Remote Support for Aged People Project

The RemoAge project will tackle the challenge of supporting people with dementia and other frail older people to age at home in remote and sparsely populated areas of the northern periphery of Europe. Long distances and limited resources are two challenges to overcome.

Tested and evaluated service packages will meet this challenge. The service packages will include methods to support the elderly with health and social care needs, flexibility to individual needs and an increased level of remote support.

Expected results are improved access to personalized services in direct support in daily life, support to family carers and health personnel, but also increased involvement of the community.

Target groups:

– Frail older people, including people with dementia, in remote communities

– Family carers and family members of the frail older people

– Community members

– Health and social care professionals

The target groups will be involved throughout the project in a participatory process from the identification of needs, the adaptation of services and the evaluation of services. A main focus of the project is to develop and implement person centred services that are by definition services adapted to the individual needs of the frail older person and their family.

Source: Project

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9 Connected Health Recommendations to Help Seniors Aging in Place

PCAST’s connected care recommendations aimed to help America’s aging in place

Telehealth, mHealth, broadband adoption and remote monitoring technology figure prominently in a new report from a White House advisory council.

A White House advisory council is calling on the federal government to support connected health technologies and platforms for America’s aging population.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), in an 80-page report issued this week, makes a number of recommendations that would support telehealth expansion and reimbursement, broadband access for seniors, remote patient monitoring, mHealth innovation and even more sophisticated wheelchairs.

Source: 9 Connected Health Recommendations to Help Seniors Aging in Place

Kitchen Floors and Safety Scores

Kitchen Flooring Design and Safety Scores for Aging in Place

The kitchen is the second most important room to remodel for safety if you’re planning to age in place, coming in only behind the bathroom. And, an important part of that project is choosing the right kitchen flooring.

Many people fear that they won’t be able to maintain their own unique sense of style when remodeling with safety at the forefront. However, you can choose flooring that is safe, yet still reflects your unique style and taste. Continue reading

Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement planning doesn’t stop the day you retire. It continues as your life unfolds. As such, it’s important for you to talk with your adult children or other family members about what you want for your life now, and in the future.

It’s important for you, since it’s your life that you’re planning for. Continue reading

14 Technologies Seniors Should Use to Make Life Easier

14 Technologies Seniors Should Use to Make Life Easier

Technology Allows Aging in Place to Happen

The most efficient way to lower long-term care costs is to remain at home and to delay nursing home placement. People can stay in their homes using home and community-based services. What cost-effective means will keep them safe and independent? We think it’s technology. But which ones? Here are 14 technologies seniors should use to make their lives easier.

Read the rest of this article here, on AssistedLiving.About.com

October 1:  International Day of Older Persons

With advances in medicine helping more people to live longer lives, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050 and will require radical societal change, according to a new report released by the WHO for the International Day of Older Persons (1 October).

Source: WHO | WHO: Number of people over 60 years set to double by 2050; major societal changes required

See also:

WHO Fact sheet on Ageing and Health

WHO World Report on Ageing and Health (full report) (executive summary)

The 10 Best US Cities for Technology-Assisted Living

This article comes to us from Redfin Blog. To find the “best” cities for tech-supported living, the authors of this article looked at 5 app-based services that aging adults would find useful, monthly mortgage payments, and monthly assisted living facility costs in the cities. If it cost less to live at home and use the services than it would to live in assisted living, the cities made the list. So, while you are reading this list, please keep in mind that these are the criteria they used. Of course, there are many other options for using technology to support independent living, and if you want to read more about this, check out some of my other posts – you will see suggestions at the bottom of this post.

The 10 Best Cities for Technology-Assisted Living

by | August 11, 2015

10BestCitiesTechnologyAssistedLiving_Banner

The National Conference of State Legislatures and AARP Public Policy Institute report that nearly 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Fortunately, in most cases, they won’t have to move as they age. According to Seniorly, a service that helps people find senior care, the majority of seniors do NOT need to move into a nursing home. They simply need some care equivalent to what they would find in an assisted living community, which includes assistance with daily activities like meals, medication, housekeeping, bathing and transportation.

And these days, there’s an app for that. An elderly woman can take an Uber to her friend’s home, find someone to walk her dog through Rover.com, schedule her lawn to be mowed or her house to be cleaned through Porch, get groceries delivered through Instacart, and schedule a professional caregiver to assist with bathing, meal preparation and other daily living activities through CareLinx. Or, for those seniors who aren’t tech-savvy, friends and family can use these technology-based services to arrange care for them. Continue reading

Easier way to find digital services for the aged

Database of digital services for carers of the elderly launched

3 July, 2015 by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre
The new database publishes ICT-based services ensuring the dissemination of existing good practices and rasies awareness about them.

