Technology Revolution for the Evolution of the Quality of Elderly Care

Technology Revolution for the Evolution of the Quality of Elderly Care

The next 10 years are going to be exponentially revolutionary for the global community in different ways. Macros trends in internet access, driverless cars, cashless economies, shared services and better overall health care are just some of the trends that will change all our lives.

But what about the older generations?

Advertisers, investors, vendors and suppliers often chase younger generations or those still in the workforce who maybe a little older but still in the community. As a consequence it seems that global capital flows not only don’t pursue the elderly demographic but avoid it in favour of the younger consumer (that’s despite countries like Japan, Italy, Germany, and Australia and elsewhere facing increasingly ageing populations of over 65’s).

The World Health Organisation has a variety of studies on elderly populations and according to United Nations estimates, the number of older persons (60+) will double from the current 600 million to 1.2 billion by 2025, and again, to 2 billion by 2050.

In one of these studies, the focus of Ageing friendly Cities identified the following criteria to be an Ageing friendly City:

  • recognize the great diversity among older persons,
  • promote their inclusion and contribution in all areas of community life,
  • respect their decisions and lifestyle choices, and
  • anticipate and respond flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences.

Countries with the oldest populations in the world are listed below as per World Atlas:

Rank Country % of population over 65 years old
1 Japan 26.3 %
2 Italy 22.4 %
3 Greece 21.4 %
4 Germany 21.2 %
5 Portugal 20.8 %
6 Finland 20.5 %
7 Bulgaria 20.0 %
8 Sweden 19.9 %
9 Latvia 19.4 %
10 Malta 19.2 %

So with so many countries that have GDP’s per capita on the upper end of the world rankings, why is it where elderly votes are increasingly prevalent are the ageing so voiceless in advocating for quality of care treatment for themselves (or even their next generation) and why then does capital not flow both for investment and consumers in this over 65+ segment more freely not for social impact purposes which would be sound in its own right, but for purely return on investment (ROI) and financial economic incentive purposes?

That’s the state for the more developed countries. However, in developing systems to support the elderly from a sustainable long term community perspective, WHO shows that “long-term care needs to evolve in fundamental ways. In many low- and middle-income countries, formal longterm care services are essentially non-existent. The task of supporting care-dependent older people typically falls to female relatives, who are mostly untrained and unpaid for this work. In some high income countries, comprehensive public services are available, but sustainability is of great concern as populations age. In all settings, the nature and quality of care often fall short.”

So what is being done about it? Show me some examples…

Investment opportunities for business focused on the elderly include:

  • Aged care and retirement homes where these have typically been institutions operated in the shadows by governments, religious groups and NGOs. At times without scrutiny or proper processes where the resident effectively goes to die
  • Shared economy solutions for the elderly as a vulnerable immobile community is one thing. Home-care is a booming market opportunity. What it really is can better be perceived as concierge services for convenience and quality of life improvement for a consumer who just happens to be a little older
  • Technology devices that utilise IOT, remote sensing and other monitoring tools that can potentially catch patients or residents at risk far quicker and without human intervention in remote locations to allow support or emergency services to address issues before it becomes life or death. Furthermore, prevention utilising predictive data insights generated from Big Data or machine learning / AI driven tools create opportunities to adapt and adjust environments to limit falls or provide health care workers and carers first hand experience of what dementia maybe like?

Australia grown CarePage is another example of a Company who has taken the initiative to develop a true consumer experience for the elderly. Where business models exist for hotel services and ratings & reviews of quality of supply in that market around travel, www.carepage.com.au has proven these can be adapted (with key differences) for families and residents, or operators and health care workers alike, to assess the ranking and experience of aged care homes and retirement options thus starting to turn the tide of focus from the aged care operators not valuing the customer first (ie the resident) to recognising that they are ultimately still a service business and their consumer, the elderly resident (and their families) will influence and rate their quality of services and their customer experience.

There are many others. Most importantly, science and technology are enabling massive change. This is all very well. But let’s treat the elderly like the ‘global elders‘ that they are and elevate them onto the podium of social status, not forgot about them in the dark institutions and social services of constrained, de-humanised government subsidies.

A huge opportunity for a good cause…

More people need to focus on championing and celebrating the unlocked, apparently hidden value in the wisdom and memories and insights of the elderly community. They need to be championed for their wisdom today, and not just in memory when its too late. Recognising every grandparent as an asset, treating every vulnerable elderly community member as a valuable custodian of knowledge and asking ‘what can i learn from them’ is the easiest first step to start treating this important demographic like the global elders they are, and not a social liability and a truly forgotten global generation that they risk becoming as an unintended consequence of an evolving global technology revolution.

Thanks to HelloCare for the sourcing of data and reports.

