Some of the most extraordinary (for us) are:
Bridging the gap in communications for deaf people. This app provides and supports the freedom and reliance that a mobile phone offers.
It allows someone who is hard of hearing or deaf to make calls using text messages.
To do this, they simply type a message on the screen, which is translated into speech by the app, so the person on the other end of the line can hear.
Anything the recipient of the call says in response is translated back into text for the caller to read.
The simplicity of the Pedius helps deaf people speak to family, friends and in fact, anyone, without the use of expensive equipment or a mediator.
The application is available for both iPhone and Android users, on mobile and tablet. Only the person using the technology needs to download it.
Assistive technology solutions that help people with disabilities do things that everyone takes for granted.
Smartbox Assistive Technology
From communication aids to computer controls and interactive learning, Smartbox is finding ways to assist children and adults with disabilities using its Grid Pad.
The Grid Pad’s communication aids represent the next-generation of software for symbol and text communication.
If you’ve not heard of symbol communication before, it essentially enables the user to get across what they want to say by using symbols that represent words and phrases.
With a huge array of pre-arranged sets of symbols,adapted to the user’s taste, Grid Pad helps people communicate instantly.
Grid Pad also helps people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) learn through fun and educational activities.
There are a plethora of animated exercises to choose from, including playing an instrument, taking care of an on-screen dog and many more.
Grid Pad also allows someone to control their home from the symbols on the Grid Pad, such as turning the lights on, switching channels on their TV and opening and closing the front door. They will be able to integrate their social media platforms into the program and stay connected with the world through apps.
With more than 40 years’ experience, Abilia isn’t new to the world of assistive technology. Its products help people to structure their day, communicate, control appliances in their home and call for attention.
Whether someone has Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADHD/ADD, or autism spectrum disorder, Abilia helps people live a more fulfilling life. It believes that everyone should have the same opportunities to participate in society on their terms.
Its aids are divided into four categories: communication, cognition, environmental control and alarms. Here are just a couple of examples of its products.
- Control Omni – allows the user to control their home with just the click of a button, and communicate with the outside world thanks to a built-in mobile phone
- Emfit Epilepsy Alarm – developed to register epileptic attacks and alert someone to help.
Abilia gives people with special needs the power to become independent and take control of their daily lives.
Robotic exoskeletons help get back on their feet
Ekso Bionics has been committed for more than 10 years to developing the latest technology and engineering, to help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable.
The EksoGT is the first exoskeleton of its kind, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, to be used for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
It’s designed to help patients get back on their feet and, consequently, reduces the physical strain on therapists and the risk of injury during rehabilitation sessions.
This robotic exoskeleton allows people to stand up and walk within a clinical setting, with the skeleton bearing the full weight of their bodies.
This exoskeleton enables people to get moving early on in the recovery, to help the recovery process move faster.
Active Aging & Independent Living Innovation
Insights from The Current Landscape for Independent Living Development (USA)
Active adults a ‘new frontier’
These days, the active adult segment is filling some of the roles that independent living communities played just a decade prior.
“Currently, the [independent living] consumer profile is almost the same as assisted living,” Peck said. “It’s different than 10 years ago, when it used to be much more like what we’re seeing coming out of the active adult category now.”
While Washington, D.C.-based senior living investment and development firm Capitol Seniors Housing (CSH) had traditionally invested in independent living communities in the past, it branched out into the active adult marketplace last year. Today, CSH invests primarily in the “bookends” of the senior care continuum: active living, memory care and assisted living, said Scott Stewart, managing partner at CSH.
“We experienced the difficulties of having independent living,” Stewart said. “While we still like the space in certain markets, we’ve gravitated more toward the active living side…we think it’s the new frontier for senior housing.”
Strategies for Mixed-Use Development in Seior Living
There have never been more ways for senior living providers to capitalize on the benefits of mixed-use development. They just have to think outside the box.
New Active Adult Housing
‘Adapt the Marriott Courtyard model’
The senior living industry has seen the rise of multipurpose common areas that can fill many roles. For example, a fitness center might become a yoga studio one day and a venue for dance lessons the next. These kind of flexible spaces are important in independent living communities preparing for the future, according to Martin Siefering, principal at architectural firm Perkins Eastman.
“I like to compare this to the way that Marriott Courtyard deals with this. In the morning, their common space is called the breakfast room. In the evening, it’s called the bar, and at night, it’s called the restaurant,” Siefering said. “That gives you, within one room, more choice and more flexibility.”
Another trend he identified was the need to design communities with homelike design features, such as full kitchens, walk-in closets and bath-and-a-half setups. The idea is that, in order to entice healthy seniors, providers need to offer them many of the things they currently have at home.
“We try to get the same kind of amenities you’d have in an apartment,” Siefering said. “They’re not really giving up anything when they move in.”
Residents crave experiences
One way to entice residents to move into senior living communities at a younger age is to offer them stellar experiences, according to Gerald Jackson, senior vice president of operations for Solstice Senior Living. Solstice is a 32-community operator formed by a partnership between management company Integral Senior Living and real estate investment trust (REIT) Colony Northstar in 2017.
The centerpiece of that is “Vibrant Life,” a series of activity programs developed by Integral to optimize the health and wellbeing of residents. One example of that is “Livin’ the Dream,” an initiative designed to help older adults live out their lifelong dream activities, such as flying a plane or riding on a zip line.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to help change that whole perception of aging,” Jackson said.
Other experiences Solstice offers includes volunteer opportunities and restaurant-style dining that independent living providers must employ in order to stay competitive, he added.