With an ageing population, the number of people in need of long-term care is increasing. As constant caring for someone is challenging, different services are developed to assist carers in fulfilling their activities. In this context, the JRC partnered with EUROCARERS to launch a new online database of digital services for carers of older people.

This new tool offers access to 78 good practices of digital services for older care at home, which the JRC gathered and that EUROCARERS, the European network representing informal carers and their organisations, helped make available to all.
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8 Smart Ideas for Aging in Place

 |  By : 03/05/2015 

For related information, see my post on my work with the WHO on the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities.

Baby boomers have long proclaimed their desire to stay in their homes post-retirement, a practice known as aging in place. They want to stay in the communities where they have friends, know their way around and have a support network. Cities and communities have “heard” them and many places are preparing for the groundswell of what happens when their residents creep up in years. Building a senior citizen center is nice, but clearly there’s more to it than having a place to play Bingo. Here are a few of the programs and trends that are making a difference in the lives of the nation’s aging population.

1. Solve the “driving is my independence” problem once and for all.
Older drivers have slower reaction times and more vision issues. Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But the ability to drive is synonymous with independence and independent living, so many older people are reluctant to give up their automobiles.

Twenty years ago, inspired by a desire to keep unsafe drivers off the road after an 84-year-old motorist struck and seriously injured her toddler son, Katherine Freund started the Independent Transportation Network. ITN was launched in Portland Maine and has now spread to 25 cities. People who are 65 or older (or visually impaired), pay a modest fee and are provided a ride to where they need to go, a door-to-door escort and assistance. Forty-six percent of ITN customers have an annual income of less than $25,000 and only 2 percent found the service too expensive.

Best of all, seniors can trade in their cars and earn ride credits. Rides are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any purpose.

2. Acknowledge the need to sit down.
Age-Friendly NYC wants to encourage older adults to get out to walk, shop and socialize. So the goal of this program is to install 1,500 park benches throughout the city for people to sit on. Before you scoff, remember that New York is the city that doesn’t sleep. It also doesn’t stop and rest much. There are 1 million people over 65 living in NYC, and by 2030 this number is expected to increase by 50 percent, according to the program’s website. Age-Friendly NYC also connects older New Yorkers to opportunities at NYC-area colleges and universities.

3. Make it easy to keep the brain active.
The Bernard Osher Foundation has established Lifelong Learning Institutes for adults 50 and older on 119 college and university campuses. Many community campuses allow those 65 or older to audit free uncredited courses.

Publications are printing more large print books too. Large-print crossword puzzles and word-solving games are also available.

4. Understand that eating healthy food keeps people healthier.
While everyone knows about Meals On Wheels, which delivers already prepared meals to shut-ins, not everybody wants to stop cooking for themselves. Buying groceries though can involve the need to drive and/or carry heavy bags home. In 2014, the Food For Free programs in Cambridge Massachusetts distributed 1.5 million pounds of food. It began its home delivery program in 2001, serving 12 clients that first year. Now it’s up to about 100 housebound elders. It gives seniors and people with disabilities more control over their meals, while providing a supportive service that helps them to stay in their own homes, says the group’s website. Two 40- to 45-pound food deliveries are made each month to clients and half the food delivered is fresh produce.

And there’s Mom’s Meals, which for less than $7 a meal will deliver freshly made meals that just need to be heated up and can keep up to 14 days. Mom’s Meals ships by FedEx and offer menus for diabetics and heart patients, vegans and those who are gluten-free.

5. Doctors who make house calls.
While doctors making house calls used to be a common practice a few decades ago, it’s practically unheard of now. But it’s enjoying a second life in North Carolina. Doctors Making Housecalls is a medical group of 52 clinicians who make more than 75,000 home visits a year in private residences, retirement communities, apartments and assisted living facilities in North Carolina. This is an idea that’s bound to spread, along with some routine medical procedures being handled online.

6. Encourage the building of more lifelong housing.
Rogue Valley, Oregon, has a “lifelong housing” certification program whereby home builders and sellers can have their homes certified as such. The checklist of desirable housing features includes a no-step entry, a first floor full bath, etc. The certification levels are noted in MLS listings so homebuyers seeking age-friendly/multi-generational housing can more easily find appropriate housing and housing creators will hopefully be more encouraged to create age-friendly housing, says AARP.

7. Build a park and they will come.
A vacant field in Wichita, Kansas, was turned into a grandparents park — an outdoor space that children and grandparent (caregivers) could enjoy together. http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/grandparents-park-wichita-kansas.html

8. Help keep people active.
Brownsville, Texas, has a very poor, overweight population with high diabetes rates. One in four residents is age 50 or older. The city hosts several “CycloBias” a year in which streets are closed off to cars so that people can walk, bicycle and participate in health-targeted activities.

