How record could be a resolution to caregiver necessity for seniors

(The Conversation is an eccentric and nonprofit source of news, investigate and explanation from educational experts.)

Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, Texas AM University ; David Lindeman, University of California, Berkeley, and Marcia G. Ory, Texas AM University


(THE CONVERSATION) Young people might hurl their eyes during comparison people who can’t use record as quick as they do, though it’s wrong to contend that comparison Americans can’t use technology. Remember, a baby boomer, Tim Berners-Lee, invented a World Wide Web, so because should we be astounded that they continue to create, adopt and use new technology?

Middle-aged and comparison adults are embracing record for a accumulation of reasons. Recent inhabitant information reveals that Americans are some-more digitally connected than ever before. With approximately 70% of seniors now connected to a internet, these inclination are a partial of their daily lives to stay informed, bond to friends and family, shop, make transport plans, and make reservations for transport and transportation. Apps such as Medisafe, Google Maps with parking mark reminders, HomeAway and Lumosity are also apropos renouned among a comparison population.


As experts in aging and health, we concentration on a factors that foster successful aging, enabling comparison adults to connect, emanate and contribute. In particular, we have been study record use in comparison adults, examining both certain and disastrous aspects of record and severe a misconceptions surrounding comparison adults’ use and adoption of new technology. Our investigate posits that aging, record and health issues will be inextricably related in a future.

Older adults some-more contingent on technology

The impetus toward an ever-aging multitude underscores a vital demographic and technological change – a contentment of many of aging boomers will increasingly count on technology. The series of caregivers in a pursuit marketplace is not approaching to keep gait with those who wish and need assistance for comparison adults aging in place. By 2050, a intensity ratio of caregivers to those wanting caring in a high-risk 80-plus age organisation will dump to 3 to one, divulgence a mismatch between caring needs and caring providers.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Report sum how a aging population’s need for support will be contingent on adoption of record in a form of robots, wearable devices, “smart” homes, unconstrained vehicles and synthetic intelligence.


But few seniors and even developers of program and tech inclination know what this trend might meant in terms of costs and benefits, remoteness and security, and equity of care, generally for those vital in farming and low-income civic areas.

A new news from a National Science and Technology Council addresses many of these issues by acknowledging 4 critical contribution about record adoption.

• Cost factors in comparison to a advantage of technology: In further to concerns over form factors such as shade and keyboard size, many comparison adults destroy to see a combined advantages for a cost of smartphones. Seniors mostly cite a reduce costs, aloft form cause such as vast splendid displays or durable construction and longer battery life of flip phones as compared to an US$800 smartphone, that might need a headset and daily if not some-more visit charging.

• Mobile apps need updates and relearning of operations: App vendors frequently refurbish their products, infrequently to supplement features, though also to repair bugs and tighten confidence holes. Nearly 50% of comparison adults 65 and comparison and 40% of those ages 50-64 feel they need someone to support them in training and regulating a new record device, as compared to approximately 20% of those ages 18-29.

• Security and remoteness threats fuel fears of technology: Older adults have concerns about new technology’s intensity to interrupt their remoteness and a intensity for invasions of personal and financial security.

• Age, educational turn and economics are primary drivers of adoption: While a enterprise for aging in place cuts opposite demographic groups, internet use and record adoption are mostly driven by a financial and educational astuteness of comparison adult adopters. Younger, comparatively abundant or some-more rarely prepared seniors are pushing most of a new expansion in tech adoption.

Older adults like technology

Despite these concerns, comparison Americans who use a internet tend to perspective record in a certain light and are expected to increasingly incorporate digital and voice-activated record into their daily lives. According to Pew Research’s Tech Adoption Among Older Adults, entirely 58% of adults ages 65 and comparison contend record has had a mostly certain impact on society, while roughly three-quarters of internet-using seniors contend they go online on a daily basement – and scarcely one in 10 go online roughly constantly.

While not nonetheless common, there is an boost in a accessibility of training and tips for program developers to cruise a earthy and mental characteristics of comparison adults in a pattern process.

And yet, while some comparison people are savvy tech users, many face unique, age-related earthy and cognitive hurdles that might act as barriers to being entirely intent in an augmenting digital world. Declines in visible clarity make reading tiny rise on smartphone screens challenging. Color prophesy also diminishes with age, and comparison users might have problem specifying colors and need aloft levels of contrariety between colors. If a smartphone or smartwatch’s interface relies on colors as user guides from one underline to another, comparison adults might face challenges.

And, age-related conference detriment is common for adults over 65. As a result, comparison users might destroy to hear alerts and soothing high-pitched pings that a device or app uses to announce arriving calendar events, pull notifications or alarms. Hand-eye coordination might also make regulating smaller inclination difficult. Finger swiping on a shade comes naturally to younger adults lifted with wiring in their hands, not so most for comparison adults.

Golden on a horizon

What army will propel some-more courtesy to technological solutions for addressing a needs of comparison persons? Certainly, it’s a perfect numbers of projected comparison adults worldwide, and a approval that record will be indispensable to assistance say comparison people’s health and autonomy given a timorous race of accessible caregivers.

We trust a aging population, that represents both opportunities and challenges, is a constrained business event for a private sector, quite among companies urgently perplexing to find how record can best support comparison adults. The mercantile energy of comparison adults is a tip in plain sight, and a corporate village is only commencement to conclude because educational institutions are investing in training some-more about aging.

Public health and aging researchers like us are formulating a fact bottom for 21st-century entrepreneurs to consider strategically to overcome aging stereotypes. For maximal benefit, record contingency be manageable to new generations of comparison adults who are aging in place with some-more investment and seductiveness in new technology. We can best accomplish this by building an thorough process and open horizon for a use of digital devices, amicable networks, AI and robotics that capacitate comparison adults to connect, emanate and minister in their golden years.

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This essay is republished from The Conversation underneath a Creative Commons license. Read a strange essay here: http://theconversation.com/how-technology-could-be-a-solution-to-caregiver-shortage-for-seniors-103878.


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