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Recent Additions: Better Aging Library

 

Can Alexa Help Fight Isolation and Loneliness?

Perhaps it seems counterintuitive that an artificial intelligence(AI) might help combat isolation and loneliness. But as our Longevity Explorers evaluate the latest version of Alexa, paired with the Amazon Echo Show, which has an excellent video call capability, we are starting to see great potential for these products to do just that.

And while there are a variety of initiatives evaluating the potential of interactions between older adults and Alexa (Amazon's artifical intelligence) as a way to reduce loneliness, we think the communication capabilities of the Echo Show may make possible deeper human to human interactions (with friends and family for example) as well.


 

 

Amazon Echo Show: Older Adults Explore

Our Longevity Explorers have been testing the Amazon Echo Show and exploring its capabilities. With the ability to make phone calls and video calls on request, Alexa and the Amazon Echo Show have added important capabilities since our community of older adults first explored Alexa back in 2017. Learn what these "seniors" think is (or is not) useful about it; what questions they have; and what they think needs improvement.


 

 

medical alert device recommendations

Medical Alerts: Just Tell Me What To Buy!

"I don't want to become an expert on medical alerts. Just tell me what to buy." is something we often hear. We've found the answer depends enormously on the specific lifestyle of the person enquiring.

Most people fit within one of a handful of broad "personas". Choose which persona best matches your lifestyle, then see which medical alert devices we recommend for that persona.


 

 

Brainstorming an App for Loneliness

An App to Make New Friends: Intergenerational Brainstorming

Ever thought "I need to make new friends: There should be an app for that"? Longevity Explorers and design students brainstormed the features they would like to see in an "App to make new friends" at an intergenerational design workshop at the 2018 Stanford Centre on Longevity Design Challenge.


 

 

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

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, 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.


 

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

Description:

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a book intended to guide persons in later life in organizing and de-cluttering household goods and records to leave an orderly home for survivors.

De cluttering

Caring - the App

Description:

Caring is a smartphone app designed to help organize the information that designated family and friends are likely to need when caring for a friend or family member.

caring app

PREPARE for your care

Description:

PREPARE for your care is a didactic in the form of a series of documents and film clips which are intended to instruct the viewer how to make medical decisions and document them so they can be realized at a later time.

make medical decisions

Bemer Therapy Products

Description:

Bemer products are intended to produce beneficial health effects by stimulating the vascular system in the smallest blood vessels.

Bemer Therapy Products

Zinger Chair

Description:

The Zinger Chair is a mobility device designed to be more agile and portable than standard wheelchairs.

Zinger chair

Portable Mobility Devices

Explorer Rosalie describes a portable motorized mobility device that folds to a compact size, and one that she has often seen used on shipboard.

What Makes Design for Elders Different?

Explorer Steve leads off this discussion of the importance of knowing the problems of older adults when designing products for the 'senior' marketplace.

A Few Minutes Brainstorming Our Own Topic Ideas

For the last part of our inaugural Explorer meeting, after listening to and lightly discussing a variety of aging topics explored by other LE groups, we spent a little time talking about what aging topics we were interested in further exploring in the future. A wide variety of possibilities were...

Should I Volunteer for Medical Research Studies?

An Explorer introduces the idea of volunteering for medical research projects to the group.

First Cincinnati Longevity Explorer Meeting

This is an audio segment from the first Longevity Explorer meeting for the Cincinnati circle held in March, 2019. For this meeting, since all of us were new, we purposely took a more basic and introductory approach in our agenda.  Instead of more in-depth discussions and explorations on a few...

What's Next in My Life?

The San Francisco Longevity Explorers' group addresses the overall subject of "What's Next in Life?". 

De-cluttering: How Do I Get Started?

Explorer Marty poses a question to the group to gather some ideas about how to dispose of excess household items accumulated over a lifetime.

Rich's New Apple Watch

Explorer Rich shows the group his new Apple Watch and describes features that he particularly likes.

SRC Explorers View the Echo Show and Respond

The Saratoga Explorers are introduced to the Echo Show, an enhancement by Amazon of the Echo family of voice operated AI devices, which now features a display screen.

University Student Team Focuses on Alexa and Aging

The SF Explorer Circle is asked to consider and comment on a series of questions that Tech-enhanced Life, PBC, has been sent to help a team of university students refine a business plan entry for a competition.

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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