Streaming entertainment and edutainment for, about and including older adults was our topic for the Age-Friendly Products Alliance room hosted by the Rethinking Aging Club on Thursday, January 20, 2022. Only Murders in the Building, Saltbox TV, Zinnia TV, Seniors Junction and much more was discussed. Film in its various forms is a tool to raise awareness, educate, provide messaging, reduce ageism AND entertain. As you can tell from the LinkedIn comments the participants enjoyed it and we’d all like to share it with you.
The creators of the Alliance room are Michael Philips (AARP Technology), Rick Robinson (AARP Innovation Labs; the AARP AgeTech Collaborative) and Stephen Ewell (CTA Foundation – CES). This show was co-hosted by Abbie Richie, Mariann Aalda, Debbie Howard, Frances West and myself, founder of the host Club – Rethinking Aging.
Click image for Jan 20th Streaming Film Replay:
Clubhouse makes the Replay available for web viewing without the app. Please share – including your film industry friends. You can also engage with the Replay from within the Clubhouse app. Please find extensive excerpts below the Resources.
RESOURCES & Joined Us Jan 20
* SaltBoxTV.com – Executive Producer Andrew Patino
Abbie Richie has a “Senior Savvy with Abbie” show with a commitment for 3 seasons. Coming soon.
* 2 good reference articles on ageism in film from Andrew Patino
Forbes: Researchers, Writers And Actors Highlight And Tackle Ageism In Hollywood by Nancy Berk Jan 2020
NBC News: How the Frances McDormand drama ‘Nomadland’ defies Hollywood ageism by Daniel Arkin Feb 2021
* SaltBox TV Founder and CEO Jerry Goehring podcast and article Feb 2 interview in Variety Strictly Business by Andrew Wallenstein
* ZinniaTV.com – Better TV for People Living with Dementia co-founded by Allyson Schrier and William A. Uniowski (Bill is also COO of Third Summit – video production tools).
* SeniorsJunction.com co-founded by Namrata Bagaria, Expert led Live group recreation classes and podcast to prevent Senior Isolation
* BeyondSixtyProject.com Film Melissa Davey Director, available on this site via Vimeo; Tubi for free & Amazon Prime for purchase
* Susie Singer Carter Director “My Mom and the Girl” => available on Amazon Prime for purchase.
Love Conquers Alz Podcast
* Aging Gracefully Genre Page on my Streaming TV Recommendations site
* Mariann Alda on AARP Disrupt Aging
Women in Film (WIF) Study Finds Women Led Companies Receive Less Funding Than Male Counterparts Variety article for Amy Baer reference that Mariann Alda made.
* Wowzitude.com Travel Club live-streams 100+ interactive, hosted “virtual vacations” for senior living facilities founded by Susan Black
* Touchtown.com h/t Susan Black
Also joined us Jan 20: Benjamin Surmi (Koelsch Innovation Lab), Lisa Papatzimas, Liz Miller (GetSetUp), Keren Etkin, Ilyse Veron, Sarah Noorbaksh MD, Joe Hausch (Photavia), Maria Mortati, Gary Barg (Today’s Caregiver), ++++
Additional Film Resources:
* “Lives Well Lived” documentary created and directed by Sky Bergman
Raising Awareness Feb 3 Discussion RESOURCES:
60+ Consumption of Online Media
Axios 2-7-22 “‘AgeTech’ companies court digital seniors” by Jennifer Kingson
h/t Rick Robinson
* AARP Movies for Grownups regarding our discussion on how to make it easy for older adults to coordinate streaming services by Nicholas De Renzo
Select Extensive Excerpts from January 20th Streaming Entertainment and Edutainment For, About and Including older Adults
In order of appearance. Supported by OtterAI transcript software.
Michael Phillips, AARP Technology
We started this community the first half of last year and it was really aimed at people who have a passion for creating any type of product for 50 Plus, or older adults or people who are going through the aging process. We’ve had an opportunity through building this community to create all types of interesting connections, learning from each other and building opportunities, even outside of this group, to make a better world for all of us as we age. We haven’t really spoken a whole lot about streaming video in the past, so I’m really excited that we’re going into a new direction in today’s conversation. I just want to invite everyone to continue to come in on Thursdays at noon ET, if this is your first time. Great group of folks, really smart folks coming in and out each week that have a lot of insights and well connected in the industry in order to help the whole aging process.
