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Milton Greidinger, a client of CAST Sponsor Selfhelp Community Services, can’t say enough about the Virtual Senior Center program. The program uses computers, video and the Internet to help Greidinger participate in activities at his local senior center without leaving home.
“It saved my life,” Greidinger told the Microsoft News Center. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I'm alive again.”
Since 2010, Greidinger has become an unofficial spokesperson for the Virtual Senior Center. In recent months, other LeadingAge members have followed his example by lending their enthusiastic voices to efforts that promote the benefits of aging services technologies.
The Microsoft News Center article also features an interview with Lynette Ladenburg, chief operating officer and administrator at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community, a LeadingAge member in Tacoma, WA.
“Today is a great time to be a senior,” Ladenburg told Microsoft. “There are all sorts of adaptable and affordable technology devices and tools that seniors can use to help them communicate and connect with family and friends, improve and maintain their health, and live independently for much longer than ever before.”
CAST Member Healthsense Inc., is involved in helping aging services providers tap into that technology. The company helped Heritage Homes, a LeadingAge member in Watertown, WI, install sensors that offer residents a way to live independently longer.
Heritage Homes deployed the Healthsense technology in its 44-unit assisted living and memory care facility about 2 years ago. Only one resident in the organization’s 54-unit independent living community uses the technology, but Administrator Laurie Rehm told the Wisconsin State Journal that she expects that number to grow as the community’s population ages.
Ladenburg is so impressed with sensor technology that she plans to use it if she and her sisters need to provide increased care and oversight for their mother in the future.
“Living alone, she’s not going to call until morning if she’s been sick all night,” says Ladenburg. “By then, she could be dehydrated and we may end up taking her to the hospital. That has happened. So having the option of placing safety sensors in her home and, as her daughter, knowing she’s safe? That’s huge.”