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Smartwatch as medical alert device

Smartwatch as Medical Alert?

For years we have been hearing older adults complain about how ugly and stigmatizing medical alerts are. As one lady told us: "My medical alert button makes me look like I escaped from the Intensive Care Unit. So I hardly ever wear it". 

In 2018 a handful of products came to market that look like smartwatches, and in some cases have some or all of the functionality of stylish smartwatches, but also work as medical alerts. We wanted to see how well they worked, and set out to test them — hoping they might change this dynamic. Here are the results.


 

 

Technology & the Future of Aging: OLLI, Berkeley

This is a live recording (slides and audio) of a talk given by Richard Caro entitled "The Future of Aging, & the Intersection of Aging & Technology". 

This talk was given in October, 2018, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Berkeley, as part of a course, organized by architect Susi Stadler. The course was entitled "Life at Home and Aging in Community".


 

 

Isolated and Lonely: How Can We Avoid This?

How do you avoid becoming isolated and lonely as you get older?  Are there things you can do to help prevent this?

Isolation and loneliness is a very real fear for many older adults.  Many of us know of someone suffering from it, and it can be very sad.  Our Longevity Explorers came up with some practical tips to help avoid this problem.


 

 

When to Stop Driving: Who Decides, & How?

No-one wants to cause an accident. But for many older adults, being able to drive is a sign that they are still in control of their own destiny, and a strong symbol of liberty and freedom. So the question "When to stop driving?" is a thorny one. Equally important are the questions: "Who should decide it's time to stop driving?" and "How to decide?"

 


 

 

Intergenerational Design Opinions

What happens when you bring together a group of older adult Longevity Explorers and the teams participating in the Stanford Longevity Design Challenge? You get some interesting and contrasting opinions about what the differences should be between designing for a 25 year old and designing for an 85 year old.


 

 

What They Want vs What You Think They Need

I've said it before. Most of the products for older adults that we see are frankly not very good. This article is about two especially common pitfalls. I think of them as the "eat your broccoli" error, and the "I know how to market to 40 year olds" issue.


 

 

Artificial Intelligence and Robots: What Older Adults Want

While there has been lots written by academics, companies, and futurists about the potential of robots and AI in aged care, the voice of the older adult is generally absent from these discussions. Here are the opinions of the Longevity Explorers as to problems they wish a robot, smarthome, or Artifical Intelligence could solve for them.


 

 

Staying Independent as an Older Adult: The Challenges

Staying "Independent" as long as possible is one of the most important priorities for many people as they age. But what do older adults really mean when they talk of being "independent", and what are the obstacles to staying independent?


 

 

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.


 

 

How a Continuing Care Retirement Community Works

How a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) works is a question that often pops up when our explorer discussions turn to where and how to live as one gets older. This article explains how this model of retirement living works, and discusses their financial model.


 

TRiLOC SafeTracks GPS Watch

Description:

This wrist worn device detects wandering and notifies of falls.

TRiLOC GPS locator

Nuheara

Description:

Nuheara IQbuds are wireless hearing augmentation devices designed to be worn in the ears and intended to be adjustable to hear speech or ambient sounds as desired by the user.

Nuheara IQbuds

Willow Incontinence Products

Description:

Willow offers men's and women's lines of adult incontinence products designed to be absorbent and discreet.

Willow incontinence products

The Wellbeing Monitor

Description:

The Wellbeing Monitor is a smartphone app that is intended to set up a private communication tool for use by elders and selected family or friends to check in and help assure an elder's well being.

Wellbeing Monitor

Vivint Smart Home

Description:

Vivint offers a Vivint app designed to coordinate an array of off the shelf home monitoring and security devices compatible with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant and controlled via the Vivint app.

Vivint Smart Home

Alexa Demo @ Avenidas

Longevity Explorers discuss Alexa @ Avenidas

Package Openers @ Avenidas

The Longevity Explorers @ Avenidas discuss package openers.

 

Co-Housing: Providence

Co-Housing by Longevity Explorers: Recent @ Providence

Member Gary Leib describes the concept of Co-Housing and the efforts being made by a group in Providence to find a suitable site on which to convert a building or to build a Co-Housing community. They seek a multi-age group of from...

Plan a Good Death: Explorers Discuss End of Life Choices

Explorers discuss making their wishes known when they reach the end of life.

Aging at Home: Care Givers

The key to remaining in your home after experiencing some of the declines of aging is the ability to hire excellent in home care. How to do that?

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC): Providence

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) by Longevity Explorers: Recent @ Providence

Member Dick Congdon outlines the process that he and his wife Sheila followed in selecting a CCRC community in New Hampshire and offers tips for those considering this living option.  CCRC’s are...

Driving Decisions, Pleasanton

The question was raised, "How to tell when it is time to quit driving?" Pleasanton Longevity Explorers discuss.

Help for the Hard of Hearing

Laura reported increasing difficulty following what people say in conversation. She finds herself just smiling and nodding.

"A Big Decision"

"A Big Decision" by Longevity Explorers: Recent @ Providence

The Providence Explorers Circle is examining housing alternatives for aging adults in the months of September and October.  We found a New York Times article to be a useful framework for that discussion.

In “A Big...

Managing Passwords, Pleasanton

How in the world do we keep track of all our various passwords?

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Featured Research

 

Medical Alert Systems: Help

Medical Alert Systems GuideWe kept getting asked "which medical alert system is best?"; and "how do I choose the right medical alert system for me?". This independent, objective, hands-on research tries to answer those questions. If you are looking for a medical alert system, either for yourself or for an older adult such as a parent, this piece of research is for you.

Choose the Right Medical Alert System for YOU

 

Useful Apps Club

Useful Apps ClubUnlock the potential of your smartphone or tablet to improve your life. The Useful Apps Club is for older adults and Boomers who have a smartphone or tablet (or are thinking of getting one) and need help to turn it into a useful tool. We are focused on finding Apps that can change your life, and teaching you how to use them. 

View: The Useful Apps Club

 

Reduce Fall Risk

Avoid FallsRead the "best of the web" on: Avoiding Falling. Our team of clinicians and citizen analysts has scoured the web for the best available answers to a set of questions designed to help you make falling less likely, and make the consequences if you do fall less bad.

View: Avoid the Perils of Falling

 

Guide: Home Sensor Systems

Home Sensor SystemsRead our report on this new category of products, designed to help seniors stay at home longer, and to help their families worry about them less. There are important lessons to be learned about which ones work, and for which types of circumstance they are optimal.

View: Home Sensor System Guide