I am just thrilled with how our weekly Thursday rooms have been going and the connections and the information that has been happening today. We are talking about streaming entertainment and edutainment for, about and including older adults. We have things at top of mind like Grace and Frankie but we also have new additions like SaltBox TV, Zinnia TV, Seniors Junction, and much more to discuss. Film in its various forms is a tool to raise awareness, educate, provide messaging reduce ageism, and entertain. Our room has been dealing a lot with how to raise awareness of the importance of serving our demographics, which is 50 plus, the elderly, dementia/Alzheimer’s, ability accessibility to attract more established companies, startups and investors to invest time and money addressing this. Streaming entertainment, both fiction and documentary has the ability to do that, through better representation and by providing information. We’ve also talked about film as a tool to support the elderly with services like Zinnia TV and Wowzitude. The emergence of a platform like SaltBox TV specifically aimed at older older adults is important. I’d love to have someone from AARP Movies for Grownups provide data. I hope we can do that with a repeat of this room in the future. And we have Mariann Alda with us, who is an actress and pro-age activist. She or others in the room may have something on data as far as how are we growing in terms of addressing the older adult population with mainstream film entertainment and other methods of documentaries and shorts and so forth. Shifting demographics has certainly helped with raising the importance of this space, but also of course, with having so many outlets for content available now. For many years, I was a moderator for Digital Hollywood and diversity inclusion has been somewhat addressed there but mostly just for females in the industry. We have to keep raising our voice to say that older adults is part of diversity and inclusion. So we are thrilled to have filmmakers here with us today. And we look forward to hearing from everybody even though we do this room in just one hour.
Abbie Richie, Senior Savvy
My name is Abbie Richie. I’m the CEO and founder (2018) of Senior Savvy. Senior Savvy relieves tech stress for older adults so they can excel in today’s world. We do that through Zoom tech workshops as well as one on one tech support and we keep things really basic. We’re just about the basics. We don’t get complicated and over the past last year, I got in contact with SoapBox TV, and I’m going to let Andrew talk more about that because he’s really the expert. He contracted me to create three seasons of senior savvy with Abbie which is an edutainment program where I break down different tech topics and have started with a basic introduction in season one and then topics get a little bit more advanced in season two and I’m so so thrilled to have been invited on saltbox TV because that’s where my people are and to have exposure and to have the ability to reach and engage more older adults and to teach them tech skills and let them know it’s okay. They don’t know everything. That’s why we’re here.
Andrew Patino, SaltBox TV
I would love to first just start off with why our company was formed and what we’re looking to do and then kind of dive into our company as a production company as well. So amidst the pandemic, our founder Jerry Gehring is a Broadway producer, and his shows that he had opened in London, in Chicago, both shut down and all of a sudden he had some free time in his hands and his wife has been actually performing in retirement communities for the last 25 years. All of her performances were cancelled as well. And all of a sudden we recognized that there was this void of programming to help older adults. And what initially started out as live streaming some of her shows or being able to provide some resources recognized that there really wasn’t a platform out there serving this demo. During the pandemic the rest of the world was turning to Netflix and Hulu, but still this older adult demo, as everybody on here I’m sure can attest to, was being left behind. So with that we called upon Jerry’s Rolodex, some of his celebrities that he’s worked with – Ed Azner actually joined as our spokesman. And we recognized that if we could establish easy to use technology, we could invite this generation into the world of ever expanding streamable content. So from there, we’ve actually built our platform, not trying to be Netflix if you had to have a chance to go to our website, you can actually see that our genres are built around the pillars of healthy aging. We have content around lifelong learning. We have content around spirituality arts and music. Of course we have the classics, like The Dick Van Dyke Show and the Lucy show, but we also have new content that we believe that this demographic would be enjoying. And we’ve been able to expand across the US in our first year, which we’re very excited about. But what we’re even more excited about is actually having the opportunity to create content in mainstream platforms that can directly combat ageism. So throughout this last year, we’ve been able to connect with a lot of celebrities who have felt the burden of ageism in the industry, and they are still breaking stereotypes and they still want to work and Hollywood has kind of turned a blind eye to them. And we are welcoming these people with open arms and saying we’re here for you. We want your stories to be told we want you to be in the spotlight. Because we believe that the only way to combat ageism is to still be able to influence those younger generations so that they can see older individuals in an entirely new light. So kind of with that, that’s where we are at SaltBox TV and we’ve been able to connect with a lot of amazing content partners, like Abbie. We’re actually talking with Zinnia TV as well. Hi, Bill, a little shout out. We’ve talked with Wowzitude. We’re working with GetSetUp and we’ve recognized that there’s these amazing people out there and making content for this demographic but nobody’s trying to centralize it. So by pulling content from Teepa Snow or Lori LeBay or Dr. Macy on resources for aging and putting them in an easily digestible setting. We believe that we will be just helping older adults to get connected to the world. So that’s kind of who we are. And thank you for having me.
