Most of our research is designed to help older adults and their families make decisions and choices about topics that impact quality of life as we grow older — choices like which products and services can help older adults live independently for longer, and delay the time at which growing older gets in the way of living life to the full.
In addition, some of our work is designed to help innovators develop products and services that older adults like us will actually want and find useful.
Recent Analysis and Exploration
CareZone Medication App
Medisafe Medication Reminder
Longevity Explorers Roll up their Sleeves
In our first 24 months, our 5 circles of older adults (Longevity Explorers) had more than 100 face-to-face circle meetings at which together we explored unmet needs related to growing older; tried out, critiqued and compared various interesting products; and engaged in brainstorming and ideation for new and better products to help improve the quality of life as we age.
Best Medical Alert App: Bake-off
We set out to find the best medical alert app for our Longevity Explorers who wanted to use their smartphone as a medical alert system. We focused on monitored medical alerts, found only three that looked promising enough to test, and did extensive, hands-on, comparison testing. One App emerged as far superior to the others.
Driving, Ride-Hailing, & Transportation Apps
“Getting Around” is the first theme we are exploring in our “Useful Apps for Older Adults” initiative. Being free to get from one place to another when you want is a very important ingredient of an independent life. Here are Driving Apps, Ride-hailing Apps, and Transportation Apps that can make that easier and more convenient.
Getting In and Out of Cars: Gadgets that Help
Our explorers have been trying out various gadgets that let them get in and out of cars more easily. So far we have focused on two types of products. The first is a swivel car seat, and the second is a sort of extra “car handle for the elderly”.
Below are several different older adult “personas”, we use to decide which specific medical alert device to recommend for a given older adult. These correspond to broad “types of life circumstances”, and work well for other types of products too.
Technology for Managing Medication in Dementia
Watch this talk on technology for medication management by Dr Caro and Dr Renfro. It covers different available technologies to help minimize medication errors, especially for Alzheimer’s sufferers. It also covers some “unmet needs and opportunities” relating to medication adherence.
Where & How We Want to Live
Where and how we want to live as we age has been the subject of quite a few of our Longevity Explorer discussions, especially in those circles made up of Boomers. We Boomers wonder: should we move, and to which type of living situation? Listen to the audio of real people discussing these topics.
Alzheimer’s Thermostat Design: Jeeves vs. Nurse Ratched
Thoughts about thermostats and people with dementia. Remember Jeeves, and Nurse Ratched? Imagine they were in charge of designing products for older adults. I wish we had the sort of products I imagine Jeeves would have designed for Bertie Wooster. Unfortunately, we seem to get the products Nurse Ratched might have dreamed up for the unfortunate inmates of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
The Top Modifiable Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s
This article describes the top modifiable Alzheimer’s risk factors, and explains what you can do to reduce them. Currently there are no truly effective disease-altering treatments for Alzheimer’s, and by 2050 13 million Americans are predicted to have Alzheimer’s. The good news is that a number of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s can be reduced by appropriate behavior.
Mobile Medical Alert Evaluation: Archives
On this page we include some of our original, in-depth testing results comparing different mobile medical alert systems.
Get A Ride Anywhere – New Options for Older Adults
This article is about some exciting new alternatives that make getting from point A to point B by car much easier than in the past for those who don’t want to, or are not able to, just jump in their own car. We consider Uber, Lyft, Flywheel, taxicabs, and recommend the best rideshare app for older adults.
How to use Uber, the ride sharing App
We think ride sharing App’s like Uber are a great new resource that can help older adults get around more easily. This article (with videos) will describe how to get a ride using the Uber smart phone application, after first downloading the App and setting it up.
Rideshare App Comparison
We set out to find the best rideshare App for older adults. Our comparison includes Uber, Lyft, and comments about the taxi App Flywheel.
Mobile Alert Systems: Comparison Testing
We did hands-on, comparative evaluations of mobile alerts: a specific sub-category of medical alert systems. We looked at appearance, ease of use, speed to respond when we pressed the “help” button, how well the “location capability” worked in various different locations, battery life, sound quality, price, and more. While none of the products was “perfect”, several worked rather well. But some fell short.
Lively, Jitterbug Flip2
Best Jar Opener for Older Adults
Our explorer circles of older adults evaluated a range of jar openers, and found big differences between them. If you need a jar opener to help open jars for whatever reason, this synthesis will tell you which ones our Longevity Explorers liked and why they liked them.
Tutorial: Medical Alert Systems
Starter tutorial on medical alert systems. If this topic is unfamiliar, and you want to quickly review the basics, this is a good place to start.