The following is an excerpt from Paula Span | October 23, 2015 | Nytimes.com |
Daily, breathless announcements arrive in my inbox, heralding technology products for older adults.
A “revolutionary” gait-training robot. An emergency response device said to predict falls. A combination home phone and tablet system that “transforms how older seniors connect with and are cared for by their loved ones.”
Daily, too, I hear tales of technology failing in various ways to do what older people or their worried families expect. I hear about frail elders who remove their emergency pendants at bedtime, then fall in the dark when they walk to the bathroom and can’t summon help.
About a 90-year-old in Sacramento who stored his never-worn emergency pendant in his refrigerator. About a Cambridge, Mass., daughter who has tried four or five telephones — not cellphones or smartphones, but ordinary landlines — in an ongoing effort to find one simple enough for her 95-year-old mother to reliably dial her number and have a conversation.
Which scenario represents the likelier future for senior-oriented technology? It depends on whom you ask.
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