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Technology and the Aging Population

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:01pm
Included in a recent issue of our Business of Aging newsletter was an article from Katie Kline titled Psychologists Suggest Ways To Include The Aging Population In The Technology Revolution.

Katie writes that for the aging population technological progress can in fact be more limiting, and the key to including the aging population in information technology is to adopt design principles that are age sensitive.

According to the researchers, there are several age-related changes that affect technology use in older adults, including difficulties with vision, audition, motor control and cognition.

Specifically, older adults experience reduced visual acuity, color perception and susceptibility to glare. They also encounter a greater difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds and perceive a greater interference from background noises. As for motor skills, ailments such as arthritis can limit a person's use of technology as well. Aging is also associated with a general slowing of cognitive processes, decreased memory capacity and attentional control, and difficulties with goal maintenance. It also takes older adults twice as long to learn new information compared to younger adults.

There is hope that some technological advances may ultimately be able to boost technological abilities in the aging population.

The source of the article is Katie Kline from the Association for Psychological Science. If interested read it here.
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