Lack of access and accessibility have been two of the biggest barriers for older adults and ICT use, further resulting in reduced computer skills, lack of motivation, and even unwillingness to accept new technologies. By looking at these two influential barriers alone, we can also see that this is partially due to the fact that new and emerging technologies are mostly designed and marketed towards the younger generations who tend to be the largest consumer group. Additionally, aging impairments such as physical functioning, arthritis, and macular degeneration have also served in increasing the digital divide as technologies do not allow for inclusive design. Now, the ICT sector for older adults is experiencing a boom as the needs and marketability of tools and services designed specifically for older adults is taking off. The challenge is to offer opportunities to emphasize resources, information, capabilities, and skills, thus “augmenting” the potential of integrating networking services into an elderly-friendly way. By incorporating design and functionality towards the requirements and preferences of this target group, gerontechnology can help aging adults to improve or maintain their QoL, age in place and live independently, increase socialization through connection services, and reduce care costs.
Proceedings of (746) Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications / 747: Human-computer Interaction - 2011, 2011
Quality of Life; Aging; Digital Inclusion; Gerontechnology