Fritzi Gros-Daillon, Chief Advocacy Officer • Age Safe America
Roger Landry, author of Live Long, Die Short, offered the keynote at the national conference of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. He described the current state of aging with a diagram showing growth as a young person with a leveling off of activity to about the age of 65 and then a long slow decline to death. The premise of Dr. Landry’s research was that choices about health, lifestyle, community with a sense of responsibility for financial security could lead to additional residence and much more active living through the post-retirement years. He re-visited the dynamics of the societies in the blue zones of extraordinary longevity in different parts of the world. He closed with a Tibetan saying that we should eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without limit. It is as wise in 2016 as ever.
My talk, “Gadgets & Gizmos: High Tech, Low Tech and No Tech Solutions for the Home”, presented the concepts of aging in place and universal design. There was a discussion of adaptability, accessibility, and visitability. The crux of the talk related to home safety and the range of products with which CSAs and, by extension, Age Safe Advisors should be aware. The high tech solutions include the wireless home monitoring systems and the use of GPS for the clients with dementia-induced wandering. The low tech solutions include motion sensor lights for the inside and outside of the home to reduce fall risk. The variety of lighting options, including toe kick lights and bed rail lights, were introduced. No tech solutions for clients include ways to improve contrast for clients with low vision and visual clues for the hearing-impaired clients. The new utensils with color coding and even the gyroscope handle for a client with tremors were demonstrated. The emphasis was risk management for home owners and worried but proactive family members.