Thank you so much, Andrew. We’re so excited about what you’re doing. Do you have any data that you’ve been collecting as a company on the movement of the film industry for representing older adults?
Andrew Patino, SaltBox TV
Yeah, I’d love to share. So from our data, we’ve actually recognized that on average, older adults are consuming more hours watch per day than younger generations, which is some fascinating data that our team has been able to discover. We’ve recognized that a lot of older adults are already online consuming some form of media, whether that be YouTube or videos on Facebook, so the opportunity to welcome them into the world of streaming is very much there. And you know, looking at a bigger picture of the next generation to come. We already know that Gen X is expecting streamable options, streamable film is something that they’re used to. So as they’re aging, they’re going to be looking for streaming in the future. And with us being able to grow over the next 10 plus years, we’ll really be able to be there to meet the needs of this next generation. And I’d just like to kind of share a side note. In the actual entertainment industry. You know, we all come from Broadway. We definitely know how to put on a show to say the least. But there’s so many similarities between Broadway and Hollywood. Nomadland on Hulu. Fantastic. It won a bunch of awards. And what it is highlighting is that every time there’s a story made about older adults, showing them in a new light combating ageism, it’s at the top of the charts. It is highlighted. It’s breaking boundaries, and yet it’s not done often. I think everybody on this call sees the power of media the power of entertainment, Netflix, Hulu, all of these mainstream outlets can affect a new generation. So what we’re doing is trying to just elevate these artists and these these writers and directors to be back in the limelight, to be able to continue to sell tell their stories.
I think another great example is Only Murders in the Building on Hulu. With Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, that intergenerational relationship brought in two huge demographics, the younger millennials, as well as the older Gen X as well as boomers – who of course love Steve Martin. And that dynamic is inviting a community. It’s inviting conversations to happen between these different generations, which I’m sure everybody also knows intergenerational conflict is so present. So being able to set up shows in this way that are going to be inviting these different audiences these different demographics to have a conversation to confront topics like ageism is something that we’re very, very excited about.
