Technology has helped advance and improve many aspects of daily life for everyone in recent years, but one demographic in particular has benefitted from improved technology. Aging populations now have access to improved quality of life and an extended life expectancy due to technological advancements recently, allowing the elderly to live longer and healthier lives.
Improving Health While Aging
Aging, unsurprisingly, comes with an increased number of likely health concerns. As the body ages, certain conditions, become more common, causing more issues as life goes on. For the elderly, this can often mean discomfort in daily activities that they used to enjoy or even just basic daily survival needs. For example, arthritis and joint diseases affect 350 million people around the world, and in many cases, they develop as a natural result of aging. However, certain modern technologies have been shown to be helpful in addressing these concerns; the World Assn. of Laser Therapy has established that target tissues need a dose of 5 to 10 Joules per centimeter squared to get a biological response in cells.
Technological advancements can address more than just physical problems and pain. Researchers have now discovered that using certain electrical impulses and devices can stimulate brain activity, helping those with age-related memory loss to maintain their memory. While the technology is still being developed, this advancement could help aging patients maintain their psychological function for longer, improving quality of life.
Not only has technology grown to address chronic problems like joint pain and neurological issues; it’s helping with diseases and infections as well. Current estimates place the number of people with NTM lung disease in the United States as high as 180,000, and that number is increasing 8.2% every year in people 65 years and older. While this might sometimes be difficult to diagnose, access to the internet is helping aging populations properly assess their symptoms and seek out the medical care they need, sometimes without even needing to leave their home to do so.
In aging populations, technology can be used to reduce the amount of physical effort needed to accomplish certain tasks. Mobility and accessibility can become a serious concern with aging, with some elderly individuals struggling to reach areas of their home they used to be able to or accomplishing simple tasks. Nowadays, advancements in artificial intelligence and digital assistants, like Siri or Alexa, allow seniors to live more comfortably. By integrating this smart technology into more spaces around the home and out in public, more tasks become accessible to a population with decreasing mobility.
Improvements in hardware are also increasing accessibility for seniors and providing assistance in the home. Robotics have significantly improved in the digital age. For seniors who struggle with certain fine motor skills, these robotic developments could help them function at home without needing to rely on a nurse or other caregiver. Technology is increasingly allowing seniors to age in their homes, rather than needing additional care.
A Digital Era
Technology is continuing to advance and develop rapidly, with new discoveries being made every day. As the digital era continues, more technologies will likely develop to address the concerns of an ever-growing number of elderly individuals, as more people live longer and healthier lives.