Friday, December 30, 2016

Centre to develop technology crafted specifically for the elderly | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Centre to develop technology crafted specifically for the elderly

NEETU CHANDRA SHARMA | Thu, 29 Dec 2016-07:20am , New Delhi , DNA

With an increasing elderly population in India, Centre is looking at home-based care and development of innovative and assistive technology and services that are affordable and appropriate in terms of culture, gender, and age of the elderly.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in association with Forte, the Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare, would soon start collaborative research projects in the field of ageing and health, focusing on developing affordable and appropriate innovative assistive technology for the disabled elderly and methods of home-based care interventions for them.

"India has to put greater stress on the healthcare system to cater to the needs of its elderly population. There is a need to understand and strengthen the mechanisms of provision of care for the elderly and address them through appropriate delivery mechanisms. For this we need to turn to global models of home based services and remote healthcare delivery through mHealth or telemedicine to understand the nuances of designing and implementing public and private models of elderly care," said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR, and Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(mHealth is a general term for the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in medical care)

"This will provide an insight into critical success factors as well as challenges in managing elderly care. Through cross national studies, lessons can be learnt on the need for collaboration amongst various stakeholders that can change India's elderly care landscape, and bring it to a level that is comparable with global standards," she said.

The ICMR has invited for proposals that could include how the design of housing, living arrangements, effective supportive technologies for functional abilities, and the availability of local communities affect elderly people's participation, activities and independence.

The idea is to find how interventions could prevent or reduce the severity of functional impairment, especially impairments secondary to cognitive decline. The research would include interventions aimed at the prevention of functional impairment as well as health promotion in order to reduce the incidence of the same in the elderly. The research outcomes will craft systems of integrated care designed to address the set of health, social and functional needs of the frail elderly.

"We are working on projects on development of visual assistance, mobility assistance, and cognitive assistance of the elderly. Also, design and provision of technology applicable to working with older adults and identify barriers and strategies on older adults' acceptance of technology and perceptions of learning how to use new tools," said Dr Swaminathan.

With declining fertility and rising life expectancy, there is a rapid increase in the number of elderly persons worldwide. Currently persons aged 60 years or over comprise over 11.5 per cent of the world's population. This number is expected to surpass the 2 billion mark in 2050, from 841 million in coming years. India stands to witness 100 million persons aged 60 and above currently as per the latest report from Helpage India. The need for elderly care in India is similar to the global scenario with some factors pertinent to India like a changing family system, a rural urban divide, gender-based beliefs, and a lack of facilities that needs to be addressed.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fwd: [sss-global] Walking Stick - An Essential Support For Senior Citizens | Wheelchairindia : Handicap Products

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: 'P. V. Ramamurti' [sss-global] <>
Date: 23 December 2016 at 15:42
Subject: [sss-global] Walking Stick - An Essential Support For Senior Citizens | Wheelchairindia : Handicap Products
To: sss-global <>
Cc: "P. V. Ramamurti" <>

Walking Stick - An Essential Support For Senior Citizens | Wheelchairindia : Handicap Products -- shared by UC Mini

Useful information

Prof. P. V. Ramamurti, PhD, FNA(Psy) , Hon Director, (emeritus), Centre For Research On aging, Dept Of Psychology, S. V. University Tirupati, 517507, Ph :7093780101 .Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


Posted by: "P. V. Ramamurti" <>

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cycling at home for Senior Citizens

Here is a simple but sophisticated device to let you loosen your limbs by cycling at home. Exercise both hands and feet. Know how mch calories you have burned. Neat and compact.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Some easy-to-use phones for the elderly who find it difficult to handle smartphones - The Hindu


Some easy-to-use phones for the elderly who find it difficult to handle smartphones.

With services such as banking, travel, healthcare and a host of entertainment facilities now available at one's fingertips, the spurt in the growth and popularity of smartphones is understandable.

