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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Market indifference to aging -- cars, phones, traveling, packaging


Market indifference -- the mobility gap.  You've seen the driver -- too short to see over the wheel, too timid to change lanes safely, maybe taking multiple chronic disease medications -- and still driving. In 15 years, 1 out of 5 drivers will be 65 or older. "The result is a 'mobility gap,' Joseph Coughlin, head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, which develops technologies aimed at keeping older people active" said in an interview.  Cars can be made smarter, he says, to help save us. But as a society and marketplace, what are the solutions for today's older driver -- let's say just those 4 million above the age of 80? They can call the bus, take the RIDE, ask a friend, but as the current scenario stands -- to stop driving is, as he says, to be on 'house arrest'. Who would want to tell them to stop driving with this patchwork of transportation alternatives, especially in the suburbs where most live?

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New automatic lighting products introduced to help baby boomers live safely in their own homes as they age.

11/01/2010

Short Hills, NJ, October 31, 2010 -- By 2030, the 65-plus population will double to about 71.5 million, and by 2050 will grow to 86.7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With baby boomers remaining active into their golden years and the economy facing a downturn, more retirees will stay in their existing homes and choose to “age in place” rather than relocate to retirement housing and senior communities.

AARP Loneliness Study...In your Facebook


The Social Network -- an oh-so-modern tale.  Who cares about Mark Zuckerberg? The new movie, "The Social Network" tries to make you care. It makes for a good viewing experience, a well-made movie that holds your interest throughout -- not so easy to do with camera shots of young, obnoxiously clueless nerds sitting in front of screens-full of code. It's the story of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and almost-youngest self-made billionaire (apparently one of his co-founders was 8 days younger).  What a guy, at least as depicted -- sued by his best and apparently only friend, sneering at his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend online, and who may sue movie makers who placed him in a cynical spotlight. Eh, who cares? The central character/hero of the movie is Facebook itself, with its meteoric explosion from a university-network socializing tool to today's 500 million-and-beyond universal platform for helping everyone in the world share their private information and believe they are connected to something and somebodies -- and now, with ads too!

Towards an Aging in Place 2.0 vision


Nice goal, but how to age in place?  In the pendulum swing of all 'aging in place' all the time, a murky target has been set, but the tactics are more like a meandering and treacherous hiking trail than a well-marked pathway. Some of us will pick up and leave for a more service-rich environment in advance of need, usually at an age or level of actual or anticipated limitations. But these service-rich environments, typically Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), represent a relatively small proportion of older age range of the 65+ population. And CCRC moves require sale of a house, downsizing of possessions, and a move that can be a traumatic change. In addition, these 'enclaves' (as described in a recent NY Times article) are not without financial issues. Certainly the word 'continuing' is a misnomer unless one counts a campus change to a smaller space for both person and possessions as not really moving.

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