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Brain wellness software

I love the idea of 'brain wellness'!  Don't we all want our brains to be well? Exercising them right along with our calf raises and seated arm curls.  But how? And with what? We certainly know that web surfing helps but there is an entire product range out there from game workstations and technology, but also software that is purely for improving mind health and vigor.

BigScreenLive -- to go

I've become a bit obsessed with searching and thinking about PC simplification products (note previous entries about Presto and Celery) that enable seniors to connect to others (family, friends, caregivers...) Maybe I got into a searching frenzy after a 79-year old family friend just confided to me last week that the e-mail appliance in her home has stopped working and she can no longer exchange e-mail with her teenage grandkids.

Zuri -- color me skeptical about this and other online health records

Monitoring your health at home looks like an incredible opportunity for big and small vendors -- including Zume Life, which just announced the 'Zuri' -- a hand-held device which prompts users to take their pills and keeps track of health-related issues, including upload to a Web page that can be shared. It will cost around $200 when it is available in the spring, plus $40-50/month for Web services.

Cameras -- not necessarily a privacy invasion for dementia

For those who provide care for those with dementia or other limitations -- AARP's Healthy@Home notes that seniors may not object as much as thought to an obvious barrier -- fear of privacy invasion if it can a) make them feel safer, or b) give them more personal peace of mind as well as that of their family and friends..

The Pill Phone -- an app for medication reminders

I've spoken before about the difference between technology that connects outside the home (and can be upgraded and improved) versus gadgets and gizmos that are one-off and destined for obsolescence. The former has the potential for connecting seniors to caregivers as well as connecting seniors to information they could use.

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:

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.


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?

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.

Day 2 AARP Convention — Jitterbug phones

Jitterbug — Simple cell phone (Samsung hardware) — using it is easy — screen is readable, hearing-aid compatible, prompts are clear and doesn’t require a manual to figure out how to get your voicemail. One touch to 911, not linked with any service provider — so none of this ‘You can have a new phone if you extend your contract’ business. No roaming, no long distance, no time of day calling. The company is in the simplicity business, according to one marketer I like that — more technology providers should enter the ’simplicity’ business.

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