2009 AAHSA Annual Meeting & Exposition Video Recap

Minnix discusses CLASS Act

Larry Minnix, president and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), speaks to Maureen Hrehocik, editor of Long-Term Living­ magazine, about the CLASS Act provisions included in the recently passed House health reform bill. The CLASS Act was heavily touted during this week’s AAHSA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago by Minnix as well as several other association members.

For more information from AAHSA on the CLASS Act, visit this link: https://www.aahsa.org/classact.aspx.

AAHSA’s technological marvel—the ‘Idea House’ At the AAHSA Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago, I had the eye-opening pleasure of touring the 2,600-square-foot AAHSA ‘Idea House,’ where “technology, universal design, and environmentally friendly construction come together to transform aging.” The open air prototype, designed by THW Design, was built outside the exhibit hall.

It is a technological wonder, from the $8,000 toilet that raises and lowers depending on the height of the user and has two flushing speeds—one for solid waste and one for liquid—to the $6,000 robot seal that is used to calm dementia patients. The little guy actually breathes and moves its head and body, its white fur is warm and soft, and it can learn its name!

Other useful adaptations include: a desk, cabinets, and cupboards that raise and lower for ease of use; a doorbell connected to the TV so one can see who’s at the door before it’s answered; an airy portico that could easily be the center of activity in the home; wide doorways and openings; a medicine dispenser that will dispense medicines when they need to be taken and will remind the resident to take them; and the latest in furniture and beds, including one that lowers all the way to the floor and then has cushions around the mattress to prevent rolling.

This is a house that one could age in place in without ever having to move. And the computer technology! It was mind-boggling. There’s no doubt in my mind; the AAHSA ‘Idea House’ showed me the future is here.

– Maureen Hrehocik, Editor

Protection from dementia’s wanderlust

As residents with cognitive impairment—and their wandering behavior—become more prevalent in the long-term care setting, worried families and facilities are looking toward technology to help foster peace of mind and safety. One such form of technology, known as radio-frequency identification, or RFID for short, monitors the location of an individual by placing a tiny transmitter on their body.

I was able to grab Kathie Vick, marketing manager of RF Technologies, at the AAHSA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago for a brief discussion on RFID technology and how it relates to the long-term care industry. What is the purpose of RFID technology? Does it intrude on resident privacy? How should a facility go about implementing an RFID program? Watch the video to hear Vick’s responses and more.

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