Can Tech Transform Aging?

Can technology transform aging in America? It’s a compelling question, and in fact I recently participated in a panel discussion with that very title. The panel, hosted by Politico, discussed community-based care and technological innovations to help older adults age in their own homes and communities. Technology, of course, is ingrained in every aspect of our society. While technology can produce benefits that improve the quality of life of older adults and support family caregivers, there are still barriers and …

4 Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

I have been both a live-in caregiver and a long-distance caregiver. In fact, currently, I’m really both. My dad lives with me (as do my sister and her two sons at the moment), and I also travel for work, about a week every month. I’ve learned to manage my loved ones’ care no matter where I am. Here are some of my tips for other long-distance caregivers. 1) Include local people on your caregiving team. My paternal grandparents lived in …

Communities Benefit From Digital Inclusion

Today, almost everyone in the United States has the option of purchasing an Internet connection. Yet tens of millions of Americans do not share in many of the social and economic benefits that Internet use affords. An increasing number of communities are taking action to address this issue. Beyond the digital divide The term “digital divide” first appeared 20 years ago to describe the gap between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not. The goal …

The Best Gift We Can Give Each Other (and It’s Free)

Growing up, we got our Christmas trees from Mr. Munro, the man who owned our house before us. He had studied horticulture in college and taught at a school for years. He owned a tree farm a few hours away from his home, so in his 70s, he decided to sell that home and move to the farm full time. My mom and dad were new to town and in their late 20s — sans kids and dog. Those would come later. …

Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Technology Change?

Digital Readiness Digital readiness refers to what people do with information and communications technology and what they know about the opportunities and risks of using it. It focuses on what technology people have: what it is, how to get it, and how to use it. The issue has become more important as digital networks extend far beyond home computers and phones to include more objects of everyday life such as appliances, cars, thermostats and clothing. This growing “Internet of Things” …

Adult Children: Put the Phone Away and Let’s Talk

As a college professor, I made a radical decision about a year ago: I banned smartphones and laptops during class. Honestly, I can’t compete with Facebook or an Internet flash sale or texts from friends. My students now take their notes the old-fashioned way with pen on paper. And it turns out that students who take notes by hand learn better. Now I’d like to do the same with cellphones at home and social gatherings. The biggest generation gap is …