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Recent Additions: Better Aging Library

 

Which Customer Interaction, When?

When the conversation turns to interacting with customers before a product is "finished", most product developers I've talked to are enthusiastic. But they have very different opinions about when to interact with customers, how to interact with them, and for what purpose. I believe there is a way of thinking that helps resolve these questions, depending on the details of the company, and the stage of product development they are at. This article is to share it.
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Elder Dignity, Autonomy and the Need for Protection from Abuse

Dignity of the elder must not be disregarded in the name of protection: whether we are dealing with the difficult issues of how to convince dad to give up the car keys, mom’s need for placement in a facility, or fear of money being improperly acquired by a scammer. The question posed is how to maximize the preservation of dignity in the face of true need for protection of the elder? This article addresses the issue as it relates to financial abuse of elders, but the principles are equally applicable in other situations.
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Medication Management: What's Available?

"Good" medication management is widely believed to be desirable, by older adults as well as by clinicians. This article is about what factors make medication management tools useful for a given person, and outlines a series of circumstances for which specific features of these products can be helpful. Think of this as a "how to get started" guide to the topic of medication management aids.
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Products for Seniors: Could Do Better

After several years of product evaluations and unmet need explorations with groups of older adults, this is my most striking take-away. "While there is no shortage of problems for which older adults would like solutions, the vast majority of products we have looked at are either hard for elderly people to use, or do poorly the "job" our older adult demographic wants to get done". This article is about why (in my opinion) this is the case, and about errors to avoid. 
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Games for Seniors: Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is a new App (Game) has taken the world by storm. This article suggests it could be a great Game for Seniors, helping to encourage healthy exercise. The article (plus video) explains what Pokemon Go is, and how one plays it.
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Medication Management Tips from Older Adults

Learn what older adults themselves think about the challenges of medication management. Listen to discussions about the things our explorers care about; how they approach managing their medications; which products they prefer (the best pill organizers, and most successful pill reminder techniques); and what problems they face.
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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.
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The Power of Community

The power of community: thoughts from a co-housing pioneer.
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Best Pill Reminder App

Best Pill Reminder App: Explorer Choice

We set out to pick the best pill reminder app to share with the explorers in our Useful Apps Club. This article describes which features we selected as important and why; summarizes the results of our tests; and shares with you some details about the two Medication Apps we want to recommend, each of which is good for a slightly different life situation.
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Don't Fence Me In: See the Real Me

How caregivers can adapt so seniors can live a true expression of who they really are.
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Worst Pills, Best Pills
Description:
Worst Pills, Best Pills is a reference website with commentary on drug interactions or potentially harmful drugs which may be pending removal from the market.
Conversation Starter Kit
Description:
The Conversation Project is a website intended to evoke discussion among family or friends to facilitate talking about values and wishes that often go unsaid.
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American Red Cross mobile apps
Description:
American RedCross mobile apps are available for emergency preparedness, first aid training, and disaster reporting and recovery as well as other important areas of service organized by the Red Cross.
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Lotsa Helping Hands
Description:

Lotsa Helping Hands is a care calendar website intended to organize meals and care services for someone in need.

From the website: "With the Help Calendar, you can post requests for support - things like meals for the family, rides to medical appointments, or just stopping by to...

CareMind App
Description:
Care|Mind is a smartphone app that is designed to monitor a remote fitbit (and paired device) belonging to a member of the family or a friend.
Explorers discuss and offer examples of the effects of losing the sense of smell or taste, and moreover which sense would be the more important to them personally, if they had to choose.
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Explorers discuss gait and balance challenges that result from conditions like peripheral neuropathy. We explore what sort of problems people have and speculate about ideas for gadgets that might help compensate for these challenges.
Asked whether they care about the changes they might have experienced in the senses of smell and taste with age, the group cites examples they have noticed.
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Explorer Ray introduces the problem of how disabled persons or persons in wheelchairs can close doors as they leave a room, or open the door when they arrive.
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Peripheral neuropathy, which is common, can cause difficulties walking and gait impairments. Explorer Lyle speculates "there should be a gadget for that" and the explorers brainstorm.
Eskaton Village explorers took home an array of toenail clippers and returned with a report of their findings.
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Explorer Lynn introduces the topic of her feeling of resistance to new entries in the tech field, mainly due to the fear that she will not understand it and will not have the necessary support to use it properly.
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'Blue Sky' thinking about the things that Explorers would like done for them by a Smarthome or domestic robot is off with a rush.
Saratoga Retirement Community explorers are introduced to Lumo Lift, a wearable tech device designed to promote good posture in people of any age.
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Explorer Ayanna opens the discussion with her ambivalence about the usefulness of social media, conscienciously resisting the superficiality of it as well as the lack of human intraction.
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Featured Research

 

Medical Alert Systems: Help

Medical Alert Systems GuideWe kept getting asked "which medical alert systems are 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 medical alert systems, either for yourself or for an older adult such as a parent, this piece of research is for you.

View: Medical Alert Systems Guide

 

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