Posts Tagged ‘universal design’
Home health care can avoid higher costs of institutional care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, but making space may be an issue. Fortunately, there are many options. You can give grandma the spare bedroom, convert a garage into living space, remodel the home, or add a small cottage on your property.
That last option is the idea behind MEDCottage, a charming modular home that serves as a “mini-medical facility.” It’s designed like a deluxe trailer for the elderly, but it doesn’t look like a trailer. I like the idea of relying on experts to integrate various systems, where the combined value is greater than the sum benefits of each part.
by Angel Carl, Right at Home, May 17, 2011
With more than 75 computer tablets showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, one industry analyst has christened 2011 as the “Year of the Tablet.” Accompanying all the buzz over this new technology is the promise it holds for connecting the disconnected, including older adults who have struggled with setting up a personal computer, installing software and dealing with annoying error notifications.
by Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk
About the submission
Lifted by the Cloud is a 7min vision video of cloud-based accessibility submitted by Modern Health Talk founder Wayne Caswell as part of a contest sponsored by the FCC, the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, and Raising the Floor. It’s based on the author’s 2006 presentation on BIG Broadband and Gigabit-to-the-Home. The source PowerPoint slides and a script with additional information are available online.
If you can’t see the video below, you can watch on YouTube.
Passive devices like wireless motion sensors and Nike+ sensors in running shoes are great ways to monitor activity and progress, but what about your chemical makeup? Toilets, it seems, are ideal places to check bodily fluids automatically and on a regular basis. A Huffington Post article about Kohler’s smart toilet caused me to write this with my own twist and with more focus on home healthcare.
Robots and other assistive technology may be inevitable in aged care moving into the future, but can they replace the human touch? Annie May reports. Reprinted with permission from Aged Care INsite, Apr/May 2011
Standing at just 40cm tall and looking suspiciously like the latest toy their grandchildren have been dropping hints about for their upcoming birthdays, Matilda the robot doesn’t give the impression that she has much to offer in the way of care for the elderly.
So when placed in front of an aged care resident to talk about her diet, the resident doesn’t have high expectations. But on admitting to having a love of sweets, Matilda is quick to inform her about all the negative health impacts this indulgence can have. Becoming slightly anxious, – whether a result of being lectured by a bright orange robot or at the thought of having to cut back on her sweets – the resident is then shocked at being reassured by the robot.
How can it be that this baby-face robot can read emotions and give a sensitive response? The result of a breakthrough by Melbourne and Japanese scientists, Matilda is one of two robots, the other her brother Jack, which has been developed with ‘emotional intelligent’ software.
By Julie Williamson, 4/01/2011, with permission from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living
Much of Julie’s advice for assisted living centers can also help people with neurological problems stay longer in the familiar surroundings of their homes, so I thank her for letting me republish it here.
As more seniors enter assisted living with mild to moderate dementia, operators are faced with a somewhat daunting dilemma: how they can keep residents who tend to wander safe, without stripping them of their independence and freedom to roam the community they call home.
Marketers have noticed the changing needs and immense purchasing power of baby boomers, and their companies are responding with product design and messaging that’s directly aimed at this demographic. They are also realizing that products designed for seniors and the disabled don’t have to scream, “I’m old and frail or handicapped!”
Kohler’s line of “Aging in Place” products typifies good Universal Design since they can fit well in any bathroom. Rather than detract from the value of a home, Kohler’s products add functionality, comfort, convenience, and value. Although the Kohler products featured in their microsite target people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other debilitating conditions, they can just as easily benefit someone with a simple sprained ankle.
My point is that everyone has a disability sometime, so products should acknowledge and support that. It may be too dark or too bright to see clearly, or the home may have filled with smoke from a fire. It may be too noisy to hear, either from loud guests at your party or that darn smoke detector going off again. You may have both arms full of groceries and find that opening the door or turning on the lights is difficult.
Shown in this photo are:
- Pedestal Sink with knee space for a wheelchair that provides an airy feel and makes the room look larger
- Lever faucet is easy to turn on without twisting and helps eliminate scalding
- Comfortable height toilet has grab bars nearby
- Bath also has grab bars and an handheld shower head with adjustable height
Over the next few months, I’ll add more articles about Universal Design, but I wrote this one after visiting the Kohler site.
In this 7min Flash video, NBC’s Peter Alexander reports on understanding & preparing for old age.
- 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day in the U.S. alone.
- In 20 years, 72 million people (20% of the population) will be 65 or over.
- MIT’s AgeLab is studying the problem with help from AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), a special suit that gives wearers the experience of being 74 years old as they carry out daily activities.
- The goal of MIT’s research is to help companies reinvent products and services for an aging population. [But rather than design specifically for the elderly, we encourage Universal Design concepts that work for everyone.]
For more info on the MIT AgeLab and their AGNES suit, see this New York Times article.