Prominent pediatrician says transgender ideology is causing widespread child abuse

Prominent pediatrician says transgender ideology is causing widespread child abuse

The following scenario is becoming commonplace: a teenager, formerly a boy suddenly identifying as a trans girl; a girl newly identifying as a gender-fluid person; a girl leaving home for spring break and returning as a trans boy.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this is all fairly new to me.

What’s going on? Is this for real? Have there always been children who were uncomfortable with their gender, but never said so? Is the general insistence on tolerance leading some adolescents to test gender identity as part of that rebellious phase of life?

Was the world blind and deaf to the silent struggles of thousands of children through the ages or is this just some new poppycock sold as liberal acceptance of all differences – a form of political correctness?

At least one qualified professional is critical of this new development.

Prominent pediatrician Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, is speaking out against the attempts to normalize a “transgender identity” ideology that ultimately can do irreparable harm to America’s children.

Writing a commentary at The Daily Signal, Cretella says transgender ideology is affecting the law and encroaching in the lives of innocent children and that with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.

Cretella has been a board-certified doctor for more than 17 years and focuses on child behavioral health.

“I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal,” she writes and then proceeds to discuss the so-called new normal.

The new normal

Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013. In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, one year later, there were 40 across the nation.

When the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health nonetheless pressed ahead, claiming — without any evidence — that these procedures are “safe.”

Two leading pediatric associations — the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society have followed suit even though the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on limited evidence.

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.

Hold on, what usually happens when someone “consistently and persistently insist” on something that is contrary to physical evidence?

As Cretella points out, such a person in normal life and psychiatry is considered either confused or delusional, but apparently not as far as this issue is concerned.

“The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story,” affirms Cretella.

She then points out that:

  1. Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”
  2. Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.
  3. Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.
  4. There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.
  5. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.
  6. Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.
  7. There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.
  8. Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.1. Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”

Major takeaway: transitional affirming protocol is child abuse.

“These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases,” affirms Cretella, calling on the nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what’s going on and unite to take action.

Ex-Facebook president unloads on Mark Zuckerberg, says he’s exploiting vulnerable people

Ex-Facebook president unloads on Mark Zuckerberg, says he’s exploiting vulnerable people

Sean Parker shared strong words with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on Wednesday.

Parker, 38, is the founding president of Facebook and founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. At an Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia he said that the largest social network on the planet is a behemoth that consumes people’s time, reported media outlets.

Parker was reportedly an early inspiration for Zuckerberg when Parker co-founded the music file-sharing site Napster in 1999 five years before Facebook. Parker was involved in the early days of Facebook, helping Zuckerberg raise institutional investment and maintain voting control of the company.

Referring to Facebook as “a social validation feedback loop”, Parker added, “That means that we needed to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever… It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators, it’s me, it’s Mark… understood this consciously and we did it anyway.”

“It’s a social validation feedback loop…. It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting vulnerability in human psychology.” — Sean Parker

He said the thought process that went into building these applications — “Facebook being the first of them to really understand it” — was all about capturing your attention and never letting go. “That thought process was about how much do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible,” Parker said. “That means we need to give you a dopamine hit every once in a while because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post, or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content.”

Zuckerberg, 33, has long maintained that Facebook brings people together. Now, the Facebook CEO says that connecting people online isn’t enough.

“We used to have a sense that if we could just do those things, then that would make a lot of the things in the world better by themselves,” Zuckerberg told CNN Tech. “But now we realize that we need to do more too. It’s important to give people a voice, to get a diversity of opinions out there, but on top of that, you also need to do this work of building common ground so that way we can all move forward together.”

Here’s some further reading on the evolution of social media and how it’s impacting society and our minds:

Check out what Jason Silva has to say about social media in the age of filter bubbles.

Syria signs Paris Agreement leaving the United States as the only country in the world to reject it

Syria signs Paris Agreement leaving the United States as the only country in the world to reject it

Syria has become a signatory of the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country in the world not to support the international framework to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

When US President Donald Trump announced that he intended to pull out of the agreement, at the time it meant that only the US, Nicaragua and Syria were the countries on Earth not to be part of the deal.

Until recently Nicaragua remained a holdout nation, but only because they believed the agreement didn’t go far enough to putting limits on emissions and helping poorer countries adapt to the agreement with solid financial commitments from wealthier nations. Nicaragua is now a haven for renewable energy, with more than half of their energy coming from geothermic, wind, solar and wave energy.

Now that Syria has signed the deal, the United States is the only country not to sign it.

“As if it wasn’t already crystal clear, every single other country in the world is moving forward together to tackle the climate crisis, while Donald Trump has isolated the United States on the world stage in an embarrassing and dangerous position,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune told reporters.

“With Syria on board, now the entire world is resolutely committed to advancing climate action – all save one country,” a statement from the World Resources Institute noted.

“This should make the Trump administration pause and reflect on their ill-advised announcement about withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.”

