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Smart home for Seniors

Smart Home for Seniors: What, Why?

What is a "Smart Home for Seniors", we wondered? And how is it different from a normal smart home? And who would want one, and why? And, can you just get some specific smart home features relevant to you — in your current house? Or do you need a whole new house?

This article explores these questions.


 

 

Tech Support: Older Adults Explore

The good thing about modern technological innovations — like smart phones, smart homes, computers, video call technology, or telehealth — is that they can improve quality of life in a variety of ways. But tech gadgets are only useful if you keep them working. And today's gadgets often need quite a lot of tech support for that to happen.

In 2020, the Longevity Explorers explored the different approaches to keeping all your gadgets running — especially during the COVID pandemic, when face to face visits are hard or impossible. Here is what we learned.


 

 

Low Vision Products: Older Adults Explore

The community of Longevity Explorers are exploring different "low vision products" to see which ones help in various situations, and to share products individual explorers have used and wish to recommend. Ever have difficulty reading menus in a dim restaurant, or the fine print on a pill bottle? Or maybe you or a friend have more significant visual issues — like cataracts or macular degeneration — that get in the way of living life as you wish? If so, this article is for you.


 

 

Gerontech Products We Wish Existed

Here are some high-impact, gerontechnology product concepts that do not yet exist as commercially available products — although the technology to enable them already largely exists. Our hope for products like these: to significantly postpone the time at which frailty and functional disability get in the way of "living life".


 

 

Technology for seniors from 2020

Technology for Older Adults: Notable from 2020

As far as Technology for Older Adults goes, we saw some positive developments emerging in 2020, despite the pandemic, and some promising products gaining traction. Here are trends and products we think are notable from 2020.


 

 

Grandparent apps: exploring

Exploring Grandparent Apps

“Once you are a grandparent, almost nothing seems as important as interacting with your grandkids, and helping them and their parents as much as you can.” But, if you can’t visit, or live a long way away, how do you maintain the sorts of deep interactions you long for?

This group of four older adults from the Longevity Explorers thought “there should be an App for that”, and set out to explore the space of “Grandparenting Apps”.


 

 

Best senior tablet: comparisons, and how to chose.

Best "Senior Tablet": How to Choose

This article is about a category of product marketed as "senior tablets", or "tablets for seniors". We explore which type of person would benefit from a senior tablet, rather than a more mainstream product like an iPad, and how to decide which is the best senior tablet for a specific life situation.


 

 

Scams & Older Adults: What to Do?

This series focuses on helping readers of all generations learn the fundamentals of scams, what scammers are after, how they use mail, email, mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers to steal your identity, your money, and even the Internet bandwidth you pay for every month to access the internet.

The information in this series on scams is intended to help you reduce vulnerability to scams for both you and loved-ones like parents, grandparents, etc. The key message is that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.


 

 

Elderly Scams: When You Need to Take Control

What to do when a parent shows signs of falling for "scams" — and seems unable to take the appropriate actions to avoid them? While it is often appropriate to let older adults worry about their own "scam-proofing", there are some situations in which an intervention is appropriate.


 

 

How Scams Work (with Examples)

Learn how scams work, with examples. Because, the best protection against exploitation by scammers comes from having a general understanding of how people try to con the elderly into sending/wiring them money or worse, giving them the electronic keys to their financial kingdom.

If you understand your vulnerabilities, you will be alert to situations that put you or an aging parent at risk.


 

 

Vision Buddy

 

Vision Buddy

Vision Buddy is a headgear device that is intended to be worn by visually impaired persons to aid in watching TV.


 

 

VOY Tunable Glasses

 

VOY Tunable Glasses

VOY tunable glasses are designed to allow the wearer to adjust either lens to accommodate varying ocular functions.


 

 

GetSetUp

 

GetSetUp

GetSetUp.io is an interactive social and learning system designed to help seekers learn new tech skills or get started on new tech projects. 


 

 

Phoenix Watch from iGPS

 

iGPS Phoenix Watch

The iGPS Phoenix Watch is intended to be worn by older adults or children and - when paired with the app - to keep track of their movements, signal departure from a designated location, and provide cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections where available.


 

 

Support.com

 

Support.com

Support.com is an online tech support service intended to provide remote help and solutions to computer and other device-related problems.


 

Digital Tools to Keep Post-Pandemic

During this period of social distancing and isolation, SF Explorers consider which aspects of virtual connectivity they intend to continue to use after the mandated isolation is over.

Automating My Parent's Lights

Having the right lighting in the right place at the right time is a very important detail for both safety and quality of life. Think burglars, or being able to read, for example.

But some older adults, as they become forgetful, or develop mobility issues, can end up with the lights turned...

Older Feet Often Need Different Shoes

SF Explorers' experiences with shoes reflect their accommodations to the changing needs of older feet.

Gadgets @ SRC Solve Problems of Aging

Saratoga Retirement Community Explorers recite a list of devices they use to get around the problems posed by age-related handicaps in everyday life. Rosalie leads off the discussion with a household item - dishwashing gloves - she wears when opening jars, but she is frustrated by the jar seals...

Making Zoom Even Easier

Now that "Zooming" is a verb, knowing how to make video calls via Zoom is becoming an important life skill. The truth is Zoom is extremely easy to use, which is why it became so popular during COVID. But some people still have difficulties with some aspects.

Explorers Report: How to Spot and Avoid Scams

Saratoga Explorers discuss their experiences with scams and how to spot them and avoid them.

Forgets to Wash Hands, Flush Toilet

My mother (with dementia) wakes up often in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and forgets to wash her hands/flush the toilet. She often forgets during the day as well.

Hearing Challenges and Video Calls

Some people with hearing issues find video calls challenging because they can't always make out what people are saying. We wanted solutions that could help with that. 

Senior Living: Get Ready... Go! (or Not).

San Francisco Explorers discuss what they would like to see - or what they must do to prepare - as they consider a move to a senior living community or decide to stay at home instead.

 

Virtual1- Apps that Improve Your Everyday Life

The Virtual1 Explorers Circle discussed apps that they regularly used on a smartphone or tablet.

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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

 

Avoid Social Isolation & Loneliness

isolation and lonelinessOur community is exploring ways to avoid becoming isolated and lonely as we grow older. See what we are discovering — including one group of older adult's "recipe" for overcoming loneliness.

View: Isolation & Loneliness Hub

 

Medication Management Tools

medication management toolsPoor medication management is one of the key reasons people are forced to stop living independently. There are a wide range of tools that can help you manage your medications — and avoid, or at least postpone, that fate. We have researched which products work best for different types of people, ranging from simple inexpensive pill boxes and reminders to complex "automated" pill dispensers.

View: Medication Management Hub