Seminar Series: Technologies for Aging in Place. Semester 1

By:  Editorial Team   |  Posted: January 27, 2022   |  Updated: December 19, 2023



Which products and services can help an older adult live independently, and with autonomy, as long as possible?


Together with a community of older adults called the Longevity Explorers, Tech-enhanced Life has spent the last 8 years exploring the intersection of aging and technology, and evaluating a wide range of products and services designed to help people live independently for as long as possible.

In this seminar series, we synthesize what we have learned.

This seminar series is virtual, and anyone can attend from anywhere in the world.

Read on to learn more and see how to apply.

While the live seminars have taken place (during March – April 2022), the recordings are all still available.

Access the Video recordings below.


Seminar Abstracts: Semester 1.


1. Tools and Tech for Aging in Place: Overview.

Over the last few years, a number of technology products have come to market that have the potential to help older adults remain independent for longer, and reduce the stresses on caregivers that help them.

In this talk Dr. Caro will introduce you to some of these products that the community of Longevity Explorers has found to be especially useful. He will also give an overview of the different types of aging in place issues likely to be solved with technology solutions and set the stage for the follow-on seminars.


2. The Right Tools to Minimize Isolation & Loneliness.

As many of us have been reminded during the pandemic, isolation and loneliness are very undesirable. But isolation is a frequent accompaniment to aging, as people lose mobility, lose the ability to drive, and lose members of their circle of friends.

While we have not found the silver bullet to solve these challenges, we have found a number of useful technologies that can help stay in touch with friends at a distance. There are also promising new solutions with the potential to help with making new friends, or with meeting people with similar interests. In this talk, we will dive into the details of these solutions, as well as frame the problems and describe how Longevity Explorers have approached avoiding social isolation.


3. Which Medical Alert? And Who Needs One?

Medical Alerts are well known “safety” devices. However there are many different types, and there are very few resources to help decide which type is best. Tech-enhanced Life has for years been evaluating different products in this category. While we do not believe there is such a thing as a “best” medical alert, we do think there are often a handful of “best” products for specific individuals (the right features depend on lifestyle).

In this talk, we will explain how to decide which type of medical alert is right for a specific person, and introduce you to the detailed coverage on Tech-enhanced Life that will enable you to pick a specific product that works for the person in question.


4. Smart Home Features for a Better / Safer Life.

Richard Caro and Frank Engelman have an ongoing collaboration to publish a series of use cases and recipes for specific “smart home features” — useful to older adults in various life situations. Most of these are based on Frank’s detailed DIY recipes, which he creates for his older relatives, and tests on himself.

In this talk we will introduce you to the situations in which these smart home features are useful, discuss the difficulties of implementing and maintaining them, and show you how to find specific smart home feature recipes for use cases like wandering (dementia), fall avoidance (automatic lighting); “making TV useful again”; and many more.


5. Technology to Help Avoid Medication Adherence Problems.

Clinicians often tell us that poor medication adherence is a big problem among their patients, and also that medication management is one of the more common reasons why older adults get moved to assisted living facilities.

But in recent years there have emerged several very sophisticated “gadgets” designed to help manage medication. These tools range in complexity depending on the specific needs of different types of people, but can make a big difference to quality of life both for the older adult and for their caregiver.

In this talk we introduce you to these products; and explain which ones are most appropriate for various different life situations, and types of people.




The Speaker / Discussion Leader(s)

Richard Caro

Richard CaroDr. Richard Caro is co-founder of Tech-enhanced Life, a Public Benefit corporation with the mission of improving the quality of life of older adults and their families, and is also an “occasional” angel investor, with a particular focus on the intersection of healthcare, aging, and technology.

Richard started his career as a researcher at Stanford University, and then spent a number of years developing novel medical products (including medical lasers for minimally invasive surgery, and ophthalmology (e.g. LASIK)). He has a D.Phil in Physics from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and has 24 patents.



Smart Home DIY Expert, Frank Engelman

The talk on the Smart Home draws heavily from research done by Longevity Explorer Frank Engelman.

Frank Engelman is a retired engineer (MSEE) who worked at GE Medical and Intel.

Says Frank:  “I retired from Intel in 2011 and have been pursing my dream of helping seniors and their family with suitable technology. I recently have expanded that into providing solutions for those with vison, hearing, and mobility difficulties. Being 76 myself, I get to test a lot of the solutions on myself before recommending them to others. Along with my sister, a retired RN who lives in a retirement community, we get to deploy a lot of my solutions to the residents and family members.”


Overview of Seminar Series

The Goal of these seminars: Help older adults, their families, and caregivers understand what products and services exactly to deploy to help them live the way they want for as long as possible — with an emphasis on living independently and maintaining autonomy.

In-depth: We highlight the types of products and services that can make a big impact on how easily one can age successfully in a place of one’s choosing, and show how you can find specific products we have evaluated and recommend.

Independent & Objective: Our research is independent and objective and is not sponsored by any of the companies whose products we evaluate.

Read on to see exactly who this seminar series is for, what topics we will be covering, the dates of the seminars, and how to participate.




For Whom?

This seminar series is for three types of people:

  1. older adults who want to live independently for as long as possible. Especially for those who care about autonomy and being in control of their own destiny.
  2. family (and friends) who want to help the older adult live how they want;
  3. caregivers who want tools to help improve the quality of life of older adults for whom they care.   




The Topics: Semester 1

This series will be ongoing. In semester one we covered the following topics.

  • Tools and Tech for Aging in Place: Overview.
  • The Right Tools to Minimize Isolation & Loneliness.
  • Which Medical Alert? And Who Needs One?
  • Smart Home Features for a Better / Safer Life.
  • Technology to Help Avoid Medication Adherence Problems.

The topics for semester 2 will be announced later in the year.   




The Details

  • This seminar series will consist of a series of 90 minute seminars, on the topics above.
  • The seminars will be “virtual” so you can attend from anywhere in the world.
  • Each seminar will include a “lecture” summarizing our learnings  (delivered by Dr. Richard Caro), and there will be ample time for questions.
  • Seminars will be recorded so if you miss one, you can listen later (season ticket holders only).   




How to Participate

The live seminars have finished. However they have all been recorded. You can see abstracts and links to the individual seminars below.



Program Dates

Semester 1 is now complete (2022)

Semester 2: Dates not yet announced.


Exact Times & Other Details

  • Times: All seminars will start at 1pm PST / 3pm CST / 4pm EST. They will last for 90 minutes (perhaps 2 hours in some cases).
  • Recordings: Seminars will be recorded so if you miss one, you can listen afterwards. The recordings will only be available to people who sign up for a season ticket however.
  • Attendance details: Participants will receive a Zoom link to login to the seminar in advance of each seminar. You need to be able to use Zoom.   





*Disclosure: The research and opinions in this article are those of the author, and may or may not reflect the official views of Tech-enhanced Life.

If you use the links on this website when you buy products we write about, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate or other affiliate program participant. This does not affect the price you pay. We use the (modest) income to help fund our research.

In some cases, when we evaluate products and services, we ask the vendor to loan us the products we review (so we don’t need to buy them). Beyond the above, Tech-enhanced Life has no financial interest in any products or services discussed here, and this article is not sponsored by the vendor or any third party. See How we Fund our Work.