When you think of older individuals, your mind automatically conjures up images of senior care living spaces that cater exclusively to elders. These spaces, designed by companies like Ozarch, http://ozarch.com/practice-areas/senior-living/, are created to optimize the senior experience. Every aspect of design revolves around optimizing the senior lifestyle. But it’s not just living spaces that focus on baby boomers and beyond. There are also startup companies that are focusing on the senior care market to help improve their quality of life.
Over the next 30 years, 60 million baby boomers will officially become senior citizens. This will double the current population of senior citizens. As this group will eventually become the largest population, it’s important that more businesses focus on improving their lifestyles. Here are five businesses geared towards seniors:
Posit Science is a cochlear implant that focuses on brain fitness exercises. Over 110 studies have proven that Posit’s flagship product, Brain HQ, has significantly improved memory and attention and increased processing speed. Furthermore, another analysis of 18 similar brain-training programs found that Brain HQ was the most reliable and likely to achieve desirable results.
Naturally, the brain slows down as people age, but with the right tools and guidance, those age-induced effects can be reversed. After all, the brain itself isn’t decaying. According to Posit Science’s CEO, with products like Brain HQ, users in their 80s can develop brain processing speeds just as fast as those in their 20s.
GreatCall was launched in 2006 to help bridge the gap between elders and technology. Over the past decade, they’ve built several products to achieve this, including the Jitterbug, a smartphone with large font and other features that the elder population can easily grasp. They also provide Splash, a waterproof medical alert device, and Lively Wearable, a medical fitness tracker with emergency alert capabilities.
The premise of GreatCall is discussed in a white paper titled “Connecting the Lonely: Making a Difference in the Well-Being of Older Adults,” which describes the feelings of loneliness and isolation often found in the senior population. Social isolation in this sector is as high as 43%. Using social technology offered by companies like GreatCall can help mitigate those feelings.
Like something out of a “Black Mirror” episode, Rendever uses virtual reality to help seniors explore a new way of life. The startup aims to help elders whose ailments restrict them from exploring the outside world. The goal is to improve their quality of life and reduce those feelings of isolation and depression that many people feel as they age.
Virtual technology is a huge market, but not many companies are focusing on the potential it can have for senior care. With companies like Rendever, seniors can visit a tropical island, virtually attend their grandchild’s wedding, and watch their grandchildren opening gifts. The possibilities are endless, especially as virtual tech develops over the years.
For seniors, virtual reality is also a key to unlocking powerful nostalgic moments that can increase happiness. Senior Craig Palmer’s virtual experience is a great example of how it works. Palmer hadn’t left his NYC apartment in four years when he tried virtual reality for the first time. While sitting on his bed, he visited one of his favorite vacation spots, Stonehenge, and then took to the streets of London near his old apartment.
Cake is a mobile app that aims to make it easier for seniors to discuss death and final wishes with their family, friends, and care providers. Among families, it’s a difficult topic, and most people aren’t sure how to address it. But the right preparation can help everyone in the long-run. According to Cake founder Suelin Chen, the CAKE app behaves as an ice-breaker for one of the toughest issues to discuss. It has an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate.
Users are presented with a series of Yes or No questions that revolve around post and pre-death preferences, such as funeral arrangements and estate planning. The app also has an online component where designated individuals can access and plan based on stored answers and other data.
Linked Senior is a series of interactive, customized video content geared towards seniors. The program contains music therapy, cognitive exercises, and various games. The music section offers a library of nostalgic songs from the patient’s favorite decade. According to the company founder, the suite of products has resulted in mood improvements and the reduction of antipsychotic drug use to control aggressive behavior.