Thursday, June 29, 2006

High-tech elderly

……Sarah Lueck, writing in the Wall Street Journal (June 26), riffs on the eldercare of the future.

…HA once wrote about NASA’s House of the Future (this was 25 years ago). It had sensors in the yard to trip a burglar alarm should someone sneak in, state-of- the-then-art everything. They had a family live in it and test-drive it. HA asked the wife her favorite feature and she said, “The dishwasher. I don’t have one at home.”

…So much for getting too fancy.

…One health care advance touted by the WSJ was a beeping watch to remind a person to take a pill and whether to eat food with it or not.

…This fellow also could play solitaire online and his physician could “hack in” and see if the old guy was tracking. (Like HA is sooo sure any doctor, anywhere on our planet, would do this.)

…His house monitors when he gets up—and his kids can click in and be sure he’s still toddling around. (The Aware Home at the University of Georgia also does this.)

….A form of caller ID (described as “on steroids”) cuts in whenever someone comes to the door or phones—it has their picture and what was last discussed. (Ought to be helpful for the police.)

…Robo-docs can also be deployed to ask the patient questions.

…If you stand at the sink and take the wrong pill, a disembodied voice will correct you.

…The Aware Home ( also has a screen watching Grandma cook and telling her which ingredients have already been added. If she can’t track that well, should she be cooking with real heat?

…HA does not mean to be a crankypants. A “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button might be a worthwhile thing to have around. A monitor-headed “doctor,” every move transmitted to kids, and the notion that doctors will tune in to see what level Grandpa is on in his game of Grand Theft Auto—not so much.

…All HA needs is someone to shop for her and a cute cabana boy. At least, that is the plan.

…But we all know HA is cynical. What you do think, readers?


Bill Thomasson said...

Basically, I'm with you. Except I don't know about the cute cabana boy -- I don't think my wife would approve.

Star said...

Maybe your wife can bring you a towel in her bikini then.

virocana said...
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