Mariann Alda, Actress, Founder Clubhouse Aging Shamelessly Club
The Geena Davis Institute and Women in Film – they have data. As an actress, I can certainly speak from experience As we get older, women disappear from the screen. And when it comes to relationships, women are generally cast with men who are you know, 20 years older. Tom Cruise starts out with a woman who will be his age when he’s 30. When he’s 50, he will still be cast with that 30 year old woman as his love interest and the woman who is his age totally disappears from the screen. That’s kind of the way it’s been done. But it’s starting to change now as women have more power. I think a lot of times because of who runs Hollywood a lot of what we see on screen is probably representational. Some of the people who can green light some of this content may be a reflection of their lives, you know, like The First Wives Club. Let’s face it, Hollywood is still run primarily by older white men. And what we see on screen is pretty much representative of what they want to see. Maybe the lives they’re living and maybe the fantasies of the lives that they would like to live, but it is certainly not representational of the general population. I’m really excited about what Melissa is doing because I think you know, women are getting mad as hell and we’re not getting we’re not taking it anymore. But there’s an article this week in the Hollywood Reporter, I believe, with Amy Baer. She started a production company and she’s having a hard time getting funding because women don’t get the same kind of funding that men do. I have a little vignette with AARP that says I’ve been a woman and black all my life but not even that prepared me for the discrimination I would face once I got to be old. It is when older women are ghettoized in terms of the entertainment industry, and it’s affecting us. When I turned 50, the casting director stopped calling after I made a good living for 30 years in television. I became a hypnotherapist, and I can see the negative effect that that is having on women at midlife. A lot of my clients were women who were experiencing depression because they weren’t seeing themselves represented on screen and the way they see women their age being represented, affected them negatively. They were depressed because they thought oh my god, my life is over. What am I going to do now for the next 30 or 40 years? I have outlived my my relevance because I’m not a baby anymore. I can’t have babies anymore. What is my purpose on the planet? And you know, we’ve got to see women living joyful, vibrant, happy, excited lives, like Grace and Frankie. You know, we’ve got to see more of that. And we’ve got to see more diversity in terms of women of color, different ethnicities, the LGBTQ community difference in ableism. We’ve got to see what the world looks like on screen and right now we’re not seeing that.
Liz Miller, Communication Manager, GetSetUp
GetSetUp is a social learning platform specifically for people over 50. Over 80% of our learners are women. Our platform is really unique in the sense that our learners can choose if they want to participate by just watching the streaming live class or they can join the live class, participate and interact. We find that a lot of our learners start off perhaps just streaming, getting used to it but they start to see the same faces, the same people and it becomes a community within their area of interest. Then they start to join, participate and go on themselves to oftentimes become creators. I have the pleasure of interviewing our learners to hear their stories, it’s really fascinating for them to say, ‘I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I’d been in a place where I was ignored, mistreated, and then I come here and I see the same people, and am inspired to follow through with my dreams, whether it’s a business idea or just pursuing yoga and gaining more balance and things.’ So I think the intersection of all of aging technologies, streaming platforms, are joining together and really unique in different ways and we have a lot of ways to create that space, specifically for people who are aging.
Susie Singer Carter, Filmaker, Love Conquers ALZ Podcast
I’m Suzy Singer Carter and I’m a filmmaker. I’m also a podcast host. My podcast is called love conquers ALZ, and it’s really an extension of my short film, which was called My Mom and the Girl based on my mom who had Alzheimer’s and through the journey, I decided to lean in and figure out how to make this journey, the most joyous I could with this woman that I love so much and I learned there were so many stories that I could share with people and one in particular, turned into a film that Valerie Harper played my mother and we were Oscars qualified. We went to Cannes we had a lot of success and it touched a lot of people all over the world. And it really, really threw me into this caregiving community and also the idea of intergenerational programming. I really became an advocate for it in the mainstream, which has been an uphill battle. I developed a series for Fox called Silver Linings, which was a half hour comedy. I’ve worked with that Ed Asner, I’ve worked with with Cloris Leachman and quite a few people have already passed away now. And we had you know, really packaged it well and really mostly the eight network’s were not interested in anything that had to do with a three letter word called Old. my project was as delightful as any other project. The half hour pilot was very intergenerational, and it really threw a wide net but it is a battle, to to get people to reframe how they look at that kind of content. So it’s been it’s been a mission for me, I love I love, love, love the senior community so much and I feel that there’s so much that they have to share. I also worked with Max Brooks who’s Mel Brooks father so I know I love Max so much and if you think that you can’t be vibrant and alive, just take a look. Just take a listen to his recent book that he did on tape and in his mid 90s I think he’s probably more vibrant than then most of us on this call right now. Norman Lear is well into his 90s and he has show running shows.
