Technology to Help Us Age in Place Better and Longer
Dec. 10, 2017, San Francisco Chronicle: “Smart-home tech might help older adults live independently longer”
Feb. 4, 2018, San Jose Mercury News: “Gadgets for seniors: Ambitious techies roll out robots, smart gear for their elders”
Welcome, and introduction, to TechForAging
TechForAging launched on September 1, 2018. This page describes:
- Why TechForAging
- Who TechForAging is for, and who is behind it
- What TechForAging offers
- Where TechForAging will go
High growth of the aging population is causing problems in healthcare and caregiving, but what does it mean for you? TechForAging is for you.
Aging in Place refers to the fact that, by far, the majority of folks prefer to remain in their homes rather than spend their last years in institutional care (independent / assisted living, etc.). There are many other sites addressing Aging in Place. TechForAging is only about how technology can help us stay in our homes longer, with a better quality of life. Most Aging in Place sites cover a broad range of topics but only include a small number of articles on technology, which may be out of date. Aging in Place Technology is complicated, and it is hard to keep up with developments. TechForAging intends to keep it simple and stay current.
Who is TechForAging for?
Some sites focus on Aging in Place Technology, generally aimed at people in businesses, with lots of useful market information. TechForAging is for non-tech-savvy seniors, and their concerned family, desiring to learn about, and keep up with, products and technologies that address many of the problems faced by the elderly. A number of these problems also impact younger people. There is some overlap here with assistive technology for the disabled, but that is not a focus.
What problems do the elderly face?
- Loneliness: companionship, social interaction, family (grandkids), friends
- Safety & security: home intrusion, fire, wellness checks, falls, medical emergencies, internet security
- Health: medication reminders/refills/monitoring, problem detection, problem prediction, provider connection
- Quality of life: home automation, activity assistance, shopping, news, meals, exercise, education, entertainment, transportation, help with impairments
Who is behind TechForAging?
Initially, Barry Sardis (that’s me!), pictured above. Here are a few things to know about me:
- Early stage “baby boomer”
- Started in Tech over 50 years ago as a self-taught programmer
- Two principal joys: learning stuff and using what I’ve learned to help others
- Generalist: career included software development, customer support, product marketing, product & strategic planning
- Was involved in some startup activities
- Volunteer involved in multiple communities – technology advisor in a sizeable 55+/Active Adult community – and at The Computer History Museum
- Believe Social Robots will be like smartphones for aging in place elderly – I have connected to some including the one above
I am a charter member (1991) of Silicon Valley’s exceptional Tech Museum. Charter members received James Burke’s 1978 book Connections. It is about the connections which have shaped our environment and triggered technological innovations. Connections are also what TechForAging and I are about.
A primary goal of this site is for other contributors to share their experiences and knowledge.
What does TechForAging offer?
TechForAging covers these product categories:
There are products discussions and shared personal experiences, but no recommendations, since, like one hears about legal topics, each situation, and need, is different. Many products fall into more than one category and may address more than one of the problems noted above. Each article includes the date last modified to let you know how current it is.
Where is TechForAging headed?
It takes a village!
TechForAging’s goal is for a community to form, helping its members, and all visitors to the site, apply technology to the challenges of Aging in Place. Once there is a sufficient number of newsletter subscribers, the site will add a membership component. Until then, please use the Contact form for any questions or input, and especially to register interest in membership or to contribute in any way.
Newsletter subscribers will be invited to become members. Those that do will be able to make comments and participate in a forum. Members will be able to share discussions and experiences, suggest TechForAging’s direction and development, and potentially have an influence on product creators.