Live Long and Master Aging podcast

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Jo Schneier

Combining cognition and emotion to train caregivers for the rapidly aging population

Respect for the elderly knows no bounds, as Jo Schneier, CEO at Cognotion, eloquently explains: “It’s so easy to look at people and prejudge them and to think, ‘I just see an old person.’ I don’t see the child, as she was growing up, or the teenager or the woman who got married or the man who got the job promotion or traveled overseas.” In front of us are people whose lives have been beautifully lived, says Jo, whose work focusses on developing digital education programs to train caregivers for aging populations. Based in New York, Cognotion offers interactive learning platforms for a range of jobs, including nurses and home health aides. In this interview, recorded at the recent TEDMED conference in La Quinta, California, Jo explains the philosophy behind a learning technique that combines cognition and emotion; how the company searches out society’s “untapped potential” to work with a “demanding” population; and why he lifts weights, in mid-life, to nurture his own longevity.

Notes and quotes

Jo Schneier (@JoSchneier) is the CEO at Cognotion a ‘learning company’ with a vision to “change the face of healthcare, improve outcomes for patients and empower the dedicated workers that serve this challenging industry.”

Jo spoke to LLAMA host Peter Bowes at the 2017 TEDMED conference in La Quinta, California. His TEDMED talk, as a ‘Hive innovator’ will be published on the TEDMED site in the next few months.

3:50 Cognotion training focusses on workers who are looking for “meaning” in their jobs.

“We have this massive aging population that is rapidly moving into retirement and we have very little plan on how we’re going to handle that. This is us. This is your parents, your grandparents. Everyone is going to face this problem.”

8:27  Cognotion has shifted the recruitment model to put the funding onus on health care organizations, that have a massive talent shortage.

“Our offering to people that want to become caregivers is free training on your own time and guaranteed employment – if you pass this certification test.”

22.01 Jo is driven by a desire to see equality and respect for all people and for older people, especially, not to be dismissed for “how they look.”

“In Eastern Kentucky or rural Texas or Baltimore or East Hartford the interesting thing is that if you remove how the people look they are all actually saying the same thing and they have the same desires for their families, for their lives.”

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