“Assisted Living”

This is an American term applied to retirement housing, which I have never fully understood.   It tends to be associated with grab rails, hoists, Zimmer frames, mobility scooters and emergency call systems.   That’s all good stuff but it doesn’t go even half way to providing the assistance many older people need in later life.   Most everyday things that become problems may be only little issues individually, but their cumulative effect can be a debilitating reminder of how old you are getting.

A small amount of assistance could go a long way to keeping people more independent and create a host of new jobs for young people.   Here are a few ideas to be going on with:-

  • Childproof top safecracker assistant – to open all those pills you get from the chemist.  The ones you haven’t taken as prescribed because you can’t open the plastic pill-box 😦
  • Impossible package opener assistant – to remove all the hermetically sealed, vacuum packed, double shrink-wrapped plastic film used on almost everything.   To keep it fresh for years to come or to ensure it is tamper-proof, even by the customers who bought it in the first place.   Goodness knows how many injuries have happened when you take a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to your weekly shopping.   I wonder if you can claim compensation for over-wrapped goods?
  • Sealing resealable packages assistant – to put your cheese back into the packet – if you managed to open it in the first place.
  • Jam jar and fruit can opening assistant – for those easy to open tops where all you have to do is press down with the strength of an Olympic weight lifter and the top just pops off.   More old people need to take up weight-lifting otherwise marmalade sales will plummet.

(For other blogs about my trials with “Packaging” click on it in the TAG CLOUD).

It is not all about packaging.  Here are some other everyday tasks where assistance might help:-

  • TV Remote Control switching assistant – to master the three different TV controllers and two video thingy’s, oh and the sound bar operator widget.   Also to navigate the 150 channels – most of which we never watch.   There will, no doubt, be a £10 call out charge for this service and an extra charge by the hour if you have already pressed all the buttons and the TV has to be “reset again.   There will also have to be a special emergency call out service, obviously costing a lot more if you need the assistant to arrive within 5 minutes – say for instance if the football is about to kick off or maybe your favourite detective programme is about to start and you don’t want to miss the beginning in case you don’t understand the plot for the next two hours 😦
  • Finally, a reading assistant and gobbledygook translator – initially to read aloud the unreadable 10 point font that all newspapers have adopted these days.   No wonder less and less people are buying daily newspapers.   They could also speed read the news scrolling across the bottom on the screen on the 24-hour news channel or scrolling up the screen at breakneck speed, with the credits at the end of the film.   The translator part of the job is not about a foreign language, it’s about the latest politically correct “buzzwords” and the computer geek language of “new speak”.   The first is to ensure you are “on trend” whatever that means – using words like sustainable, counter-intuitive or even intuitive if you are talking about computers.   The techy stuff is designed to ensure that only a few hundred people in the whole world understand how computers and the internet works.  Everyone else either just pretends to understand or has given up trying.  Bits and bytes and gigabytes seem to be important since you have to pay more for more of them.   Band speed is also significant, which I think has something to do with how fast musicians play?   I am not even going to talk about clouds, I gave up on them after learning about Cirrus, Cumulonimbus and Cumulo Stratus in A-level geography.  Phishing is no longer fishing for fish, it’s now about phishing to catch people on-line.   The tech jargon is never-ending, always trending and for older people, mind-bending.

So there will probably never be enough assistants to support older people in assisted living.

A better way would be to design products with the elderly in mind !

(See earlier posts on this subject by clicking on “Small Prints” and “Old Geek” in the TAG CLOUD).

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3 Responses to “Assisted Living”

  1. the invitation to comment-bitch is too welcoming. My present beef is a mobile, telephone, with internet and other connections.
    I bought my mobile telephone for emergency communication purposes of family and friends, and entered into a contract. This aspect of life I still subscribe too.
    I am absolutely bamboozled? Why because while I am able to call and respond to my incoming telephone calls when ever and where ever I am! However the contract appears either from my lessee’s or the web interconnection to invite unwanted infiltrating, web/application sites to invade my private space and fill my screen with message after message to ‘sign on’ and accept their particular programme.
    Sometimes some of these interventions take place when using a different application?
    Why am I very worried?? This is because some programmes have many web applications including personal financial, services including banking. My mind and my dexterity of finger control, or assimilation of screen available information makes me wary of questioning and actuating personal information, which is according to all parties my responsibility, with no recourse to financial recompense. This is too me a mental and a nightmare in reality!
    What do you think? I am 55+, and feel vulnerable to all aspects of this modern world of ours, and like the above comments-blog feel frustrated and left behind by this modern world.

  2. I see by the www web, one is rated in £=s=d, and frequency of a visit, by this illustrious body (www.Grumblesmiles.co.uk – GrumbleSmiles | A blog by John … ).
    Sober thoughts, sombre moods overtake me, as I blog away quite happily in my world, of cyber space. £282=00p? (is that right), and a ranking of 2 .15 Millions? hits , and visits of more than 300 per/period (Day/month/hour etc.?).
    I will go from here, my daily visit in the early morning, singing that tuneful song-‘I love to go a wandering———-‘ remember that from my youth (A german song originally), and joyously remember that welcoming portly manner of John, and even more genial smile, and nod of the head, with understanding of what one of his visions was/is for the older generation of the UK.
    I can put no price on this blog, just human kindness, warmth, and patience with us Golden oldies.
    By the way John when is your Birthday? I wish you a very happy birthday with best wishes. For your own information, and a secret between us it was/is 9 years exactly on 04th. July 2016 since Molly and I were given our key to our apartment, and Moved into our Extracare home.
    So while we enjoy the anniversary, of occupation, you please enjoy your birthday wishes, and if you can have a coffee on us next time we may meet. God Bless you John.

  3. Good morning all! I am looking this Monday morning for words of wisdom and inspiration, from our mentor, about living for the elderly, concerning Care/housing providers/NHS/ Some government view point on life for the elderly, and the commercial world and how my little savings and investments are doing in this world of ours.
    We have all had the chance to vote in the recent EU Referendum, we have seen the out come, and now the outfall, for Us personally as citizens of UKPLC-the political leadership of Great Britain, and the turmoil in the Parties (Greens/labour/conservatives/Liberal democrats/UKIP, and then the Views of The SNP): all is in uproar and I wait for a steady hand at the tiller to guides through our times!
    I dream sometimes, and ponder if we should have the ‘The Raving Looney Party ‘ in Charge with Lord Such, alas that maybe a dream too far?
    So dear John, how do you propose to carry on with your blog, so we may smile, grumble and ‘bitch’: I do enjoy your lighter moments and comments, that always make me think, how I can grow old gracefully? One thing is for sure I am not ready to bury my head in the sand or ‘Push up this summers daisies’ Just yet!!!
    Any ideas? Answers on a post card please!

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