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Older People Want to Use Technology to Help Them Remain at Home
Date:3/28/2008

elieve they would have some, or a great deal of difficulty convincing those they care for to adopt technology. Large majorities of both caregivers and potential care recipients believe technology would make them feel safer, give them more personal peace of mind and provide peace of mind for families and friends.

The CAST study lays out the categories of technologies that exist to ease the burden of caregiving for informal and paid caregivers. These include:

-- Sensors can detect and notify a caregiver if a person being cared for does not get out of his chair or turn off the stove.

-- Health technologies can monitor blood pressure, respiration and other conditions in real time while the person is at home, reducing the need for doctor's visits and notifying caregivers immediately of significant changes.

-- Medication dispensers provide the appropriate medicines at the appropriate time and remind a person being cared for to take them.

-- Computer games provide social networking, brain stimulation and even monitoring of cognitive abilities through the use of diagnostic games.

The study also includes interviews with expert researchers, who concluded that factors ranging from interconnectivity between different systems to usability, affordability and the availability of technical support and training will determine how widespread aging services technologies can become.

"Our study shows that we can create a network of technology-driven services to help elders stay at home and achieve better outcomes," said Majd Alwan, PhD, director of CAST. "Technology can help create a new paradigm for caring for elders, and consumers should be as aware of these options as they are aware of their cell phone plans or cable television offerings."

Research commissioned and funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation to the AARP Foundation and the Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) of the American Association of H
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SOURCE AARP
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