The Birth of an Idea

In early 2010, Aging Services of California partnered with the California Association for Health Services at Home to sponsor a joint informational hearing at the California State Capitol. Originally, the hearing was intended to educate members of the legislature and their staff about innovative ways that technology could be used to help older adults age in place. Although we anticipated a fair amount of interest – our state is, after all, home to Silicon Valley – the attendance far surpassed our expectations.

The hearing room was quite literally packed with lawmakers, legislative staff, aging services providers and residents – all eager to learn more about the vital role technology can play in supporting elders. It was immediately evident that we were on to something here.

After the hearing, we started having more frequent conversations with our friends at CAHSAH about the possibility of a joint project that would focus exclusively on the intersection of technology with the field of aging services.

In the fall of 2010, that project became a reality with the launch of AgeTech California, a strategic partnership between our two organizations. The mission of the initiative is to break down the barriers providers of housing and services for older adults face when it comes to adopting new technologies. I guess you could say that AgeTech California owes its existence to an overflow hearing in Sacramento. The cover article in [the November] issue of Agenda and the promising uses of technology in the field of aging.

• • • In an effort to set the record straight, I want to correct a misprint from the October issue of this column, we reversed the previous MetLife Foundation Award winners. We should have indicated that in 2009, Episcopal Senior Communities received the award for Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto, Calif., and Mercy Housing California won for Mission Creek Senior Community in San Francisco. We apologize for the error and again congratulate all of our members who have received this prestigious award. • • •

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