In the past, a decrease in independence and standard of living was par for the course as individuals aged. It was seen as an inevitable effect of needing more care as illness and frailty set in. But in the 21st century, that is quickly changing. Exciting inventions and discoveries are being made every day in the home care sector. And on November 19-20, 2015, they will be highlighted and discussed at Aging2.0’s AgeTech Expo at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.
Why Aging2.0, you may ask? What was wrong with the 1.0 version? Well, nothing was wrong per se. The way we used to handle care for older adults may have been fine in the beginning. However, as client and customer needs have changed, along with advances in medicine, it is time for a shift in how we approach innovating to meet the needs of older adults. That’s what this event is all about.
Aging1.0 recognized challenges and problems facing the aging population, while Aging2.0 will explore opportunities for growth and increased life satisfaction by clients. Aging1.0 focused mainly on health care (a pathology/treatment model). Aging2.0 focuses on health, wellness, and lifestyle—a more comprehensive, holistic view. The previous expo was mission driven—nothing wrong with that! But Aging2.0 is mission and business-driven. That means bringing together some of the brightest minds and evaluating the best ideas to address the goal of offering superior senior care.
Much of Aging1.0 was based on institutional living, i.e. eventually transferring older adults into nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc. Aging2.0 is focused on community living. This means that older adults can “age-in-place,” or remain in their home or preferred residences. Services addressed with Aging1.0 mainly came from the government or non-profit organizations. Services explored within Aging2.0 look to be an intriguing mix of for-profit and non-profit partnerships, as well as entrepreneurship.
Aging2.0 and IOA
Institute on Aging is dedicated to improving the lives of older adults, which is why we have a natural, productive partnership with Aging2.0. In fact, Aging2.0 used to have offices in our building. Our employees continue to speak at their conferences and vice versa. Through these and other events, we love inspiring innovation together.
That’s why IOA is proud to be involved in this year’s Aging2.0 Tech Expo. Our Chief Operating Officer, Cindy Kauffman, MS, will be speaking at the event. IOA will also be the site of an Innovation Tour. These tours of 30-40 people are exclusively for the conference attendees, who go to several select locations in addition to the expo itself. This is a great way for entrepreneurs to connect with older adults, especially those who haven’t spent much time with their demographic. After touring the senior care services, there will be lunch, and then a discussion of innovation opportunities and client needs.
Caregivers Embracing Technology and Innovation
IOA finds that caregivers are very interested in solutions that make their jobs easier, but that don’t involve a huge learning curve. Any learning curves that are involved need to have big payoffs! For this reason, home monitoring devices are particularly popular, as they have room sensors that allow caregivers to do their jobs.
One example of this is something called Lively, which uses passive, stylish activity sensors and a social sharing platform. Lively’s goal is to help older adults live independently longer while increasing their connection to family.
Another innovation with a big payoff is True Link, which protects seniors’ money by utilizing a caregiver-managed debit card. It includes personalized spending controls and extra protection from fraud and scams. We strongly encourage clients and their families who use the IOA financial services department to consider True Link. It’s even recommended by our Director of Elder Abuse Prevention!
What’s next for Aging2.0?
Improvements in senior care aren’t about to end! Stay tuned for more about the innovations IOA currently uses (and plans to use in 2016). We’ve also got personal stories about how technology has affected the lives of older adults, as well as challenges and proposed solutions to using technology in service provision. And the list doesn’t stop there! The bottom line is, it’s a great time to be working with older adults and new techniques for providing outstanding care.
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home care for older adults. Contact us to find out more.