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Reinventing old age? Some MIT tech assertions are simplistic

MIT Technology Review’s "Old Age is Over" is thought provoking.  Or in the case of the technology section – "Old Age is Made Up," written by Joe Coughlin, head of the MIT Age Lab, the content is just plain provoking. We agree that old age is made up – but in this article, that assertion is underpinned with generalizations that are just, well, also made up. And it shows a lack of understanding about who benefits from technologies that exist in their current form, or that some of those have been upgraded well beyond his generalizations.  Consider:

Ten Years – Technology for Older Adults – 2009-2019

Look back to remind us where we are.  Ten years ago, the tech product choices designed for older adults were few and rudimentary. The intent was simplification of the basics for the tech-reluctant – sending email, looking at information online.  As an analyst migrating from the IT industry, it was startling to see the limited capabilities of the offerings like Presto the Printing Mailbox (used, eBay), Celery (printing mailbox – gone), Mailbug (device to send-receive email – still on Amazon), and Big Screen Live (browser for seniors - gone).  According to an AARP Healthy@Home report from 2008, the only home tech device that had any level of awareness (91% of responders) was Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS).

BlueStar SeniorTech Partners with Bellpal

01/29/2019

Rockville, MD (December 7, 2018) — BlueStar SeniorTech announced today that it will partner with BellPal of Sweden to provide BellPal’s unique medical alert system in the United States. BellPal provides a discreet, simple, and stylish watch to keep families and their loved safe and connected in the event of an emergency.


Ten Technology Offerings From CES 2019 - Beyond Gadgets

Bright Lights, thick smoke, constant walking and avoidance maneuvers.  After taking a year or two off, returning to CES is a chore and a revelation – it clearly is the major event for new technology announcements. Gadgets, yes, too many smart wearables, including underwear, too many near misses of being run over by gangs of oblivious young guys staring at their phones. If there was a key trend in all of this racket, Sleep has become a tech obsession, the uptake of Digital Health is almost here, new variants of companions and assistants were pervasive, including Google Assistant inside everything and Amazon voice devices everywhere.

Philips Cares App Launches to Digitize the Aging and Caregiving Experience

01/08/2019

Role reversal, complexity and cost put tremendous strain on families as they go through the challenges of aging.

How the media loves to talk about loneliness among older adults

Shall we take this WSJ article at face value? Rant on. From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal – pops up a dramatic headline, The Loneliest Generation, describing how baby boomer Americans, more than ever, are aging alone. Did you know that ‘social isolation’ has become a named baby boomer health condition, spiking Medicare costs by an additional $134 per enrollee – tucked into the list that includes arthritis (+$117 of cost) and diabetes (+$270), source AARP?  Most of that additional spend was on nursing facilities and additional hospitalization.  Hmm.  What’s wrong?

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