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Technology for Aging – This Could Be A Slippery Slope

Technology for Aging – This Could Be A Slippery Slope

By Susan Williams

When I first started seeing all the new technology that was being designed to support aging I was really quite excited.

I knew it was only a matter of time for the technology industry to catch up to help solve some of the challenges that many people and families are struggling with as it relates to aging.

But as excited as I am about all the new advancements, I am beginning to wonder whether this could become a slippery slope that we need to pay attention to.

As we start introducing different technologies that directly interact with people – social networks, companions, service robots or something else – I think we also need to pay close attention that we aren’t losing our human connection in the process.

Sadly, loneliness is a major challenge for the elderly. So as this new technology develops, we need to make sure that we understand it’s role and not use it as a replacement for human companionship.

If we are not careful, we could be at risk of becoming dependent on technology to care for our elders. In some ways this may be similar to parents putting their kids in front of the television or a tablet for hours on end to keep them occupied.

It might seem like it’s the easier thing to do but we need to ask ourselves whether it is really the right thing to do.

I will remain hopeful that all this emerging technology for aging will only bring us many benefits without the risk of losing some of our humanity in the process.

But we have to stay aware of this slippery slope.

Here are a couple of examples of the service technology starting to be introduced to support aging.

A new companion has been developed that has artificial intelligence. It has been shown to have a calming influence and reduce the level of anxiety with those who have dementia.

Service robots are also being introduced to help with the daily functions of individuals suffering with Alzhemier’s disease:

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.