Spreading the linkAges Word at Hack Palo Alto

Posted on Jun 21, 2013

Innovation Center team members used the recent City Camp Palo Alto Hackathon to not only pitch their ideas but also collect insights from visitors.

Held on June 1st in downtown Palo Alto, CA, this community event brought together coders, artists, inventors, musicians, families and inquiring minds to exchange and inspire thoughts, ideas, perspectives and solutions. With this Hackathon event, Palo Alto joined communities across the U.S. and supported the first-ever National Day of Civic Hacking movement.

Our team  saw an opportunity to share and contribute to the creative energy at the event, as well as a chance to pick the brains of those who passed by their booth, more than 250 by the day’s end.

In keeping with the goal of the linkAges system, being developed by the Innovation Center to support successful aging, the team asked participants two questions, each displayed on a  large poster:

  1. At what age do you think you’ll retire?
  2. At what age do you think you’ll start needing help?

To answer the questions, booth visitors were given colored, stick-on dots with each color representing an age group, roughly separated by life stages.  Visitors answered these questions by sticking their dots in the ten-year age range that corresponded with their answer. You can see the posters and the distribution of the answers in these photos and graphs.


Poster retirement age


Poster additional help


Retire Age Chart -2


Help Age Chart -2

“What was interesting,” said Martin Entwistle, executive director of the Innovation Center, “is the gap between the ages at which people told us they expect to retire and the age when they think they’ll need help to stay in their homes and age successfully. It gave us a chance to engage them about how they envision aging and what inter-generational opportunities exist to support successful aging. It opened up some wonderfully rich  conversations with people of all ages about the challenges of aging and how  the linkAges system PAMF is creating is designed to directly address these issues.”

linkAges, currently being incubated by the Innovation Center, is a community-based, multigenerational network designed to engage and activate existing resources within communities to improve the health and wellbeing of seniors and family caregivers and support successful aging in place by addressing traditionally overlooked social determinants critical to health. A key aspect focuses on building community and intergenerational connectedness to increase community education, personal health management and support for older adults.



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