By Esther Winterfeldt
Spanish Cove has taken on an ambitious project that promises to help seniors and others remain healthy and to maintain independent lifestyles that will help them “live longer better”.
Through the N2O Innovators (Never Too Old) project which was initiated by Don Blose, CEO of Spanish Cove, the aim is to create innovative products and services in any number of areas that will assist seniors who are residents at Spanish Cove as well as seniors living in their own homes or in other retirement centers to have the best quality of life.
A large group of residents have signed on to the project and meet regularly to present a wide range of ideas and for making them a reality.
Partnerships have been formed with several Oklahoma universities and colleges who have agreed to help plan and develop these opportunities.
Engineering faculties and students at both the University of
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, in collaboration with Spanish Cove, are developing specific projects that will allow better access to kitchen appliances and assistance with wearing apparel. Visits with Engineering faculty at both universities resulted in many ideas that may be assigned to advanced students who then receive credit for developing the projects. As these are completed, actual production and marketing are anticipated.
In the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State, a group of residents recently met with faculty in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences, Human Development and Family Sciences, Housing and Merchandising and Gerontology.
From hearing about ergonomic chairs, fitness aids for older adults, apps for tracking health data and algorithms for measuring brain health, faculty stressed that many of the products and services are especially applicable to the older age population. Spanish Cove residents look forward to close collaboration in developing further ideas as well as helping plan and test out prototype programs and appliances as they are developed.
Leading Age, the national organization for non-profit retirement and nursing homes, predicts that seniors will be the predominant population group by 2050 when one in four persons in the U.S. will be 65 or older. Their quality of life, their ability to remain active and to resist disease onset as long as possible depends on how well they are prepared to do so.
Spanish Cove residents and their partners are helping take on this challenge to live longer better. As one resident said, “we can’t do the research or the inventing, but we can provide the ideas and test them out because we know the needs.”
This “Living Longer Better” column is written by special correspondent Esther Winterfeldt at Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon.