What's new? Latest Content.

 

End of Life Planning

End of Life Planning was the exploration of the month at several Longevity Explorer circles. Here is what we learned about end of life planning, including things like advance directives, healthcare powers of attorney, POLST forms, MOLST forms, and living wills. If you are thinking some end of life planning might be timely, either for you or for a family member, read this.


 

 

A Professional Fiduciary: What is it? Do you need one?

Wondering what a Professional Fiduciary is, when you might need one, and how you would find a good one? We asked professional fiduciary Kim Schwarcz to explain.


 

 

Designing for Older Adults: Interview with Dr Jeff Johnson

In this interview with Dr. Jeff Johnson — who with Dr. Kate Finn literally "wrote the book" on designing for older adults — Jeff discusses with Richard Caro a variety of topics relating to designing better products for older adults.


 

 

From MD to Alexa Skills Developer: My Journey

Retired physician, Dr Bob Kolock, shares his new "hobby": Alexa Skills Developer. He describes how he came to be interested in Alexa, and describes some of the 13 skills he has developed. Many of these skills are useful for older adults, and Dr. Kolock's perspective from "both sides of the stethoscope" makes them especially intriguing.


 

 

Longevity Explorer Workshop

Older Adults Online: Behavior, Trust, & Design

Our Longevity Explorers frequently comment on just how poorly they think most Apps and websites are designed — when viewed from the perspective of an older adult. So we were excited when a Silicon Valley startup enlisted our help to answer a variety of questions about how older adults really do interact online. 


 

 

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 smart watches, 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.


 

 

Five Wishes

 

Five Wishes

Five wishes is an online service that enables you to create an advance directive. 


 

 

Sail into Retirement

 

Retirement Lifestyle Coaching by Larry Jacobson

This is an online video coaching program, designed to help you plan a fulfilling and meaningful retirement. It's delivered by Retirement Coach Larry Jacobson, based on his personal experiences of retiring and learning how to plan his own retirement.


 

 


 

Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers

This is a book about planning retirement for those aging alone (solo agers). One of our explorers brought it along to a meeting and recommends it.


 

 


 

CallToU Caregiver Call Button

CallToU is a wireless call system intended for indoor use to alert the intended helper that assistance is needed by the user.


 

 


 

Mom's New Pad

Mom's New Pad is a California Bay Area senior referral and relocation service designed to address all of the major roadblocks to downsizing and moving.


 

How Explorers Learn New Things

The Explorer group discusses their experiences and insights on how they go about learning new things.

Exploring the Possibilities: Touring the Tech-enhancedLife Website @ Providence

Our circle’s technical expert led the group in a lively and informative web-linked conversation with Richard Caro, CEO and Co-Founder of Tech-enhanced Life. The purpose was to “kick off” our year with an introduction to the incredible resources and interactive possibilities available via the...

Dan's Fear: What If My Computer Crashes?

Explorer Dan shares his fear of having his computer fail, and what to do if it does.

Cognitive Aging, Cincinnati

The suggested topic from one of our Explorers was “Aging minds; mental health concerns; brain diseases; brain exercises.”  Our Explorers talk about a number of examples of ‘normal forgetting’, as well as tips and suggestions on how to combat or deal with this natural aging phenomenon.
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Think of Smartphones and Apps as Tools

Explorer Jim sees a smartphone as a real benefit to older adults. The Explorers then discuss the range of uses and advantages offered by smartphones and apps.

Essential Apps for Elders @ Providence

Led by Ronda Sciolto, a member of the Steering Committee of the Providence Circle, the June meeting focused on technology, particularly on apps (or applications) that are particularly useful. Ronda worked in technology for many years and is the founder of “Help Me, Ronda,” a business that has...

Age Awareness Makes Headway in Design Circles

Explorer Lynn shares an article from the SF Chronicle's Business Report, Saturday, May 4th, 2019.

Vitamins and Nutrition

The suggested topic from one of our Explorers was “Vitamins: What to take; what to stay away from.”  Our Explorers weigh in on a number of vitamin-related issues in this wide-ranging discussion.  Overall, vitamin information and knowledge can be confusing and you may run across some mixed...

I Like to Travel, But It's Not as Easy as Before

The San Francisco Longevity Explorers respond to the question "How many of you like to travel; How many don't like to travel, and How many like it, but don't travel anymore"?

One member answers that she has a busy life and if her friends and family want to see her, let them come here....

The MOLST form: End of Life Wishes, Providence

Ensuring that one's wishes will be followed means care in selecting an "agent" having a durable power of attorney for health care.  Another important step in Rhode Island is completing a "MOLST."  In Part three of our discussion on end of life wishes at the Providence circle, Dr. Pat Gifford, a...

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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