The growth in functionality of digital technologies, and the drop in price, is one of the key trends of the modern age. And it is occurring at the same time as another significant trend – the aging of the population. Digital technologies are increasingly being employed to help older and disabled people live more independent and productive lives. In 2005 Connection Research Services was commissioned to produce a report on the key issues in the use of technology for the aged and disabled. The research in this report identified four key areas where digital technologies can be used to improve the lives of the aged, disabled and chronically ill: Health: Many Australians need help in managing their health – an enormous burden on the public health care system. If just a small proportion can manage some aspect of their healthcare through the use of technology, the potential savings will be enormous. Home automation, security and safety: Independence at home is important in maintaining quality of life, as well as decreasing the number of carer support hours needed, Communication: Communication is very important for people whose mobility is limited, or who live alone. Communications technologies greatly improve the quality of life of the aged and disabled. Lifestyle: The various home automation and digital technologies can benefit the aged and the disabled, improving their quality of life by enhancing their independence. Many people are in institutions simply because they can’t cope at home. Technology has the potential to extend their physical independence, so they can stay for longer in their homes. It gives them a more dignified life, and it saves public and private money.
Ageing Population; Digital Technology; Assistive Living; Home Automation