Age-Friendly Universities: A Different Take on Aging and Education

I just saw a notice for a symposium about the Age-Friendly Universities (AFU) initiative, being held July 24, 2017. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of the AFU! From what I’ve been able to learn in a very short time, AFU was begun at Dublin City College in 2012. A working group led by […]

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“Person centred care” — sounds a lot like “person-centered design”

Medical schools (notoriously short on geriatric programs) are trying to give med students some insight into the lives of their older patients via virtual reality. Students can put on a VR headset ( to experience the world through the eyes and ears of someone with advanced macular degeneration and high-frequency hearing loss. This is a […]

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Art, Art Teachers, and Artisanship

A few great articles that’ve come my way recently, all dealing with art and aging: Elderly Graffiti Artists in Portugal – LATA 65, an organization in Lisbon, is trying to bridge the divide younger and older generations by encouraging older adults to become graffiti artists. They provide everything: cans of spray paint, masks, stencils, sites–even workshops on the history […]

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U Maine's Assistive Jogger

Assistive Jogger: Rolling out of another Cross-Disciplinary Program

  Sometimes, people really balk at the prospect of using a walker. Even those who could really benefit. Maybe they believe that using a walker will stigmatize as them, label them as old and feeble, represent a loss of independence to them. Another take, however, is that a walker can allow someone to keep socially engaged and […]

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Can Aging Really Be the New Black?

A couple of articles caught my eye last week, and my mind merged them into this post. First, NPR reporter Ina Jaffe was interviewed by Scott Simon in  At Aging Conference, Aging Is the New Black. The title comes from an Old Is the New Black* T-shirt she saw at the Aging in America Conference. Second, Fast Company’s 25 […]

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In Japan, off the Drawing Board and into the Home

Since writing a 3-part series of articles on college students who were designing technologies for older adults earlier this year, I haven’t seen much on the topic. However, this week SFGate carried an article on Tools in Aging Japan: Robotic spines & Segway-like stools, and it contained several familiar-sounding products. The video phone and the exoskeleton reminded […]

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Design Challenges and Other Events

It’s a busy season for aging-related design challenges, forums, exhibitions, and conferences. Recent and upcoming events include: August 2013: OpenIDEO announced the winners of their Design Challenge, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. Running from June-August, the theme was “How might we all maintain wellbeing and thrive as we age?” The 6 winning proposals included creating […]

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Although I’ve never owned a Kindle, I’m familiar with them because they are so prominently featured on’s home page (which I visit often).   Something about the recently-launched Kindle Fire HDX caught my eye:  the inclusion of a Mayday button. Tapping on Mayday brings up a video chat window with a tech support person.  This […]

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iOS 7: Change can be good…unless you hate it.

One time, I lost 17 years of online financial records, because I hadn’t realized that the latest Mac OS and Intuit weren’t on speaking terms.  Ever since, I’ve made a point of waiting until release x.1 of something.  Last week, however, I installed iOS 7 as soon as possible, because I needed to preview it […]

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Calico: Even Google, Even Apple?

Listening to NPR on the way home from strength-training (both good for one’s brain), I caught a little blurb about a new company called Calico.  Started by Google, its focus will be on “health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”  Larry Page, CEO of Google, stated:  “Illness and aging affect […]

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