Older people may be slow to embrace new technology but that doesn’t mean they are technophobes. Before we write-off technology to help older people age-in-place, it is worthwhile remembering that the current generation of boomers (those in the age group 46-65) were the first generation to encounter computers in the workplace and one of the first to have email addresses. This is also the generation of the worried-well; older people who are concerned about the physical and mental health deterioration which comes with age, despite currently being healthy.
What makes the outlook more appealing to this generation than those who have gone before is the understanding that technology can be developed to help manage the symptoms of ageing. Technology is all around us, whether it’s our laptops, smartphones or automatic house lights which can help the transition to older age. The development of aged care technology is moving at a lightening pace as manufacturers see a gap in the market and a need for ‘alert’ systems, simple communication devices and the adoption of e-health throughout the world.
However, while all the gadgets may offer a cost effective means with which to help an older relative, they should not be considered an alternative to high level care when required.