To tattoo or not – challenging perceptions and designing for aging – this weeks top reads

5 Tops Reads This weeks round-up of aging in the news has some interesting  challenges to our image of old age and how we can design for a better ageing and aged care.

Dementia care guide for Retirement Villages 

A new guide, for managers and operators of retirement villages has been developed and launched by Alzheimer’s Australia, NSW, and the Property Council of Australia.

The guide is designed to assist villages in dealing with the challenges that dementia can bring to life in a retirement village.

The Guide providers operators with a better understanding of dementia and how the design and management of villages can assist residents with dementia age in place. While the cost of designing in, or retrofitting, for dementia is high the benefits are enormous for residents and families.

Download the Guide here.

Design thinking can help improve care for the elderly

Medication support or prompts is a key in-home care service provided to elderly clients living alone at home.

There are an increasing number of technologies being developed to make this support available remotely. These technologies are examined using design thinking in order to achieve the end goal of achieving greater compliance to medication regimes amongst the elderly.

Design thinking is defined by Tim Brown as

a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.

The practical issues and limitations of the current technologies used in medication management are explored.

The authors identify the very real issues that hinder medication compliance with existing technology solutions, these are

  1. prescription refill dates vary which encourages people to hold off filling all prescriptions
  2. labels are often hard to read and don’t have explicit dosage, administration instructions,
  3. reminder cues for taking medications need to be in place to encourage adherence,
  4. integrating the medication packaging and digital prompts and dispensing systems so they work together and not against each other to ensure compliance.

The article puts forward one service developed in the US that is seeking to address all of these problems and limitations –

This could be the way of the future for medication prompts and supports in in-home care.

Gay retirement communities come of age

The need for more diverse and varied aged care options that mirror the diversity in our community is a long time in coming. This article out of the US showcases the increasing retirement living options for LGBTI adults in the US.

A local TV station covered the retirement community of Rainbow Vista Senior Living centre through the story of one of its residents Dennis Creamer,  KPTV – FOX 12.

Another trailer for the documentary ‘Before you know it’ covers the challenging of ageing LGBTI

Grandmother sneaks out of nursing home to get a tattoo

A 79 year old took time out of her nursing home to get her first tattoo. So it seems the fad of body tattoo’s is not restricted to the young.

#ageing @tattoo
Grandmother Sadie, sporting her new tattoo – Image via The Mirror

Grandma Sadie supposedly snuck out of the nursing home with her granddaughter to get  a simple tattoo of a heart. Sadie was impervious to the potential concerns of her family, stating “I don’t care”.

So no matter your age you can challenge perceptions of what is appropriate and right.








Registered Nurses (RN) cut drug errors at Nursing Homes 

A US study has confirmed that RN are more likely than their nursing colleagues (Licensed Practical Nurses LPN) to identify high risk medication errors that might pose a risk to resident safety.

While this is a small study it does highlight the need for RN in nursing homes/residential aged care.

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