Technology and Older Adults

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Technology and Older Adults Introduction The United States has experienced considerable gains in life expectancy in the past century thanks to a combination of medical and social innovations. This ever-growing aging population increases the public health challenges of curbing health and long-term care costs and minimizing the burden of disease and disability. In 2005, the average human life expectancy in the United States was 77.8 years, with life expectancy for women five years longer than for men. The US Census Bureau estimates that life expectancy will increase by approximately six years by 2050. The population of Americans aged 65 and older will double during the next 25 years and account for roughly 20% of the total population. America's older adult population is also becoming more racially and ethnically diverse (Armus et al., 2009). Discussion According to Baker and Bass (2003) many older adults are injured in and around their homes each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among people 65 years of age and older, with some 340,000 adults suffering fall-related hip fractures each year. Between 30 to 50 percent of these persons are unable to return home or live independently after their injuries. Low vision, blindness, poor mobility, decreased hearing, decreased sense of touch and temperature, limited hand use, and limited range of motion all contribute to increased safety risks. Smart home technologies are information-based technologies that
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