Crowd-sourcing age-friendly locations

AGE-CAP (AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES ASSESSMENT APP)

 
The Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL) at the University of Toronto (Department of Occupational Science and Therapy) has developed a smart phone app to create a crowd-sourced database of age-friendly locations, called Age-CAP. They are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers (engineering, computer science, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and gerontology) who aim to develop zero-effort technologies (technologies that require zero effort from the “user”) that are adaptive, flexible, and intelligent.
You can read more about their work (and participate in a research study in the Toronto area) on their website.

Age-CAP is a cross-platform smart phone application which aims to create a crowd-sourced database of age-friendly locations. It consists of survey-style forms which allow users to quickly rate the age-friendliness of a location or service. The criteria for rating was developed using the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities guidelines (which I also worked on during my internship with the WHO in Copenhagen), and age-friendly community initiatives in other North American cities.

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Golden Girls lifestyle

I found this article on the Changing Aging website, where you can read the original, if you would like, or explore other interesting topics.

The Future of Robot Caregivers

I came across this opinion piece on The New York Times, you can read the original article here. I think that Louise Aronson brings up a really good point when there are discussions of the ethics of using robots as caregivers, and the effect on future generations:

As Jerald Winakur, a San Antonio internist and geriatrician, put it, “Just because we digitally savvy parents toss an iPad at our kids to keep them busy and out of our hair, is this the example we want to set when we, ourselves, need care and kindness?”

It’s a point I hadn’t thought of before, and I think she brings up an even better point as she is weighing the effect of not pursuing the use of robots as caregivers:

In an ideal world, it would be: Each of us would have at least one kind and fully capable human caregiver to meet our physical and emotional needs as we age. But most of us do not live in an ideal world, and a reliable robot may be better than an unreliable or abusive person, or than no one at all.

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Technology and Independence

Tech Advances Will Give Aging Baby Boomers More Independence

A notable trend is medication reminder functions increasingly found in mobile apps as a value-added feature that is free of charge. Medication reminders used to be marketed as a subscription service, but health-focused smartphone apps are integrating the reminder function with other health and wellness features, such as Personal Health Record, symptom checker and daily activity tracker.

By Harry Wang  You can read the original article here.
10/01/14 7:14 AM PT

The U.S. is facing a retirement wave. Seventy-six million Baby Boomers are beginning to hit the 65-year-old mark. By 2025, the number of people between 65 and 85 will account for 16.6 percent of the total population, compared with an estimated 12.5 percent in 2013, an increase of 18 million. In the U.S., the elderly prefer aging in their own home, but living at home has potential risks.

Connectivity and technology advances are enabling more sophisticated devices and tools — including personal emergency response systems, medication management, home safety and activity sensors, and GPS and location-assistance solutions — to help consumers and caretakers manage risks at home.
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Redesigning dementia care

This is a re-post from Crisis Prevention Intervention. Amy Schoenemann gives some great insight into design considerations for care!

Spotlight on Design for Dementia Care: An Interview With PDC Midwest’s Amy Schoenemann

By Terry Vittone | Posted on 06.04.2014

Spotlight on Design for Dementia Care: An Interview With PDC Midwest’s Amy Schoenemann

CPI recently had a chance to catch up with Amy Schoenemann, Director of Design Development and Project Architect for PDC Midwest, a Wisconsin-based architect-led design-build firm that specializes in senior living.

Throughout the last 18 years, PDC has been commissioned by regional and national senior care owner-operators to provide nearly 490 senior care projects in 27 states, and they are on the forefront of the trend in memory care facilities toward designing environments that engage and support residents.

Firms like PDC Midwest are of special interest to CPI’s Dementia Care Specialists, because we believe strongly that physical environments are critical components of successful memory care programs, where the combination of specialized care and environment create an optimum level of function, safety, and quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s/dementia.
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Technology and activities for people with dementia

Using ICT in activities for people with dementia

A short guide for social care providers

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has made a great page to introduce technology-supported activities for someone with dementia. It covers a wide range of topics, like how technologies can be used or help, how to start, ideas for activities, examples, and more resources if you want to find out more. I have been following their organization for a few years, since I started my PhD on technologies to support dementia care in 2009, and I recommend them as a resource if you want to learn more about bettering the lives and care of aging adults.

If you check it out, I would really like to hear your opinions and experiences! You can find the page here.

This is a short introduction to using information and communication technology (ICT) in activities for people with dementia. It is aimed at managers and staff in the care sector, and those who organise activities for people with dementia. It’s a plain language guide about using mainstream technologies – you don’t need to be technically minded. We hope it will be useful for you whether you are new to this topic or already have some experience of using ICTs in dementia support.