Friday, November 3, 2017
One of my favorite parts of the LeadingAge Annual Meeting is my first tour of their Expo. Law conferences are so dull by comparison! There are hundreds of vendors at the LeadingAge expos. You can find a smorgasbord of senior housing options, architects eager to help you with your purpose-designed projects, all kinds of communications systems, management software and health-related devices, even cooking classes. I often find information that helps my research, including data complications by actuaries, accountants and marketing firms about trends in housing and care systems. This year I heard about an "app" in development with a university team that included law students, to offer caregivers options to identify potential concerns, such as financial abuse.
In the years I can attend, I keep my eyes open for my own personal "That's Creative" award. This year, it was the Sky Factory -- where, using solar energy, the company offers a wide variety of windows, skylights, and other wall installations -- but with a twist. These portals offer "award winning illusions of nature." Overhead views show clouds and trees, rustling in the wind. Another window might offer a view of an especially pleasant beach, with waves in motion. That is why the designs need energy, appropriately solar energy, to keep the images in motion.
Perhaps most unique, some of the images are designed so as to offer subtle changes triggered to the time of day (or night). Sunlight plays across the images of nature, and shadows move with the sun. The goal is for individuals who are house-, chair- or bed-bound to engage with nature, with the hope the engagement will stimulate mental response and circadian rhythms in the body. The use of this product is not limited to seniors, or even disabled persons.