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AARP Convention — day 1

An overwhelming convention — 25,000 people, every type of service: travel, home care, living environment, health care, motorized chair…you name it. Overwhelming and exhausting. Tomorrow I’ll try to be more focused. So — let’s recap MIT’s Coughlin-Lau “Cathedral Builders Wanted” hierarchy of needs to age in place: from bottom to top — health, safety, connection, contribution, and legacy. So much energy is focused on the first three — almost nothing on the last two. So far, on day 1, I wandered aimlessly around and stumbled on a very cool entrant in “Legacy” — Bridget Poizner, founder of Save Their Story out of San Diego, California. She offers a $400 in-home video or audio interview (or family group) — an oral history with a written transcript, pictures in the narrative, podcast, CD or DVD. Bridget is a trained counselor and skilled in editing and organizing these oral histories. The interview can be uploaded and saved online — and Bridget will travel to interview in person — no matter where your relative lives. She wants to expand her business nationwide — and is offering training programs to folks who want to try this as a second (or third or fourth) career. Everybody wins: family members, the elder person whose story is now captured, and the interviewer — as Bridget herself confirms — feels good about what they’ve done. Bridget has competition — here’s another — and I am sure there are many others. How to make such a service available broadly as a standard for family members, referred by home and health providers and organized for access — who knows, senior to senior? If one grandmother’s story is interesting — maybe it is interesting to other grandmothers and serves as a launch point into new relationships. More on tomorrow’s session after tomorrow!