Silicon Valley and the Sandwich Generation: Apps for the Elderly

They call them the sandwich generation: adults who are simultaneously caring for their children and their aging parents.

You find “sandwichers” everywhere, from factories to firms, and that includes Silicon Valley — home to the country’s leading tech giants.

Reuters recently chronicled Stephanie Tilenius’s journey from her role as Google’s Commerce Chief to the head of her own startup. It’s called Vida, and for $15 a week, it gives elderly patients direct access to doctors, nurses, and nutritionists through their smartphones. Available as a mobile app, Vida even includes regularly scheduled medication reminders.

Tilenius is one of many from the Silicon crowd who’ve ventured into the “elder app” market over the last few years. While the senior population has been relatively slow to embrace smartphone technology, there is now enough utility and demand there to justify a swift influx of former tech execs.

We may very well be on the cusp of a major explosion of IT for the elderly. As it has in most other facets of modern live, handheld technology could absolutely revolutionize elder care in America. It’s an exciting time for the field, and I can’t wait to see what waits in store.