The ageism that Mariann talked about, I see it. I’m a WGA member. I’m on the committee of women writers. And, you know, I choose not to lean into that. I know it’s there. But it’s always been there. It goes behind the camera, in front of the camera. You know, to me it baffles me that you can be biased against a writer, because the more you work, the more experience of life you have, the better the writer you are, so that is that’s pretty much me. I love what you guys are doing. I think it’s so amazing that there’s platforms that are popping up for this kind of content. I also think there’s a desperate need for content for people that have dementia and that have Alzheimer’s so that there is content that actually is geared towards the level of mental skill that they have at different stages as you would for children who are developing up, they’re developing down and I think that we can keep them engaged with with programming that is specifically targeted to their mentacity.
Bill Uniowski, Zinnia TV
That could not have been a more relevant intro to Zinnia TV. Our team has approached this from the direct caregiving experience as a family caregiver with our CEO Alison Schrier, and her experiences with her husband. Zinnia TV is a subscription video platform focused on people living with dementia. We create immersive content to enhance dementia care, both for the caregiver and for the person receiving care and very much like what was just described. We’ve created these videos to meet people where they are in their cognitive journey. So these videos are short. They’re about 10 minutes long. They’re gently paced. They avoid things that are sometimes problematic for people with cognitive decline so we don’t have rapidly moving images. We don’t have fast dialogue. We don’t have clocks that you can’t track. Because we’re building these tools for people with dementia, similar to everyone else who’s producing content, we’re really focused on the artistic element of this and trying to make things beautiful and enjoyable. The types of videos we have can be suitable for engagement for a care partner with the person they’re caring for choosing a video something that that person would have enjoyed when they were more able. So if they liked skiing or hiking or the mountains or the ocean, we have those videos and they can provide moments of connection where the caregiver could actively watch pause and ask a question and start a conversation. Because so many times we know that caregivers sometimes have difficulty coming up with things to do things to say. So, you know, there’s an engagement element of that. There are very calming videos that can help to distract people who might be having aggressive behaviors. We have videos that talk about activities of daily living, how can we encourage people to drink more water or get some unready to sit down and have a meal or take a shower? So we’ve moved from both entertainment to caregiving tools really. And similar to a few other people who spoke today about edutainment. We’re also working on videos that help caregivers and showing various techniques, like how to help someone drink water using the hand method and other things where by using these videos, the caregivers can see and learn passively, on how they might be able to provide better care for their loved ones. So that’s what we do. It’s very niche. And you know, we you know, Andrew, gave us a shout out thank you. We we rely on our own platform, but other platforms as well to, make these videos accessible. I think that there’s so much that we can do to support one another. That was my impression from the first time I was in this room as well, which is great. So, thank you, Linda, and thank you everyone else.
Benjamin Surmi, Koelsch Innovation Lab
I think the topic today about streaming content that is really geared to older adults is really important. We have piloted Zinnia TV in the Seattle area. Some of the things that I really appreciate about it – we can trust in our memory care that if Zinnia TV is on, our residents are not going to see news flashes and commercials that are going to maybe disrupt their day because they think it’s real. I love the fact that they’re putting together content that really brings people back to happy memories, back to places that they’ve been before or things that they’ve done. There’s a lot of research around how we can get to that place, that it really impacts someone’s physical and mental health. We build in our memory care a physical environment to invoke reminiscing, for creating 1950s kitchens and log cabins and all kinds of things. But we also need media to help us with that. So I love the fact that he was really trying to help with the reminiscing and I see from reviewing SaltBox TV that they’re also incorporating lots of things that will bring people back to a very different time in their life that research shows that you can get people to that space. It has a lot of positive impacts.
