Gerontechnology

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Gerontechnology is an interdisciplinary academic and professional field combining gerontology and technology. Sustainability of an ageing society depends upon our effectiveness in creating technological environments, including assistive technology and inclusive design, for innovative and independent living and social participation of older adults in good health, comfort and safety. In short, gerontechnology concerns matching technological environments to health, housing, mobility, communication, leisure and work of older people. Research outcomes form the basis for designers, builders, engineers, manufacturers, and those in the health professions (nursing, medicine, gerontology, geriatrics, environmental psychology, developmental psychology, etc.), to provide an optimum living environment for the widest range of ages.

Description[edit]

Gerontechnology is considered an adjunct to the promotion of human health and well-being. It pertains both to human development and ageing and aims at compressing morbidity and increasing vitality in the life-span and quality of life. It creates solutions to extend the working phase in society by maximizing the vital and productive years in the life span, consequently reducing cost of care in later life.

The overall framework of gerontechnology may be seen as a matrix of domains of human activity: health & self-esteem, housing & activities of daily living, communication & governance, mobility & transport, work & leisure, and technology interventions or impact levels (enhancement & satisfaction, prevention & engagement, compensation & assistance, care and care organisation). Underpinning all these elements are generic and applied evidence-based research. Such research supports the development of products and services.

Gerontechnology has much in common with other interdisciplinary domains, such as Assistive Technology (for the compensation & assistance and the care support & care organisation rows of the matrix), and Universal Design for the development of all products and services pertaining to gerontechnology.

Gerontological Design[edit]

Gerontological Design focuses on providing effective solutions to improve the way of life for ageing individuals, through gerontological knowledge and design research methods to obtain better understanding of these individuals' preferences and requirements.

Gerontological design also refers specifically to the study and practice of building design methods that support elderly users in the built environment. Some universities host professors, commonly in architecture or interior design departments, that specialize in the study and teaching of this design specialization. Not only does this include the examination of building design characteristics that impact older adults' physiological wellbeing, but also this can include investigating building design characteristics that impact informational needs (i.e. finding your way around in a space) or social interaction needs(Campbell, 2012).

Between 2008 and 2030, Singapore will witness an age profile shift in our population’s history. In 2005, one in 12 residents was 65 years or older. By 2030, one in 5 residents will be 65 years or older.[1] Studies show that in 2002, 7% of the world's population is aged 65 and above. By 2050, it is envisaged that the percentage could rise to nearly 17%.[2] The aging population and its impact on economics, politics, education and lifestyle is no longer an isolated issue but a global concern. In time, products and services relevant to the “silver industry” are expected to flood the marketplace. And with it, an increase in the demand for designers with a very good sense of the needs of an ageing population using the knowledge of gerontological design process.

Publications[edit]

An international academic journal with delayed open-access, Gerontechnology [1], is published by the International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG) [2].

Education[edit]

SetupResearch.jpg

The first ISG Masterclass [3] for PhD students in 2006 produced a scheme to support gerontechnological research.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ministry of Community Development, Committee on Ageing Issues (2006). "Report on the Ageing population. Demographic Realities: Opportunities and Challenges" (PDF). Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  2. ^ U.S. Census Bureau (March 2004). "Global population at a glance: 2002 and beyond. International Brief (Report No. WP/02-1)" (PDF). Washington, DC. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 

External links[edit]