Emerging Technologies Supporting Independence among Infirm Elderly
Technologies, broadly defined, are applied sciences. This chapter deals specifically with technology that results in product or hardware development applicable to the infirm aged. Considering independence as a goal for every infirm elderly person, it is possible to speculate on what kinds of products and what levels of technologies must emerge in order to support that goal. With that concept in mind, this chapter investigates potential developments from the manufacturing sector that are within the realm of possibility. Applications of computers, robotics, microprocessing supports to products, telecommunications, and other developing technologies are discussed. All of these technologies are presently either being applied to other areas of product development or are in current use in fields allied to the areas of gerontology and geriatrics. Issues of funding support for product development and of the cost of products in the marketplace are also considered.
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