However, there is one segment of population that finds this gadget an inconvenience — the elderly. Volunteering opportunities with Helpage India and 'Samagam', a community initiative for senior citizens residing in the President's Estate, gave me a firsthand experience of their woes with the mobile phone.

Already battling with decreased levels of dexterity, eyesight and increased dependence on hearing aids, the complexity of smartphones is proving distressful to them. "Slippery", "sensitive touchscreens", "small fonts" and "complicated" were some adjectives they used to describe mobile phones.

Srinivasan, an octogenarian and retired bureaucrat, summed up the complaint, "We don't know how to use today's mobile phones nor do we want to learn. We need a phone that should just do the basic things and be easy-to-use. Can you suggest some such phones?"

At that time, I did not know of many phones that fell into this category. So, I started researching and tried to find some phones that would cater specifically to the senior population of India. To my delight, the mobile market threw up many surprises.

Keeping 'ease-of-use' and 'price' as tangible parameters, I waded through various phone models and features to come up with my list of easy-to-use phones.

iBall Aasaan 2
This is the first phone I found. Priced at around Rs. 3,000, it comes with a 7.36 centimetre display with huge fonts. Below that are big, comfortable numeric keys numbered in English as well as Hindi. It has a dedicated SOS button which triggers an alarm in the phone and sends a built-in message to pre-defined phone numbers. It also comes with the ability to store media and play music but these features are not an impediment to the simplicity of use.

Philips Xenium X2566
Priced at Rs. 3,800, this is also a similar phone with a few extra features. There is a lot of space between the buttons so that they do not get pressed accidentally.

It also comes with dedicated buttons for increasing and decreasing the font size. It houses a powerful battery with 24 hours of talk-time and a whopping 47 days of standby time.

Swingtel SW50 Plus Senior Citizen


If one is looking for a price-sensitive alternative, this Rs. 1,100 phone can do the trick. It comes with a dedicated SOS button like the other phones and also has dual SIM functionality. One drawback, though, is the small display with poor resolution and small fonts. While it is suitable for people with normal eyesight, it is not recommended for those with weak eyes as it can cause strain.

Mitashi Play Senior Friend
During my search, I came across this comparatively expensive, heavily featured smartphone. This phone actually runs on Android.

Although it may have some of the complexities that come with an Android phone, Mitashi claims to have minimised this with their customised interface that provides a user-friendly experience.

All elements on the screen are really bright and have distinct and easily identifiable colours. Like other phones, it also comes with a dedicated SOS button.

Magicon Senior Duo
The most interesting phone that I found was the Magicon Senior Duo, priced at Rs. 1,500. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had a magnifying glass attached to it which could be folded in and out at any time. This was an interesting feature which I thought could benefit a lot of people trying to read small text. It also includes standard features such as an SOS button, simple interface and so on. It comes with a high-contrast display for people with weak eyesight. It is also bundled with an MP3 player and torch light.

So go ahead and make the life of your grandparents a little easier by gifting them the power of connection.

Keywords: phones for senior citizens, phones for elderly people, easy to use phones

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

IIT-D students design wearable undergarment device that protects elderly people from hip injuries - The Economic Times

Kindly read the news below:
​Only yesterday a neighbour of mine died. He was 92. Had a fall in the bathroom resulting in hip fracture. Was in hospital, got chest infection (most probably iatrogenic) and died. News about this wearable protective device is ​very welcome. If you come to know of new ideas / devices please send them to me for inclusion in my blog:


IIT-D students design wearable undergarment device that protects elderly people from hip injuries
By PTI | 20 Apr, 2016, 

The device is made of 100 per cent cotton and is composed of plastic foam with micro-cellular injection. The protection is porous and of high tensile strength.

EW DELHI: A wearable undergarment device that protects elderly persons from injuries sustained during falls, particularly in the hip and pelvis areas, designed by students at the Indian Institute of Technology here will soon be retailed online.

Conceptualised by students of the institute's mechanical engineering department, the self contained undergarment is fitted on the sides with plastic protection to shield the femur bone that juts out from either side of the hip area.