Melissa Davey, Filmmaker, Beyond 60 Project
I had no idea about Clubhouse. And Linda was great to teach me last night how to access it. I am a senior citizen, I’m beyond the 70 mark now. But I still have technology skills. So that’s a good thing. I’m just blown away by all of the information that I’m getting. A little bit about me I was a corporate executive for a long, long time. And when I hit 65, I decided that I probably should start thinking about all the things I hadn’t done. I’ve been on that corporate train for way too long. And my dream was always to become a filmmaker. So I decided to leave my job and become a filmmaker. And I know that sounds a little crazy, but it was definitely a passion and I felt that I was at the strongest point in my life as far as experience goes, and that I could probably learn the ins and outs rather quickly and I did it as a test to myself. And when I decided what my first film should be – It automatically went to the voices of older women. And you know the fact that we are all becoming invisible, I had become invisible. I have many instances and recollections of what that felt like. I knew so many women who were doing incredible things thriving, resilient, still relevant but nobody knew who they were. And I thought well, maybe that’s my my first foray into film will be bringing women’s voices to the forefront. I made a goal of all of the women being older than age 60 So, for the next three years, I made this documentary film, which is a feature length film called Beyond 60. And it features nine women from all over the country from about age 63 to 86 all doing incredible things and sitting with them and seeing them in their element and hearing their stories just made you realize how relevant they still are. However, if you pass them on the street, you wouldn’t look their way you wouldn’t know who they are. For me, it became very important to get their voices out there because we should know who they are. And another piece to this film was at the beginning and in the end of the film. I have very, very young women from the Philadelphia area. That’s where I’m from and they’re speaking to how they feel about aging. And it kind of opens up it bookends the film very nicely. It also makes it clear to me how important the intergenerational aspect of these voices are and how important it is to be developing content not just for older people to watch. And somebody said this a little earlier, but for younger people to see what possibilities they may have as they age and go into the future. So the film went to film festivals, all of 2019 and we got some awards that did really well. Which was amazing to me. It was a wonderful experience as an older woman to do this. And then COVID hit and everything kind of slowed down for a while but it was picked up by a distributor in April of 2021 and went out streaming on all the platforms at this point you can find it just about anywhere as well as cable on demand. So I’ve spent the better part of this past year doing talks, not too many in person anymore, but online talks with groups of people who have watched the film, and then I do q&a sessions. I’ve also done this for organizations and corporate entities as well. So it’s been a wild journey and it’s not over. The film is getting a lot of hits. It’s being watched regularly which is great. And between still following that in marketing – I’m starting on my second film now. So I’m in the early stages of that and that also will be the voice of an older woman.
Thank you, Melissa. In terms of distribution, would you look at something like SaltBox TV since it’s a free platform – that probably doesn’t help your monetization? What do you think about that?
I have a distributor. What I do is when these opportunities arise, I go to the distributor just to make sure that whatever I’m setting up is within the legal realms of our contract and it usually is so if there there is any opportunity that I have to get this film out onto a platform whether it’s free or you know, I never did this to make money. I think I’m smart enough now to know that when you do an independent documentary film, and it’s your first film, you usually don’t make lots of money. So I have put it out there for free and I would certainly consider that.
I’d love to connect to talk about that Melissa, I’m a big fan of the Project. I’ve watched it before and I’ve been trying to reach the person from our content team but we just didn’t have any luck. So I will shoot your message afterwards.
Okay, wonderful. I look forward to it.
I love the magic of Clubhouse has in making connections.
Namrata (Nam) Bagaria, Seniors Junction
Seniors Junction is an EdTech company which is providing seniors leisure education. We did our market research and found out that most of the content and senior recreation programming is infantilizing. Not everybody wants to play bingo or make teddy bears. We’ve gathered people who can give you lecture based life courses for eight weeks so that you can find a new purpose, a new community, and a new hobby. After the eight weeks course, you have a one year alumni follow up so that you can continue building. For example, you can learn history of film, music, Renaissance music, electro styles. You can learn how to paint, violin and we’ve got people for Chinese poetry. You can learn math so that you can do homework with your grandkids. And also this will foster intergenerational activities between the caregivers and their parents or the grandparents and the grandkids. At the moment, our content is geared towards independent living but as we progress, we will be getting dementia friendly content, people with different abilities and cognitive levels. So that’s who we are. We are a team of doctors, musicians, artists, everything combined interdisciplinary and intergenerational.
