The aging of the population, especially the increase in the "oldest old," is a remarkable achievement that presents both opportunities and challenges for policymakers, researchers, and society. Although many older adults enjoy relatively good health into their later years, many have one or more chronic conditions or diseases and need help with disease management activities or activities important to independent living. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the health care arena and is becoming ubiquitous in health management activities. There are a variety of technology applications that can be used to enhance the mobility and quality of life of people who have limitations and help to foster the ability of those with chronic conditions to remain at home. Technology applications can also provide a central role in providing support to family caregivers in terms of enhancing access to information and community resources and connections to formal and informal support services. Monitoring technologies may also allow caregivers to check on the status or activities of their loved one while they are at work or at a distant location. Furthermore, telemedicine applications can aid the ability of care providers to monitor patients and deliver health services. The objective of this article is to highlight the potential role that technology can play in the provision of long-term support for older adults and their families. Challenges and barriers that currently limit the full potential of technology to be realized for these populations will also be discussed. Finally the role of psychological science toward maximizing the potential of technology applications in enhancing long term care and support services will be highlighted.
- Technology and long-term care
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