"The device is made of 100 per cent cotton and is composed of plastic foam with micro-cellular injection. The protection is porous and of high tensile strength.

"In case of a fall, it protects the femur bone by dispersing the load to surrounding tissues. So, therefore, there are no injuries or bruises," says Prof Naresh Bhatnagar, who is heading the project.

Owing to its small size, light weight and minimalist design, the device does not impair mobility.

The project is among the several innovations from the premier institute that will soon be available for purchase in the online market.

"It has been transfered to the industry and will soon be available on Flipkart at a price less than Rs 1,000. A similar device is available in the US for 100 USD, but this is the first in India," says Bhatnagar.

During its testing stage, the team found out that "not a single fracture was recorded" for people who had agreed to try it, but the major challenge that persists is to convince old people to actually use it, says the professor.

"While the compliance among the elderly is 70 per cent to 80 per cent, 92 per cent of those who gave it a shot felt that they said that they could leave it on while walking," he says.

The team says it has tested the device in the geriatric ward at the All India Institute of Medical Science and a senior citizen society in Ghaziabad among other institutions.

The hip protective device, that has been sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, is also set to be on exhibit during the 12th edition of IIT Delhi's 'Open House' that is open to the public on April 23.

The day-long 'Open House exposition', has lined up over 500 research projects and 80 demonstration projects focusing on "high societal impact."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

City welcomes WHO’s help list for the elderly - Pune Mirror

By Mayuri Phadnis, Pune Mirror | Feb 15, 2016, 02.30 AM IST

WHO aims to simplify the lives of the elderly (PIC FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY)
Citizens say that Pune lacks the infrastructure for senior citizens

From walking canes to wrist alarm systems, World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a survey to assemble a list of assisted living technologies for the world's geriatric population. The list is expected to be on the lines of WHO's essential medicines list. People working for the geriatric population in the city have received the move positively considering the fact that the city does not have senior citizen- friendly infrastructure.

"Bathroom bars, walking sticks, walkers and hearing aids are some of the basic requirements for the elderly. Although many organisations are working to rent out these items at not so significant costs, it is still unaffordable for the middle income group in the country. Also, the elderly might not always have the strength to push wheelchairs. But then again, if we think of getting battery operated wheelchairs, the question of affordability crops up. Among other problems, the purchase of adult diapers may pinch pockets," informed Vaishali Desai, co-ordinator for Dignity Foundation in Kalyani Nagar.

According to WHO's statement, this tool will help governments all over the world in acquiring priority products. Presently, only one out of 10 get these vital enhancements due to non-availability of these products, lack of awareness or affordability factors. With this project, the organisation wants to improve the quality of living for the elderly.

On a basic level, the elderly must be looked after with utmost attention. However, Desai cites plethora of hurdles that one faces in arranging proper care . "The cost of hiring caretakers is immense and some of the old age homes are in a deplorable state. The government should make assisted living home facilities available for the people at reasonable costs. Moreover, day care centres for the elderly, like those for children, should be established. In this country we have budgets for women, children as part of demographics, but no budgetary allocation has been made for the elderly," further added Desai.

Adding to this list, Dr Priyadarshani Kulkarni, secretary of the Indian Association of Palliative Care, talked of an urgent need for alerting devices in case emergency. "Travelling with senior citizens can be a problem due to lack of infrastructure across the country. Primarily, roads are not wheelchair- friendly. Also, climbing into buses is a major issue. To add to that, caretakers are not adequately trained, and could possibly injure bed-ridden people. Nurses char
ge a lot," she said.

Beside the lack of basic facilities, the insurance sector doesn't aid in bettering the situation. Dr Avinash Bhutkar, president of Indian Medical Association's Pune Chapter, laments non-existent schemes. "For a middle class family, financing the elederly member's medication might pose a problem. Very few insurance programmes cover up for the financial requirements. For instance, no company has schemes cataract treatments since it does not require the patient to be admitted to the hospital. It puts families in a fix," he said.