“Blind Patients to Test Bionic Eye Brain Implants | prosthesis could help more people who have lost their vision than a device already on the market.” – MIT Technology Review
by Emily Mullin
“The maker of the world’s first commercial artificial retina, which provides partial sight to people with a certain form of blindness, is launching a clinical trial for a brain implant designed to restore vision to more patients.
“The company, Second Sight, is testing whether an array of electrodes placed on the surface of the brain can return limited vision to people who have gone partially or completely blind. For decades, scientists have been trying to develop brain implants to give sight back to the blind but have had limited success. If the Second Sight device works, it could help millions of blind patients worldwide, including those who have lost one or both eyes.
“The device, called the Orion, is a modified version of the company’s current Argus II bionic eye, which involves a pair of glasses outfitted with a camera and an external processor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the company a conditional approval for a small study involving five patients at two sites, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of California, Los Angeles.”
Continue reading this article at the MIT Technology Review.
“The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that 56.7 million Americans had some type of disability in 2010, which represents 18.7 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population included in the 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. As of December 2015, approximately 11 million individuals were SSDI beneficiaries, and about 8 million were SSI beneficiaries.
“SSA currently considers assistive devices in the nonmedical and medical areas of its program guidelines. During determinations of substantial gainful activity and income eligibility for SSI benefits, the reasonable cost of items, devices, or services applicants need to enable them to work with their impairment is subtracted from eligible earnings, even if those items or services are used for activities of daily living in addition to work. In addition, SSA considers assistive devices in its medical disability determination process and assessment of work capacity.
“The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation provides an analysis of selected assistive products and technologies, including wheeled and seated mobility devices, upper-extremity prostheses, and products and technologies selected by the committee that pertain to hearing and to communication and speech in adults.
SOURCE: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24740.
“Technology Adoption by Baby Boomers (and everybody else)” – Pew Research Center – Internet & Technology
“Innovation and technology go hand in hand in developing the vision and strategy for the business solutions these leaders employ to engage current and new customers (boomers and beyond), and to establish new business models. Explore the best practices in innovation that drive new revenue generation. How is innovation affected by the adoption of technology by older consumers? Lee Rainie and Andrew Perrin present what works and what doesn’t when innovating in large public and nonprofit organizations at the Boomer Summit in Washington.”
“The word ‘addiction’ brings to mind alcohol and drugs. Yet, over the past 20 years, a new type of addiction has emerged: addiction to social media. It may not cause physical harms, such as those caused by tobacco and alcohol, but it has the potential to cause long-term damage to our emotions, behaviour and relationships.
“While the older generation – those born in the baby boom period shortly after World War II – had alcohol and drugs as their vice, the younger generation – the so-called millenials – have social media as theirs. The millennials, born between 1984 and 2005, have embraced the digital age, using technology to relax and interact with others. Social media is a big deal for them; it is a lifeline to the outside world.
“Although people of all ages use social media, it is more harmful for younger users than it is for older people.
“Addiction may seem a bit of a strong word to use in the context of social media, but addiction refers to any behaviour that is pleasurable and is the only reason to get through the day.”
“Imagine all the non-digital photos and memorabilia. Forget Airbnb and driving for Uber. Boomers with creativity, organizational skill and some technology can follow multiple small business paths that have large emotional implications for the customer. Consider the large and small albums of photos, cassette tapes, home movies – not just from the boomers aged 51-71, but from their parents, and even some from their parents’ parents. Will anyone want it? Cynics contend that not only will the old content be lost due to disinterest, but that current content (selfies, group photos, Facebook and Instagram shots of that great dinner) will also be lost, some say, to collective disinterest – the photo only mattering in the moment.”
Continue reading this brief article at Aging In Place Technology Watch.
by Denise Logeland
“Here’s what to expect in 5 years, 10 years and the ‘Jetsons’ future”
“Expect a caregiving environment rich in technology in the not-so-distant future. But along with that, there’ll be an emphasis on human connection to counter the devastating health effects of social isolation on older people.
“This month, we’ve been marking the fifth anniversary of Next Avenue, but not with a look back. Instead, we’ve been trying to peer into the future for people 50 and older. We wanted learn how everything will change — or not: living, learning, work, personal finance, health and now caregiving.
“We received help on the caregiving front from three experts who have an eye on trends.
“Demographically, we’ll be facing hard realities in the next five to 10 years, says Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of the research and consulting firm AgeWave, and a 2016 Next Avenue Influencer in Aging.”
Here’s a website that can be quite helpful for persons with a disability or caretakers of a someone with a disability.
“DisabilityHelpers.net is a place for those with friends or family members who are disabled to get together and share ideas, suggestions and learnings about the challenges and joys of life. Having someone in your life with different abilities offers a unique perspective on things that may seem mundane to others, and we hope that through this collaborative effort we are able to help others see the beauty in the everyday in a new way.
“Many social barriers have already been removed from those with disability, but there is much work yet to be done to allow everyone to be as independent as possible to live, learn and love within their community. Our goal is to provide information for caretakers of those with a disability about healthy living, school, safety, transitions, finding support and independent living.”
And here (thank you, Linda J. for sharing) are some really useful links you may find useful:
“How to make a home much more friendly to seniors using wheelchairs or walkers” – California Healthline
The housing industry has failed to accommodate an aging population, experts say. (iStock)
by Judith Graham
“When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.
“That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.
“Bathroom doorways are too narrow to get through. Hallways don’t allow enough room to turn around. Light switches are too high and electrical outlets too low to reach easily. Cabinets beneath a kitchen sink prevent someone from rolling up close and doing the dishes.
“It’s an ‘aha moment’ for most of his students, who’ve never actually experienced these kinds of limitations or realized so keenly how home design can interfere with — or promote — an individual’s functioning.
“About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers.
“That number is set to swell with the aging population … ”
Continue reading this article at California Healthline, click here.