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Videophones and elders living alone

So one-third of elderly adults who live outside of institutions live alone. Many who live alone have no living children or see their children rarely. And 60 percent of those older than 75 years report being lonely. So says a textbook called “Aging: The Healthcare Challenge” by Carole Bernstein Lewis. So what about the videophone? Wouldn’t it make sense that there is a market in videophones for elders?

Let’s talk about robots - ready to help seniors?

I have to admit it, but iRobot’s Roomba is just the coolest thing to watch. I love how it circles around the same location over and over, how it plays a tune “Charge!” as it heads for its charging unit, and how clean it gets the areas it tackles. Fun for me — and my geek husband — who figured out where to place the sensors so it wouldn’t crash into my grand piano. And particularly appealing to have it run around under our bed, where we never push a vacuum cleaner. And from reading the reviews, it is endlessly interesting to cats and dogs.

E-mail device — where are the vendors?

Today’s WSJ’s Mossberg column mentions a device, the only one on the market today, called the Mailbug, which is a text-only terminal for sending and receiving e-mail over a dial-up connection. Costing $125 plus $100/year service, it doesn’t permit exchange of photos (check out Presto and Celery) for that.

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