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TECHNOLOGY

The Future Face Of Senior Fitness?

(Source:  Senior Housing News)

Tired of pickup lines at the gym?  Well how about an exercise robot that flirts with you while you workout?  According to seniors at Southern California Presbyterian Homes, this robot is a real Casanova.  The robot named Bandit, featured at the 2010 AAHSA Idea House, was developed by Dr. Maja J. Mataric, professor and senior associate dean at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering to teach daily exercise for activity and rehabilitation.  The socially interactive robot can detect and respond to a person’s emotions and physical movements to provide an unprecedented level of interactivity.  

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE  

 

Boomers and Technology: An Extended Conversation

(Source:  www.geron.org)

A joint AARP/Microsoft research report describes how baby boomers view and use technology, and predicts how boomers’ preferences will shape the future of technology. Findings include: boomers like to learn new technologies and share their knowledge; boomers want technology to be safer and easier; boomers expect technology to adapt to them; boomers embrace high-tech healthcare; boomers use technology and social networking to connect in new ways; boomers see technology as a tool; boomers see technology as a force for good; and technology opens a new world of leisure, creativity, learning, and income for boomers.  LINK HERE  

CCRCs and Technology Centers -- An Idea Whose Time Has Come

(Source:  Laurie Orlov, www.ageinplacetech.com)

Silver Smart Technology Center -- a storefront in a CCRC.  Recently I had a chance to chat about with Sharon Whalen who works in the Passavant Retirement Community within Lutheran SeniorLife -- a 700-person CCRC in Zelienople, PA. Lutheran SeniorLife's CCRC is comprised of skilled nursing, memory care, personal care (their term for assisted living) and residential living villas and cottages (their term for independent living.) Sharon has just set up the Technology Center there to demonstrate those "assistive devices that residents, staff, family, and other members of the community can touch and get a feel if this is something they want" -- then they can decide whether to purchase on their own.

Showing, not selling.  The storefront is positioned in the 'Main Street' area of Passavant, near the café, gift shop, computer lab, and 'center for creative expression.' Sharon says that technology selection is focused on those tools that are generally low cost, that help with every day living and maintaining independence, or as she says, "adding to an abundant life." First and foremost, the emphasis is on safety she selected tools that help those with vision impairment, which applies to at least a third of the residents that she encounters. Initially the CCRC has purchased these devices, but Sharon is considering applying for a grant to continue to fill the demonstration center with products that would be of benefit to residents.  Here's the initial list (links are to sites I have found, not specifically named by Sharon) -- those at other locations doing likewise are invited to post a comment! 

  1. Make coffee: An interactive coffee maker that recognizes voice from Primula.
  2. Heat food: A talking microwave from CookMagic -- pre-programmed with the 8 most common foods -- selection is via a notched dial
  3. Access and hear TV: A 6-button Doro Remote Control (on-off, channel up-down) and TV Ears
  4. Hear the phone: Clarity XL50 (which is stocked by the maintenance department) to replace the standard phone
  5. Navigate to the bathroom: A motion-activated outlet sensor that can activate a lamp
  6. 'Read' the Bible: True-Speaking Bible, a solar-powered device with all books and verses
  7. Make a shopping list: The Smart Shopper Grocery List -- a big, heavy refrigerator magnet that comes with 25,000 words, enabling an individual to speak 'bananas and bread' for example -- then it prints out the shopping list on a thermal printer
  8. See who's there: A Digital Door Viewer wireless remote monitoring peephole
  9. Prevent fires: A StoveGuard Fire Prevention System
  10. 'Read' a book: The Kindle DX -- Sharon says residents are slowly becoming interested in this -- and it has the larger screen and text-to-speech
  11. What time is it: Low-projection clock -- this can be used to project the time onto the wall or ceiling
  12. Magnify print: Portable Magnifier to help when out and about

In addition, Sharon is looking at SentrySilver GPS units that could be used to set up an individual Geo fence -- which could be the whole campus -- this could send an emergency text message or e-mail, displayable on a Web portal where the viewer could pull up a map, expanding and shrinking as needed.  Your thoughts?  LINK HERE

Grandma Shows Seniors How To Use The New Amazon Kindle

Grandma Alice Shares Her 88th Birthday Present To Seniors, and Aging Parents. This is all about her latest tech tips for seniors.

WATCH HERE  

 

Carle names top 'nana' technologies for 2010

(Source:  McKnights)

Microchip-embedded prescription bottle caps, a stylish activity monitor, an exercise program and an emergency assistance device stand out as great products for seniors. That is according to George Mason University Professor Andrew Carle, who recently released the top “Nana” technologies for 2010. Carle, director of the university's Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration, coined the term “Nana" technology in 2004 to define the growing industry of microchip-based products for seniors. This year, he singled out four: GlowCaps, Wellcore, DriveSharp and ActiveONE-Personal Assistance Locator.  LINK

Social Networking Surges For Seniors

(Source: by Joshua Brockman, NPR)

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

77-year-old Suzette D'Hooghe works on her laptop computer during a computer class in Des Plaines, Ill., in 2003. Increasing numbers of people older than 50 are turning to social networking to share updates and connect with family and friends.

Grandma is posting a photo on Facebook.  Grandpa is looking for former colleagues on LinkedIn.  And more and more people ages 50 and older are joining social networks, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. The study found that social networking has almost doubled among this population — growing from 22 percent to 42 percent over the past year.

According to comScore, a digital measurement company, 27.4 million people age 55 and over engaged in social networking in July, up from 16 million one year ago.

"I've connected with friends and acquaintances that I have lost contact with through the years — people I've graduated high school with and people from my hometown," says Claire LeSage, 63, who has been using Facebook for about a year-and-a-half.

In addition to connecting with her nephews and a niece who live across the country, LeSage uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Plaxo to run Wittz End, her relocation concierge service for baby boomers and seniors in Norton, Mass.  MORE

Will the iPad be a hit with the elderly? (WATCH THIS)

(Source: Ben Patterson, technology writer, Yahoo! News)

The Web's going wild over a YouTube video of 99-year-old Virginia Campbell and her favorite new thing: the iPad, which she's already used to read a couple of books and compose a dozen limericks. Are seniors in general swooning for the iPad?

I've seen no detailed surveys on the elderly and how they're taking to Apple's latest "magical" device, but as far Campbell is concerned, the verdict is in: She loves it.

The YouTube video speaks for itself, with the glaucoma-suffering but otherwise sharp-as-a-tack English major tapping away intently on "her new toy," oblivious to a cluster of hovering relatives. "It's fantastic," she gushes, although she gets tripped up — just for a moment — on the virtual QWERTY keypad. "Where's the comma?" she barks, before finding it ("there!") a micro-second later.

Virginia likes her new iPad so much that she even wrote a limerick about it, according to The Oregonian:

To this technology-ninny it’s clear
In my compromised 100th year,
That to read and to write
Are again within sight
Of this Apple iPad pioneer.

Meanwhile, the AARP Bulletin Today traveled to a retirement home in Springfield, Va., to take its own informal survey and shoot some video (which is well worth checking out). The reaction: mixed, leaning slightly toward guarded optimism.  READ MORE