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October 2009

A leading resource for people who are searching for products, services, information and reassurance to better age in place.

AIP Bulletin

Quote of the Month

“If the technology we develop can delay the need to send people from their homes to assisted living or nursing facilities by even one month, we can save our nation $1.12 billion annually.”

Jim Osborn, executive director of the Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center (QoLT ERC), a joint project between Carnegie Mellon University
 and the University of Pittsburgh
 AIP Tech Center: Robots Can Extend Aging In Place

AIP Technology: Toyota Mobina

The number of adults over age 85 is set to triple worldwide over the next 40 years. By 2030 the U.S. Census Bureau expects the number of people living with disabilities to grow from 60 million to 75 million. “Many will need physical, emotional, and cognitive assistance,” says the University of Southern California’s (USC) Maja Mataric, PhD, a professor and the senior associate dean for research computer science at the Viterbi School of Engineering. “The age pyramid is becoming a rectangle, with as many old as younger people. This is where technology must step in and help.”

What does this mean? The timing is right for assistive technologies to enable aging in place according to Athan Bezaitis, MA writing for Aging Well Magazine. "Scientists envision a day when it will be no surprise to find a grandmother living with a household robot like uBot-5, developed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which helps her lift things, uses a stethoscope to check her vitals, dials 911, and provides video conferencing to keep her in contact with the outside world. While it costs around $65,000 to construct in the labs, its creators anticipate a $2,000 price tag for mass production. Compare this rate with the cost of human caregivers that can easily exceed $1,000 per week, and the savings become clear."

A selection of products currently in development and on the drawing board include:

  • NavPrescience: a smart driving assistant (watch video on blog)
  • Ishoe: detects balance problems
  • MemExerciser: for people with age-related episodic or mild memory loss
  • Mobina: a wheelchair that can either carry users or act as porter for those who prefer to walk
  • Socially Assistive Robots: designed to act as companions and coaches

Bryan Adams, PhD, principal investigator at I-Bot sees "particular promise in robots that assist with medical compliance and cognitive wellness. He also sees potential for caregivers in a mobile robot that allows users to communicate through video with the outside world."

Other countries are leading the United States in the development and integration of assistive technologies. Part of it has to do with funding. Governments in Europe, Japan and Korea invest in research and development of robotics for healthcare. U.S. robotic funding is directed to the military.

Related Story: Real Time Control Of Wheelchair With Brain Waves

Post your comments on the blog

AIP Idea Center: Signature Series: Open Sesame Automatic Door Systems

AIPatHome.com Idea Center: Open Sesame Automated Door Systems

Automatic Door Opener
Open Sesame Door Systems, Inc.

"Awesome customer service and very reliable product," are just two reasons Adam Fine likes the Open Sesame automated door opener. This professional grade access system unlatches a locked door, then opens, pauses and closes it - all automatically. It can be operated with a variety of wheelchair mounted remote controls, wall push pads and other specialty controls customized to accommodate almost any physical disability.

 Go to: Open Sesame Exhibit

Readers' Stories

Last month Robin Hightower wrote to tell us about her newly built home designed with her family's current and future aging in place needs in mind.  Since then she sent in some pictures....we do love pictures! :-) Click here to read her story and see the pictures.

Have you made any changes to make your home or a loved one's safer or more comfortable for aging in place? Or made lifestyle changes that accommodate changing physical and emotional needs? Share your tips and suggestions with others. Send us an email or fill out this form.

Talk to Us

Your rants, raves, suggestions and stories are always welcome...especially the raves!  Seriously, tell us what we can do to help bring you the information and access to other resources you need to best age-in-place, in the home and community of your choice.  Send your comments and stories to talktous@aipathome.com.

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