Essays & Articles


Delightful Products for Healthy Aging

A paper published in Fast Company.

The original title was “Delightful products for healthy aging,” but the Editor changed it to be “I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me.”   Yes,that is true, but the horror is not restricted to products for the elderly. Anyway, it got published under that title. Too late to do anything about it.

More people than ever are living long, healthy lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years for men and 81.1 for women. More relevant, however, is that as people grow older, their total life expectancy increases. So for those who are now 65, the average life expectancy is 83 for men and over 85 for women. And because I’m 83, I’m expected to live past 90 (but I’m aiming a lot higher than that). And these are averages, which means that perhaps half of us will live even longer.

Those of us who are still active and healthy at advanced ages–I qualify–discover that we aren’t quite as capable as our younger selves. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t healthy and workable–I still have a very active job and travel on business around the world, but I have to admit that I’m getting slower and weaker, with diminished eyesight, hearing, taste, touch, and, well, almost everything physical. The number of active, healthy oldsters is large–and increasing. We are not a niche market. And businesses should take note: We are good customers often with more free time and discretionary income than younger people.

Despite our increasing numbers the world seems to be designed against the elderly.

The entire article is available on the Fast Company website:

Life Hacks for the Elderly

As an addendum to the article, note that numerous people have developed tricks to help manage their lives. Simply search for “life hacks for the elders” on your favorite search engine. You will be surprised at the number of sites and the useful tips.  To make your life easier, let me Google that for you (LMGTFY): just clock on this link: