this again many times.

Gadgets and Gizmos for consumers, Senior Value Chain?

To get a feel for the overall shape and status (or non-shape and early status) of the Aging in Place Technology market that goes direct to consumer, imagine wanting to know what's available to help you remain safely and happily in your home. These collections got me thinking about the randomness of these technologies and how and to whom they are marketed.

Home Monitoring - Beyond Personal Emergency Response

Mom is in Florida, adult children are far away. I see it all the time --  frail elders who want to stay where it's warm. and of course, they have adult children who can't or won't live near them. And technology vendors, as I saw at the AARP convention, and described in this well-written NY Times article, want to fill this nervewracking void.

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