6Our Kids Will Play Us Like Video Games
Do you know what was fun about The Sims? This isn't a rhetorical question -- please post your answers in the comments section. From what we can tell, the "game" was all about monitoring the bodily functions of a house full of plodding, barely coherent people. Pretending to be happy that the little house full of pseudo-humans was thriving kind of stinks of loneliness to us. Well, in the future, our kids will be all about The Sims, and we're going to be their Sims.
"Swim your ass off -- he's deleting the ladder!"
And you know what else? We're going to be happy about it, because the alternative is nursing homes. So instead of sending parents to Deception City above or an assisted living facility, adult children are going to make use of technology to keep their parents living independently for as long as possible -- that's the good news. The bad news is that this involves your own kids remotely tracking your bowel movements some day.
In one pilot program, participants' homes are rigged with motion sensors that keep track of how fast or slow the patient is walking, door monitors that let adult children know when the patient leaves the home and refrigerator alarms that keep track of how often the occupant eats. One home tested a robot sporting a video monitor, which the adult child controlled via joystick from several states away. Again, these are all good things when we're talking about people who are one fall away from getting put in a home. P.S.: Most of this stuff is available for sale right now if you and your loved ones are having trust issues.
To be fair, that could just mean that they bought Diablo III.
Speaking of trust issues, if you've ever wanted to get back at an elder for dressing you like a cornball in school, we think you might like these things: They're called Fancy Pants and they sense when the wearer is getting too frail for their own good. Then they can send a warning to a family member or facility keeping an eye on him. Which means Fancy Pants wearers have a shot at living independently longer, but also have to look like this:
"Grandpa, you have got to get over your Dave Matthews phase."
Elderly hipster or Batman villain? You decide.
5Our Kids Will Be Our Sex Cops
You know old people have sex, right? Not just the spritely cute ones in the Viagra commercials, either. The ones with dementia have sex, too. The ones who don't recognize their own children, but made a connection with the lady in the room next door. And this is scary stuff, because these are people who aren't great about taking precautions, which explains why STD rates among the elderly is off the charts. No one wants Gram Gram to get syphilis. No one.
Well ... maybe one guy.
So nursing homes are in a pickle. They want their patients to be happy, and sex makes everyone happy, but good gravy -- do dementia patients even know what they're doing when they're doing it? Is a nurse going to make sure everyone's wearing their condoms before they start? These are calls no one wants to make.
Enter the brand new concept of "sexual power of attorney." Or sex police. And guess who's going to get the job? The same ones watching out for your money and health in the first place -- your kids. In the same way that you'd write a living will or hand over your finances to your adult children, there might come a time when you want your kids to authorize your right to have sex. So when worse comes to worst and a group home is the best place to be, the people in charge of your love life will be the same people you once prohibited from watching HBO after 7 p.m. There's no way that's going to end badly.
"Thanks a lot, cockblocker. You could at least let him put it in my ass."
Meanwhile, for the young folks ...