Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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A reminder -- moving beyond pilots

Search for the word ‘pilot’ on this siteThat is an interesting historical search – pages and pages of Start Me Up pilots in tech, programs, initiatives large and small, all linked, no doubt to corresponding media spend and press releases.  Think back on the cycles of tech deployment.  Remember the Alpha test, when the product barely worked at all.  After those bugs were uncovered by testers who had scripts designed for successful outcomes, it was time for the Beta test – where selected prospective users are identified, put the offering through its paces, under an assumption that the pilot will be converted to permanent deployment. 

For older adults, consider that transitions are going to take longer

The baby boomer generation’s later years will be unprecedented.   Each time the population aged 65+ is counted, it’s a bigger number. That onslaught, now at 52 million, bears repeating.  The boomers, turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, are pushing and prodding assumptions, deadlines, and pundit predictions. As they do so, they will force industries to change offerings – and drive considerable change in technology that underpins their lives. Consider signals from today's older adults that will only become more pronounced as the boomers move past today's upper age of 73. Today's emerging trends are showing that:

Five Virtual Reality technology offerings for older adults in 2019

In 2017, it was clear that virtual reality technology had evolved beyond the point of experiments and was having a number of limited introductions into the world of older adults, including senior living environments (Rendever) as well as pain mitigation (FirstHand). Virtual reality has made its way into the 'future of healthcare delivery' consulting, as firms like Care Innovations and Deloitte publish their how-to white papers.  For 2019, here are five VR offerings that specifically note benefits for older adults. The content is drawn from the firms’ websites and/or articles about them:

Older adult finances and future senior housing options are out of sync    

Rant on. A sad tale - reading the lament about the numbers of seniors who will not be able to afford assisted living in 10 years. The report is from NIC – the National Investment Center that provides research to the senior living industry. The upshot – 54% will be unable to pay the $60,000 average annual cost of assisted living (make that $93,000 in Washington DC), even if they sell their home. If one member of a couple is still living in the home, the number rises to 81%.  According to the study, 60% of the population aged 75+ will have mobility, cognitive impairment or chronic conditions that would characterize them as good candidates for assisted living services and settings – but will not have the savings to enable them to move in.

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It’s time for cameras – nursing homes, assisted living, and home care

Where the baby (or elderly family member) may be.  The WSJ investigation of Care.com has only added a level of urgency about the risky business of finding and placing caregivers in homes. Consider the Care.com CEO’s egregious assertion that "Care.com is a marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn."  Really, finding someone to watch your baby or your aging father is analogous to finding a worker to fill a job opening in your IT department or seeking a manager to fill out your org chart? And having nasty problems with convicted criminals taking on caregiving roles, with deaths occurring in multiple states, but never aggregated into a nationwide picture of a horror show, until research into incidents was done by a Stanford MBA student? Read that link, please.

Consider: Aging in a Virtual World

Once upon a time, in a language far, far away…We used terms like long distance, remote, and telepresence to describe services and experiences that were taking place somewhere else. We were guided on how to cope with these remote processes where we were not present to manage or experience. And for the care recipients being managed, they were unable to communicate problems in their on-site, 'real' experience. Consider dementia care and the still-startling lack of cameras in these settings – despite family willingness to pay. These limitations seem so yesterday.  Even a telepresence player like Beam threw in the towel and refers to the world it now navigates as ‘virtual.’   Let's take a longer look into this virtual world as it relates to care of older adults and consider such offerings as:

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