Susan Black, Wowzitude
Wowzitude is live streamed virtual tours from all around the world. We’re now in 72 different cities, and they’re live streamed in whatever time zone you happen to be in at the time that we’re doing it right now. We work with senior living communities and with individuals who are aging at home. My mother was the first traveler at 96 happened during COVID with the with the lockdown and I myself have been many decades in the travel industry. So our entire team is travel. And we work now as I mentioned with 72 guides so whether it is yesterday we were in Marrakech today I the reason I’m a little late is that our tour ban a little late and we were over in Istanbul so we go every place in the world. It’s all interactive. They’re all live. And so we say the well moment is the now moment. They’re not recorded. You have to be there and there are subscription series for both older adults and senior living. We’re now working with museums and others to really target older memberships there as well. But we found just such engagement rate questions and to the point that several we’re making here. It really touches something because so many of our seniors have traveled and have been those places so it enables them to revisit it or it’s been on their their list. of places to go and now because of either age related illnesses mobility, I mean, forget even just COVID they’re able to visit the Vatican. They’re able to visit you know, Jerusalem, they’re able to visit Moscow wherever they had dreamed we can take them there live.
We were thrilled we actually were a finalist and an audience choice member in the AARP pitch challenge this year so we are thrilled. I think that these type of clubhouse rooms where we get to hear what others are doing and discover synergies are great. I just want to encourage everyone. We met someone from Touchtown through a Clubhouse room. We now distribute through Touchtown which is a technology provider. They go to 2000 different communities. They are able to use closed circuit television so we can actually be beamed into people’s rooms in addition to having people watch it together in their residential communities. I heard somebody say how do you get the word out? A lot of it is through partnering. Tip of the hat to the organizers here, and it’s a really good way to expand. Getting the word out.
Susie Singer Carter
Susan, I was going to mention that. One of the issues in getting content distributed to people with dementia and Alzheimer’s is that a lot of them are at a stage where they are in a room and they’re in a bed or they’re in a chair and they can’t change a channel or they can’t do it themselves. My mom is at a very good facility. But it’s been the bane of my existence that they’re still walking around with an iPad to do zoom during pandemic, you know, so this company that you spoke about Susan is really important. I was not aware of this Touchtown technology, and it’s been something I’ve been screaming about to kind of figure out how we can get this kind of content to the people that can’t access it themselves and especially during the pandemic, while it’s so understaffed that people get morose, people are dying from being isolated. And it’s the truth, you know, and not just people with dementia, people of all mentacity who are in residential facilities, it’s really important.
Engagement is socialization they need that, it’s important because without that you can’t survive. It’s not just an anecdote, it’s science. As far as content, it’s so important to demystify and put a face to aging. The more we can put a face to and to make it accessible and demystify it and and elevate it and amplify it, the better as a whole. Movies and TV and content are the best tools of change.
Ilyse Veron, former PBS producer, now at Darmiyan
We’re thrilled to learn about the various options out there. This idea that Andrew was talking about, bringing actors back, making sure that they were engaging and working and connecting is such an important thing. Thank you for being in this Alliance.
Gary Barg, Today’s Caregiver, Caregiver.com
I just wanted to say how incredibly excited I am to have listened to this particular room. Today we launched our 20th anniversary Caregiver friendly Award nomination for 2022. And that is for media products organizations. The company’s facilities who put the caregivers first and when we when we started today’s caregiver magazine and caregiver.com in 1995. I’d actually been a working video producer since I know how many years was but since 77. And I realized that when I came home to South Florida and helped my mom care for my grandparents and wanted to do something to support caregivers, I realized that it was there was there was no opportunity for me to do it in video other than to find networks. And so we started as a magazine, which is great. It’s, you know, it’s still old media, but people can can touch it and pick it up and find it places but I’m so excited to see how much incredible media and support and advice for seniors and caregivers is happening now that can just be streamed into their their iPhones and streamed into their into their laptops in their and their home computers. So we have had films and streaming services as award winners over the last few years. But I think this is going to probably be our most exciting opportunity to share new media projects for family caregivers. You know that the judges award once a judges start judging the program so go to caregiver.com you know nominate yourself or somebody or an organization to win a 2022 caregiver friendly award. And I said, as I said, I’m just I’ve been waiting 20 years to hear a conversation like this. So thank you, everybody.
