Homebrew Solutions, Workarounds, & Ideas

Homebrew Solutions

Reports from older adults, and their friends and families, about ways they have solved challenges that were getting in the way of living life the way they wanted. 

These pieces of content contain real life experiences from makers, inventors, hackers of aging, and regular people dealing with growing older.

 

 

 

Featured Content: Homebrew Solutions, Workarounds, & Ideas

 

DIY Technology Solutions to Things Bothering My Aging Relatives

My relatives and their friends are in their 70's and 80's and 90's now, and I am finding they have some recurring "problems" that get in the way of life being as enjoyable as I think it should be. I have come up with a variety of DIY "Tech Solutions" to these problems that I have implemented for them. I hope they will be useful for you too.


 

 

An Internet Enabled Life

Having used technology all my working life, and now being retired, I notice that many of my peers are missing out on some of the benefits that come with appropriate use of the latest technology.

In this first of a series of articles, I start by just describing my Internet-enabled life. In other parts of the series, we offer essays describing a myriad of ways the Internet can enrich your day. I want to get you “hooked” to the Internet.


 

 

Technology for Sheltering in Place

While staying at home for weeks or months on end is hard for everyone, older adults have some unique challenges. And as the enforced lockdown winds down eventually, those over 70 are likely to be the last to see a return to "normal" life. We created this page so members of the Tech-enhanced Life community have a place to share their learnings about how they are handling the challenges of "sheltering in place", and to compare notes about technologies they are finding useful.


 

 

Quickly Getting Help for a Friend in Need

"Hi, this is Lisa. I'm not sure I can take care of myself right now. Can you bring me some food?" I found that scary sounding message on my voicemail one Saturday morning. It started me on a journey to coordinate care for a close friend. I learned several things that I'll share with you. I hope that if you are ever faced with a similar situation, my experience will help you.


 

 

Sensors, Dementia, Safety: Real World Experiences

Using a handful of simple, non-intrusive sensors, retired engineer Bob Glicksman has been able to learn all sorts of important things about the daily routine of an elderly person, who has cognitive impairment, and for whom he cares. He has been able to make multiple successful interventions to stave off what might have otherwise been serious adverse events. In fact, this simple sensor setup has worked better than he expected, and he shares his experiences, as an example of a real world use case in which a small addition of technology can accomplish a lot.


 

 

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".


 

 

Repurposing Everyday Objects

Active Aging: Rethinking the Use of Everyday Objects

As our bodies change with age, we are often advised by well-meaning health providers, family and friends to relinquish the activities we value and that give our lives meaning. We prefer the process of rethinking and repurposing everyday, affordable objects — so we can keep doing the "things we love".

We discuss and provide examples of how to rethink outdoor activities such as gardening, animal care, and even simple farming. The principles can be adapted to many other hobbies and interests you may.......


 

 

Smart Home Kit Lists

Smart Home Kit Lists

As we explore various smart home solutions useful for "better aging", we get requests for some specific "kit lists" that contain a collection of the products needed to implement some of the DIY solutions found on this site.

This page is where we keep the lists of products for each of those "kits".


 

 

Dealing with a Wandering Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Before my wife passed away from Alzheimer’s, she went through a period of wandering outside the home that I could control with a few simple devices. I want to share what I did, and the solutions I used, in the hope they will be useful for others in the same situation I was in.


 

 

Making TV Useful For My 94-yr-old Aunt

This is about how I took advantage of the ubiquity of TV in the lives of many older adults.  By adding various smart integrations, I turned the TV from simply a source of background noise into a useful tool — that helps my 94-yr-old aunt accomplish all sorts of things she previously had trouble with.


 


 

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Last Updated: April 19, 2020.