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Grand Rapids joins select cities to help improve lives of older adults | News

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Grand Rapids joins select cities to help improve lives of older adults
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids is among 30 cities from around the world selected to pitch ideas to keep seniors healthier and happier. The competition is looking for innovative products, technology and services that will address some of the challenges many seniors face.

"This competition can help by bringing creative ideas and solutions to senior living," said Tim Tuthill, director of Residential Services for Clark Retirement Community. "For example, pouring a cup of coffee can seem easy for some but can be a real challenge for many seniors."

"There are appliances today that can alert users if they are left on or getting to hot so the users would not burn themselves accidentally," Tuthill continued. "Technology exists that can help extend your reach or adjust shelf height so you don't have to ask someone grab something for you. These are examples of great new adaptations to make life as good as it can be. In order for us to do that we need to bring those great thought leaders to this area and present their ideas in this wonderful pitch event."

The pitch event, is called 30in30in30, and is organized by a global organization called Aging2.0.

30 pitch events are planned in 30 cities over the course of 30 days. The Grand Rapids event is the only one held in Michigan and will take place on Sep. 10 at Start Garden.

"We are looking for technology ideas but also broader ideas because we want seniors to live a great quality life and so we want to broaden that experience from technology to apps that you can get for your smart phones and iPads," said Tuthill. "Those are the type of things we want to bring to one place and be a hub for bringing that kind of innovation to our great city."

In Michigan, there are almost 3.5 million people age 50 and older. That is about 35% of the population. Those numbers are expected to grow rapidly over the next 15 to 35 years. And, in just 15 years more than 20% of Americans will be 65 and older.

"We know that segment of the population is growing and it is growing by leaps and bounds," said Tuthill. "We want to bring those ideas to one place. This event is for seniors for caregivers, for innovators, for business leaders and entrepreneurs. It is for anyone interested in being involved in this cutting edge market."

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