Published on December 25th, 2018 | by Guest


Design Tech for Elderly [Infographic]

Many of today’s top engineers innocuously failed to remember the world’s older population when designing new, and innovative technologies. Most of these professionals fall in the younger age range, which is why most technological innovations are geared to a younger crowd.

Highlighting the importance of this oversight is that analysts forecast that 19-percent of United States population will soon be over the age of 65. Interestingly enough, that’s the same percentage of the population that owns an iPhone. Still, as things stand, it may take a little longer before Silicon Valley comes around to recognizing the importance of the aging population.

A lesser known fact is that aging affects seniors’ memories in different ways. Of those whose memory is affected, they might complete activities of daily living with no difficulties while suffering from cognitive diminishment. These same individuals, however, can learn new skills – or even relearn things that they have forgotten.

Everyone ages differently, but how they age isn’t always predictable. Starting at the age of 40, human eyes start to harden. As a result, a normal part of aging is that as time goes on it grows more difficult for people to read small text.

Some seniors might experience declining health, while others grow more emotionally satisfied. Also, some seniors are razor-sharp in their 80s, while others might develop cognitive impairments as early as their 60s.

One common theme among the aging population is that they sometimes find it difficult to acclimate to technology. As people age, their motor skills decline, making it harder for them to use certain devices.

Some researchers have found that older consumers find it easier to work with touch interfaces. As the population matures, it will become more important for engineers to consider this important demographic when creating new innovations.

Other studies have shown that when older people can see the potential benefit of a new technology, they are more curious and interested about it than they are intimidated by learning something new. Moving forward, it’s important that designers remember to create technology that’s more accessible for the senior population when assessing its usability.

Developed by the University of Southern California Master of Arts in Gerontology (MAG) & Master of Aging Services Management (MASM) online program.

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