Research is Right at Home
by Kathryn T.
I had some familiarity with computers before I joined the Intelligent Systems for Assessing Aging Changes (ISAAC) study three and a half years ago. I had two “hand-me-down” computers from my son, but these were out of date when I got the ISAAC computer.
The OHSU research center set up the computer equipment in my home. It used motion sensors and computers to track my activity and monitor my health. The ISAAC study is designed to collect information about normal aging and give researchers information about any changes over time. It also tests monitoring equipment that may someday be common in older people’s homes.
For the study, I filled out a weekly health questionnaire. I also met regularly with Colette Duncan from OHSU, who came to my home and tested my memory skills. I played computer games that were designed to support and test my brain health over time.
When my son encouraged me to document my memories of life as a child during the Great Depression, I took on the project with the help of my ISAAC computer. Over two years, I gathered pictures and stories from family members. The resulting history combines information from my mother’s writings, online genealogies and, of course, my own memories. Using the computer, I wrote and designed the final document. I only needed a little help with scanning pictures.
Being involved in OHSU’s research on aging helped me keep up with modern technology. It gave me access to the latest health information and helped me stay involved with my family and community. Plus, just living daily life as an ISAAC participant helped me make a contribution to research that will benefit future generations.
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