Current Uptake of Technology Related to the Built Environment to Support Older Adults to Live Independently in Their Community

Futcher, Julie and Pascale, Federica and Pooley, Alison and Francis, Sally-Anne (2019) Current Uptake of Technology Related to the Built Environment to Support Older Adults to Live Independently in Their Community. Urban Planning, 4 (2). ISSN 2183-7635

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Current forecasts predict that, in line with increasing global populations and extended life expectancy, older adults will dominate the population structure. To accommodate this demographic shift, governmental policies point to ‘ageing in place’ as key. This article outlines research findings of an initial investigation into the uptake of technology to support ‘ageing in place’. The study sets out to identify both incentives and barriers to the uptake under four key activity criteria— medical, monitoring, mobility and social—at three built environment scales—home, street and neighbourhood, for urban, semi-urban and rural locations—to support older adults to live independently in their community. Results show that whilst there are significant and justified concerns over the limitations of physical conditions to support ‘ageing in place’, most physical conditions along with age are not barriers to the uptake of technology, as uptake is high regardless of circumstances. However, the study revealed that uptake is dependent on level of training, if shown to lead to increasing independence, includes a level of ‘enjoyment of use’, and does not replace existing physical relationships. The study also identified that there is limited research around the use of technology for either mobility or social activities outside the home; rather, research focus is concerned with medical monitoring in the home. Finally, research overlooks the role of geographic demographics to support ‘ageing in place’. The results of this research can provide useful guidelines co-created with older adults for the development of new policies to ‘ageing in place’.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: ageing in place, geographic demography, independent living, older adults, technology
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2019 14:25
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:55

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