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social isolation

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social isolation

Five technologies for older adults November 2020

November – the month for giving thanks -- remotely.  It was a strange Thanksgiving for many – staying (stuck?) in place with Zoom, FaceTime -- and few place settings. Worse, for many older adults, isolation is a worsening health issue that we will hear more about as shutdowns continue and shut-in becomes the virtual norm.  In November, a long report (the third of 2020) called The Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults was published, the result of 30 interviews with executives from organizations large and very small. Here are five companies drawn from the report and beyond – all material is from the company websites:

The onset of Covid-19 produced an unanticipated surge in Remote Care Technology product and service offerings according to leading health and senior care providers

11/30/2020

Beginning in March of 2020, older adults were cut off from their families. Senior living companies of all types were caught in the triple bind of no-visitors, worsening worker shortage and the spread of Covid-19 to their residents. The pandemic caused older adults to defer health appointments and interactions with others, resulting in the usage of telehealth and other technologies like Zoom and FaceTime to skyrocket. Many of the technology stopgaps will become part of permanent change in how seniors connect, how businesses serve them, and what innovations matter most.

GreatCall: Approaches to Mitigating Social Isolation 2020

GreatCall-sponsored white paper about US initiatives to mitigate the worsening problem of loneliness and social isolation.

Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults 2020 -- Themes Emerge

What is the status and future of remote care technologies? As the research interviews for the 2020 report “Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults” wind down, a few themes become apparent. This work began in the summer of 2020 as the Covid-19 lockdown was underway. The pandemic has likely transformed the senior-focused ecosystem. It triggered ingenuity of senior care organizations and vendors; and it energized innovators and prospective investors. Reimbursement of technology was a key policy change in 2020 that fueled adoption and investment in telehealth. That change super-charged growth in telehealth-related companies that had been growing incrementally. And as senior living executives agreed early, from a technology investment standpoint there’s no turning back.

Social isolation of older adults – a problem and an opportunity

Life has been worsening for older adults – in senior living and at home.  Every day there is some new article about the impact of Covid-19 on older adults -- or another study turns up that you missed. Residents in senior living communities are having a tough time, cut off from activities and visits from family.  Isolation has produced an increase in mental health issues, loneliness and depression – and that would be for those who have a good grasp of what is going on – for those in long-term care, for those with dementia, unable to be hugged by family, it is far worse. What’s been going on with older adults in the context of social isolation and loneliness?

Cox One Call a Day: Volunteers Call Seniors Amid COVID-19

08/21/2020

Cox Communications today launched Cox One Call a Day in multiple markets. The program is designed to provide calls to seniors, many of whom have been impacted hard by the social distancing guidelines that are a result of attempts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, have been unable to see grandchildren, children and other family.

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Four Aging and Health Technology Blog Posts from July 2020

For older adults, July was a few steps forward…  And a few back.  A new venture capital firm formed that is focused on the older adult market.  Primetime Partners adds a $32 million fund to the miniscule list of VCs both admitting interest AND actually investing in the segment.  At the end of June, the federal government published its status report on aging-related initiatives, which was especially notable for including tech investment in ombudsman programs.  And it became increasingly likely that CMS would make telehealth access for older adults permanent. On the other hand, a new poll noted the prevalence of ageism for older adults and that other Covid-19 related pandemic – loneliness in late life.  More on that in several upcoming white papers. Here are the four July posts:

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