Under President Barack Obama, the US was one of the earliest countries to sign the deal and put it into action. But Obama signed the deal with an executive order to bypass Congress, resulting in the agreement not being a legally binding treaty. This paved the way for Trump to withdraw from the agreement.

No surgery for smokers or the obese: Controversial policy in the UK stirs debate

No surgery for smokers or the obese: Controversial policy in the UK stirs debate

Take responsibility for your own health and well being, lose weight and stop smoking. Until you do all these things, you won’t be eligible for surgery.

This is the bold message from several local health authorities in the UK, the latest being Herefordshire.

The NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire, reports The Telegraph. The restrictions, thought to be the most extreme to be introduced by health services yet, has stirred debate in the UK.

In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for smokers and obese patients who are told to lose weight or stop smoking before they will be considered for surgery. However, the new rules are very harsh. Under the new rules, obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients undergoing a breath test before referral, reports The Telegraph.

The authorities want people “to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, wherever possible, freeing up limited NHS resources for priority treatment”.

The fact is that smoking and obesity cause a whole slew of serious diseases that lower life quality and risk early death at huge cost to medical services.

Smoking and obesity have dire consequences.

Smoking causes damage to nearly every organ in the body and is directly responsible for a number of diseases.

Every year, more than 480,000 people die in the United States due to tobacco-related diseases. That is around 1 in 5 of all deaths. It is estimated that 1 in 2 smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.

Obesity in childhood can lead to a number of health problems through life. In adults, overweight and obesity are linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and other chronic conditions.

The reasoning is that people must take responsibility for these conditions and not burden the system with procedures that could have been prevented had they taken care of their own health in the first place. The new rules aim to ban access to routine, non-urgent surgery. Reducing obesity and smoking can reduce the risk of serious complications during and after surgery and shorten hospital stays and thus reduce costs.

The time frame for improving health is set at nine months for the obese. Those with a body mass index over 40 must reduce the number by 15% over the nine months and those with a body mass over 30 must reduce it by 10%.

Smokers will be considered for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks and if they passed a breath test.

This is really radical.

As one senior surgeon who is against the new rules pointed out: this means that someone can be turned away just based on their weight, without a physician having assessed them!

There has been two distinct reactions to this latest development in the battle between increasing health care costs and aging populations.

Some commentators commend the NHS for taking a stand and forcing people to stop indulging in sweet treats and cigarettes in spite of warnings of the consequences. Why should people who take responsibility for their own health have to contribute to the well-being of those who ignore warnings against unhealthy lifestyles?

Others say these new rules are blatant discrimination. Today it’s obese people and those who smoke that are denied treatment. Who will be next? People who do extreme sports?

Ian Eardley, senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, says its’s wrong to bar NHS treatment to any group of patients.

“Singling out patients in this way goes against the principles of the NHS,” said Ian Eardley, senior vice president at the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK. “This goes against clinical guidance and leaves patients waiting long periods of time in pain and discomfort. It can even lead to worse outcomes following surgery in some cases.”

The policy also drew criticism from Robert West, professor of health psychology at the UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health who wrote in an email to CNN: “Rationing treatment on the basis of unhealthy behaviors betrays an extraordinary naivety about what drives those behaviors.”

In other words, people are not always in control of their various appetites and shouldn’t be punished for it.

What is your take on this issue? Is it ethical for a health authority to exclude people from treatment based on their lifestyle choices? Or should you be denied treatment if you blatantly ignore warnings against overeating and smoking?

Gay pride: Two male lions seen having sex at a wildlife park

Gay pride: Two male lions seen having sex at a wildlife park

An amateur photographer has snapped photos of what appears to be two male lions having sex at a Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, England.

Warehouse manager Russ Bridges, 42, was with his wife Mandy when he snapped the big cats having some fun together.

He told Mercury Press, “There are two males and a female in that pride. One of the lions suddenly got up, walked over and jumped on his friend’s back.”

The incident was seen by several onlookers, many of whom found it funny.

Russ said: “I’ve never seen a shot of two males on top of one another with one sticking his tongue out before – it’s like he’s showing some pride in what he’s doing.”

He added: “I absolutely adore animals, I can’t even bring myself to kill a fly or a spider, and love the conservation work that the park [does].”

It’s not clear whether the lion on top was exerting dominance over the other lion or was responding to the lack of attention received from the female lioness, although park director Cheryl Williams subsequently said she believes the two male lions are just playing in a boisterous way.

It’s not the first time that male lions have been spotted having sex. Rob the Ranger captured the following video in South Africa, although clarifies in the caption to the video that the mounting is a show of affection rather than an indication of the lions being gay. See for yourself:

Another video captured male lions having sex at Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2008, with the caption “being such social animals, homosexuality is a common thing among lions.”