Debbie Howard, Aging Matters International
How wonderful this medium is for raising awareness, for educating, for reducing ageism and entertaining us and also for providing tools for caregivers. As a caregiver advocate, I’m especially interested in helping caregivers to do the jobs that we have to do.
Sarah Noorbaksh MD
I’m a practicing physician in Pennsylvania and I’ve been practicing 40 years. I’m 64 now and I’ve spent the last 25 years doing post acute nursing home care hospice and palliative care. I just left the nursing home because I developed some symptoms my rapid test is negative I’m waiting for a PCR test result before I can go back into the building. I’m happy to say that we weren’t restricting any visitation. What I wanted to share with you that I think might be helpful. This is an amazing group by the way I’m so so happy to have encountered it. I was actually pinged by someone 8000 miles away that I just met last week on clubhouse, a Gerontology student from Iran, who I met on a clubhouse chat. And that’s how I found out about you. So what a world we live in.
So I’ve been doing this for so many years and I’m an active member of the American Association of long term care and I don’t know if this group is familiar with that organization. It’s called AMDA. The website is PA LTC, post acute and long term care. They have a lot of the same interests as all of you and one of the things that they have started doing the last four or five years is they hold a shark tank for innovation. A lot of the innovation has to do with media. There’s other technology innovations and they give a prize and all of that. So one of their sessions at the annual meeting is that the next annual meeting is in Baltimore in March, so if you are interested in attending, you can attend digitally as well. But this is going to be our first live meeting in a few years. I’ve done a lot of collaborative work with folks. I’ve worked with the students in the bio engineering department at Johns Hopkins – the Center for Innovation Center for CB ID. It’s called anyway. They’re a PhD program and innovation and design and biomedical engineering they do a lot of elder type projects. So I’ve been sent students, most recently a group of students came up and shadowed me in the nursing home looking for ways to help the elderly. I would encourage any of you who would like to help those students out. Sign up to the mentors or let let the department chair know, he happens to be my brother. So if you’re interested in and want to come through me and have any particular interests, they are engineering students, so if there’s something that they can do to help with the tech, so those are two suggestions. I did start a post acute care department at UPMC. Here we believe we’re up to about 70 facilities and we have about 20, 30 clinicians now that go to multiple homes. There’s one home for example that’s been doing an educational, they’re a large CCRC here that does something called the Pathways Institute and they have college level classes for their elders on campus to attend and they bring college professors in. Over the years I’ve just seen a lot of interesting ways to bring vitality and improve the care. So I would love to help any of you with anything that you might need in terms of some practical perspective from the clinician side after having been in these facilities for 25 years. I’d love to help in any way I can.
Frances West, Accessibility Expert
I’m listening to this talk today with extra interest. You may not know, but my son is a film and advertising producer and one of his films, “Oh Lucy” was about an aging office worker in Japan who fell in love with an English teacher played by Josh Hornet. It was released in 2017, was actually nominated for the Best Independent Film at Cannes Film Festival. So I think that is a movie perhaps some of the the streaming channels might be interested in.
But let me switch to the the topic for next week. I’ve been involved in digital inclusion or technology inclusion for over three decades with my job at IBM. And now, I’m working with different organizations, especially in the startup community to focus on age and ability related user experience. So next week we’re going to bring in two companies: Studio Analogous is a company that does a lot of user branding design and inclusive design. Want to share how we have to really think about user experience in this game whether it is aging or people with disabilities: how they consume our content, and how mindful and intentional we need to be to make sure that user experiences are really optimal and also delightful. The other person company I’m bringing: PersonalAI, a fascinating startup. They are helping people to create their memory stack. As you go through life, you will have your own AI at your command, within your control. So that will help you with your productivity, help you with your recognition and so on. And in some cases if they are some wisdom, for example, you want to be shared with your family or when you’re a follower and you could become an aging influencer. And because of the blockchain technology, there is potentially a way you can monetize your wisdom and your knowledge. (Jan 27 Replay available on Rethinking Aging Club page on Clubhouse).
Replay is above, I will be adding select excerpts here as time permits.
Hope to see you at one of Clubhouse rooms soon. Your comments are welcome here and my Rethinking Aging LinkedIn posts.