10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging

The Huffington Post has put out a list of ways technology is changing how we age and we could not agree more. From online medical records to LED lights showing up everywhere, we agree that technology is making it easier for people to age. Along with Skyping your doctor and having online medical records, SimplyHome believes that technology can give you a renewed sense of freedom as you age in place. Take a look at the 10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging and keep in mind that the SimplyHome System might should be number 11!


10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging In The Next 10 Years

Technology is changing everything, including how we will age and the quality of our senior years. Mobile devices, wearable gadgets, and Internet-based technologies will help older adults age in place while monitoring their health and safety. As The Huffington Post celebrates its tenth anniversary, we’ve decided to take a look at the 10 things we expect to see in our technological futures.

1. Talking street signs.
Night driving is a real bugaboo for seniors. Our vision weakens as we age and eventually we reach the point where we don’t trust our ability to find places once the sun sets. GPS systems have given us a little more confidence that we won’t get lost, but what would really be terrific would be talking street signs that announce themselves via our Bluetooth as we approach.

2. Cars that drive themselves.

We know this is just around the corner, so to speak. We’d be happy just to have cars that parallel park themselves.. Automotive technology is working towards making us all safer drivers, but for seniors, there’s an even keener interest: It could easily help keep them safe on the road longer. The ability to drive, many believe, is at the core of independence. Cars of the future will be able to recognize unsafe driving conditions or when the driver isn’t paying attention and make automatic adjustments to steer the vehicle away from a potential accident.

3. The doctor will see you now — on Skype.
Video-call doctors’ visits have already been a boon to those who live in rural areas. Expect that the trend towards more telemedicine will continue. One day we’ll be saying “Remember when we used to have to go into an office to see the doctor?” just like we now say “Remember when doctors used to make house calls?”

4. Remote patient monitoring.
Patients can already check their glucose levels and download the results to their doctors. Watch for the expansion of point-of-care monitoring devices, such as weight scales, heart and blood pressure monitors that send your readings directly to the doctor. In many cases, these devices obviate the need to visit the doctor’s office. Many of the routine services that doctors traditionally have provided in their office are changing. Pharmacies already offer a lower cost way of getting your blood pressure checked and your annual flu shot. Not going to see the doctor also means no co-pays.

Take a look at the last 6 ways technology is changing the way we age here.

For Today’s Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home

Aging in place is an ever growing idea throughout the baby boomer generation. As Dorothy said, “there is not place like home.” This rings true for people of all ages, but baby boomers are clinging tight to this thought.

See what people are saying about aging in place in this article by USA Today and Newsmax.

For Today’s Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home

(photo: Thinkstock)

(photo: Thinkstock)

American retirees these days are gravitating toward the notion of staying put and “aging in place” rather than moving to sunnier climes, new data show.

USA Today reported an AARP study found the overwhelming majority of people 50 years of age and over want to remain in their home and community “for as long as possible.”

Separately, a Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey concluded 65 percent of retirees say they are living in the best homes of their lives right where they are.

“There is something deeply nourishing about our homes, and people become increasingly appreciative of that emotional connection as they get older,” says gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave. “It’s a rich emotional nest.”

Many retirees want to remain in their home “because they are most comfortable with what is most familiar,” psychologist Mary Languirand, co-author of How to Age in Place, told USA Today. “People are going to do whatever they can to maintain that sense of comfort. That is the ideal place in a lot of people’s minds.”

The Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey concluded a majority – 58 percent – are interested in new technologies such as cleaning robots, 80 percent are interested in tech-enabled efficiencies such as smart thermostats and 76 percent are interested in technologies to maintain their health, such as sensors, alerts and air purification devices.

Dychtwald says 52 percent of people over the age of 75 live alone.

“Technology can help people keep an eye on mom or dad,” he said. “The good news is that all of these breakthroughs are on the drawing board or already available, but they are waiting for the market to take more full advantage of them.”

USA Today noted AARP offers a guide aimed at helping consumers stay in their homes as long as possible.

The guide offers tips and suggesting ranging from simple do-it-yourself fixes to more expensive improvements, and also includes worksheets.

See the original article about what people are saying about aging in place here.

Early Detection Screen for Dementia

The National Task Group (NTG), involving SimplyHome’s Cameron Kempson, has unveiled a screening for people with intellectual developmental disabilities who are at risk for dementia. Summer 2012, the NTG piloted the test with seven sites completing an evaluations of the instrument.

The Early Detection Screen for Dementia is now available as an interactive PDF form. The answers can be recorded on the electronic version of the PDF and then saved electronically. The NTG wanted to promote an easy-to-use method of reliably screening and detecting dementia. They wanted the screening to be usable by paid professionals as well as caretakers. Minimal orientation or training is needed in order to conduct the test and it is easy to track changes over time.

The NTG-EDSD is also being used to identify dementia-like symptoms in people whose function and behavior may be caused by other health issues including medication interactions, depression, etc. Using the NTG-EDSD, caregivers are able to record and track changes over time in areas such as cognitive functioning and ability to adapt to new environments and experiences. While this is not something that is used to diagnose dementia, it is helpful to use as a conversation starter with other family members, caregivers and medical professionals.

Planning cities for boomers will benefit millennials, too

This article provides a unique approach to the growing need to accommodate baby boomers. Millennials are defined as anyone born in the 1980s and 1990s. Millennials are often children of baby boomers. Many millennials are going to see the economic impact and familial impact of baby boomers. Richard Carlisle sees things a little differently than how millennials may be seeing the aging of the baby boomer generation. See the article below or click here to read more about Planning cities for boomers will benefit millennials, too.

Planning cities for boomers will benefit millennials, too

Will your community thrive or fail in the next 30 years? The answer, in part, is in how it deals with baby boomers.

The U.S. census tells us that the number of people 65 and older will increase by 50% in the next 30 years. In 2010, 13.8% of the state’s population was older than 65. By 2040, it will be 21%, and in southeast Michigan, it will be 24% — a quarter of the entire region, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

This generation of Americans will be well-educated, diverse and fit. Many will be single. They’ll have fewer children and more living parents than their predecessors.

The characteristic that will shape our communities most, though is this: They want to age in place. An AARP survey reported that more than 80% of Americans age 45 and older want to remain in their current home as long as possible, even if they need help caring for themselves. Perhaps more important, if they cannot or choose not to remain in their own home, they’d like to live in an attached or small-lot home, ideally with a first-floor master bedroom.

Read more on Planning cities for boomers will benefit millennials, too