The collective wisdom of our community of Longevity Explorers.
After multiple Longevity Explorer circles explore a specific topic in depth, often over many months, we synthesize the key learnings from the entire community and summarize them in these "Exploration Syntheses".
Technology for Sheltering in Place
While staying at home for weeks or months on end is hard for everyone, older adults have some unique challenges. And as the enforced lockdown winds down eventually, those over 70 are likely to be the last to see a return to "normal" life. We created this page so members of the Tech-enhanced Life community have a place to share their learnings about how they are handling the challenges of "sheltering in place".
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.
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.
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.
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?
Amazon Echo and Alexa for the Elderly
The older adults in our explorer groups have recently become interested in a relatively new product: the Amazon Echo and its artificial intelligence Alexa. Here are their thoughts on topics like: do we want one; why would we want one; what do we use it for; and wouldn't it be great if it could also do ...".
Older Adult Perspectives on Managing Medications
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.
Driving, Ride-Hailing, & Transportation Apps
"Getting Around" is the first theme we are exploring in our "Useful Apps for Older Adults" initiative. Being free to get from one place to another when you want is a very important ingredient of an independent life. Here are Driving Apps, Ride-hailing Apps, and Transportation Apps that can make that easier and more convenient.
Getting In and Out of Cars: Gadgets that Help
Our explorers have been trying out various gadgets that let them get in and out of cars more easily. We have explored a swivel car seat and a sort of extra "car handle for the elderly", known as either a Car Cane or a Handybar.
Best Jar Opener for Older Adults
Our explorer circles of older adults evaluated a range of jar openers, and found big differences between them. If you need a jar opener to help open jars for whatever reason, this synthesis will tell you which ones our Longevity Explorers liked and why they liked them.
Retirement Living: Comparison Matrix & Talk
Retirement Living expert John Milford has created this talk and comparison matrix of pros and cons of different retirement living alternatives, using San Francisco Bay Area examples to illustrate the comparison process. Details include entry fee sizes, ongoing financial obligations, application requirements, and which entities oversee the different housing types.
Best Lighted Cane
Our Explorer circles of older adults wanted a walking cane with a light that would help make getting out at night safer. The Explorers found some promising lighted canes online, purchased a few that looked especially good, tried them out, and decided on one which was "the best".
Best Rollator (Walker) for You
When acquiring a Rollator or Walker, which features matter for a given individual? And how does one decide which walker or rollator to get for yourself, or a friend? This is the theme of this Explorer Insight report from explorer Don S.
Where & How We Want to Live
Where and how we want to live as we age has been the subject of quite a few of our Longevity Explorer discussions, especially in those circles made up of Boomers. We Boomers wonder: should we move, and to which type of living situation? Listen to the audio of real people discussing these topics.
Toenail Clippers for Elderly People
Our circles of older adults have been exploring toenail clippers for elderly people. They explain that older adults often have nails that are hard to cut or hard to reach. The explorers are especially interested in toenail clippers for thick toenails, and toenail clippers that will work when a person has arthritis, and thus can not exert a strong grip on the nail clipper.
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Members can read and listen to the full discussions from which the Insights above were derived, and add comments and ideas. We would love your participation in the discussion of challenges faced by older adults, and possible solutions to the things discussed here.
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