Technology Assurance Student Research Paper Contest
Computer technology is embedded in our Western society in a way that the majority of people seem to forget that it is a relatively new development. The mainstream of this society has quickly adopted computer technology as part of their daily life, and in doing so openened up to all the possibilities this technology has to offer. The ever growing group of elderly people (age 60 and older) in our society, which will grow from being 20 per cent of the population in developed countries to being 32 per cent by 2050 , seems to have been forgotten in this matter. With this growth and the fact that we all grow older in mind, the opportunities that computer technology could give this group should be considered. The ongoing advance of technology suggests that younger people’s experience with computers will not be a curcial advantage when they grow older. It is not hard to imagine that, looking at a random website or imput devices such as the mouse and keyboard, elderly people might have trouble in using them.
Heller et al.  say about aging: “As people grow older, their abilities change. This change inludes a decline in cognitive, physical and sensory functions, each of which will decline at different rates relative to one another for each individual.” This makes it hard to define “the elderly” as one consistent group, and presents a challenge for designers of computer technology. Facing this challenge, however, can ultimately provide benefits for both elderly people and the society.
I have chosen to write this essay about computer technology and elderly people because, as a student in Information Science, I have the opinion that it does not get enough attention from Information Science students. It is a subject that offers great potential in helping people in a all sorts of ways with and trough the use of computers, therefore standing out against the business-focused majority of...
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