Trilogy – Careful use of technology for ageing societies around the world
Worldwide populations are ageing, albeit at a different pace. Important factors that determine successful ageing of people are proper lifestyle, housing that fits people’s needs, a decent income, firm social structures, and access to good health care. However, the costs of health care are rising, the health care workforce is declining and informal caretakers are growing old themselves.
Our digitized society is becoming less inclusive for older people. At the same time, digital technologies such as telecare, robots, smart houses and smart cities hold a promise for solutions. The Covid-19 pandemic, requiring social and physical distancing, has put pressure on the application of these technologies, revealing their opportunities and downsides.
In this trilogy of articles we reflect on the role of technology in providing solutions to the challenges that ageing societies face. We use insights from our own research and research done with colleagues around the world. We also learn from Japan, a super-aged society that is at the forefront of investigating the potential of technology that promotes health, wellbeing and inclusion of the elderly.