Best Buy, Independa, Reemo and More Join Forces to Help Older Adults Remain Independent at 2nd Annual Reimagine Aging Conference

Minnetonka, Minn. – Few decisions tug on the heart strings — or the purse strings — more than finding care and comfort for an elderly loved one who has health problems or needs help with daily living. Yet, the way we can best help the older adults in our life is changing. Only 3.6% of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes. The other 96.4% of Americans over 65 years old are choosing to “age in place” and stay in their homes rather than move to alternative retirement settings often resulting in more responsibilities for caregivers.

It can be hard for caregivers and older adults to know how to adapt to these changes, and get the best care possible. It is important for caregivers, and older adults to have a better understanding on how new technologies can help them remain comfortably in their own homes.

An exciting event is taking place on October, 12th, the Reimagine Aging Conference.

Presented by Senior Community Services with the support of Innovations Sponsor, Allianz Life, the Reimagine Aging Conference, will take place on Thursday, October 12th. This year’s theme, Technology for Independent Living, offers the opportunity for caregivers and older adults as well as HR and EAP professionals, professionals in the aging field and social workers to learn about the latest innovations in technology that make it easier and safer for older adults to remain independent, while helping caregivers maintain health and balance in their own lives. Social workers who attend the conference will earn 2.25 CEU’s.

“Our vision for the Reimagine Aging Conference is to showcase how technology improves the lives of older adults and their caregivers and to create partnerships by bringing thought leaders & other senior service providers together to continue to innovate in utilizing technology to improve the lives of older adults and those who care for them,” says Senior Community Services CEO, Deb Taylor

We are excited to kick off the conference with a dynamic keynote address from Jennifer Willey, Chief Business Officer of Independa who will be joining us all the way from New Jersey. Independa is the global leader in remote engagement technologies, which enables the best remote engagement and care by leveraging Independa’s award-winning software platform to integrate across the TV and other everyday devices. Willey brings with her more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of technology and health-building innovative, strategic partnerships most recently serving as Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Partnerships for WebMD.

Willey will then join three other panelists representing business, employers, government and academia for an interactive panel discussion. Other panelists include Joe Gaugler, Long-Term Care Professor in Nursing at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Julia Halberg, Vice President of Global Heath and Chief Wellness Officer at General Mills, and Emily Piper Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Panelists will share their insights on technology and engage the audience in thinking about the future where we Reimagine Aging.

Carolyn Pare, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Health Action Group, a coalition of more than 50 public and private employers dedicated to health care market reform, will be moderating the panel discussion as well as emceeing the event.

Following the panel discussion there will be a brief break to visit exhibitors, one of which is Best Buy with their new Assured Living in-home sensors for older adults and caregivers. Best Buy describes Assured Living as a way for caregivers to keep connected while allowing your loved one to live and thrive independently.

After the break, Senior Community Services Licensed social worker, Krystal Wiebusch will lead one of four breakout sessions. Wiebusch will teach attendees of her session about Senior Community Services free, online tool for caregivers, CareNextion. The session will demonstrate how www.carenextion.org will change the way seniors find resources to live independently as well as show how informal caregivers can be organized and successful with this free, online tool that helps families manage coordination of care, gain access to local resources, and obtain phone support.

In his breakout sessions, John Fraser, Lifesprk’s Chief Technology Officer, will lead a discussion about thinking differently with Aging2.0. Aging2.0 is an international organization out to change the conversation in aging. With more than 400 events in 20 countries supported by more than 150 corporate Alliance members, its goal is to stop talking about local, clinical and siloed approaches and start talking about collaborative, lifestyle oriented and opportunity driven innovation. In this session you will learn about how Aging2.0 is different, about upcoming events and how you and your team can get involved to stay on the leading edge of changing aging.

Walkasins, a wearable sensory prosthetic that can help improve gait, balance, function and quality of life will be discussed by Lars Oddsson, President and Co-founder of RxFunction Inc., in his breakout session. Walkasins are the first wearable sensory prosthetic for patients with peripheral neuropathy who have balance problems. A thin insole placed in the shoe measures foot pressure and a leg unit placed around the ankle provides tactical cues about balance that the wearer learns to use as a new balance sense. This seminar will discuss how new and emerging technologies are allowing development of medical grade wearables that can help improve function, participation and quality of life. Data will be shared from a patient who has used Walkasins daily for several months. The report shows dramatic improvements in gait and balance function as well as self-reported decreases in leg cramps, pain and medication use. The device is expected to be available for prescription following FDA registration early 2018. To learn more about Walkasins, visit www.walkasins.com.

In the fourth breakout session, we have the Co-founder of Reemo, Al Baker leading a discussion on reimagining the senior living technology experience through empathy. Reemo embarked on a mission to reimagine the senior living experience. Their trick was how to bridge the gap in new-age technology like wearables and home automation with seniors, who have unique design challenges. Once they started living at senior living homes and integrating themselves in the experience through human-centered design, they learned more than ever before and it translated into a great user experience (i.e. seniors actually used wearables and home automation!) In this session, they will explore the design process they used to approach this, along with what worked and what did not. They will share their experience so that others in this space can help advance the thinking in senior living and how to use technology.

The needs of older adults are changing, and it is important we adapt to their wants and needs. Educating yourself on how you can help is an important step in the right direction. We hope you will take that step and join us at this year’s Reimagine Aging Conference.

For more information on the Reimagine Aging Conference: Technology for Independent Living and how you can purchase tickets, visit https://seniorcommunity.org/events/reimagine-aging-conference/

For details on nonprofit  Senior Community Services’ free or low-cost services for seniors and their caregivers, visit www.seniorcommunity.org or call 952-541-1019.