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Older adults and family caregivers are willing to use new technologies (such as telemedicine and telepharmacy) that can allow people to remain independent—and in their own homes—as they age. These December 2007 national surveys of 907 adults age 65+ and 1,023 caregivers age 45-75 conclude that both groups could benefit by knowing more about the range of technological innovations that are available today (and those that are on the horizon). Key findings include the following:

  • While older adults have a limited awareness of new technologies that could help them meet their goals, they would be willing to use a wide variety of items to maintain social contact, gather information, be safe at home, and promote their personal health and wellness.
  • Three-fourths of older adults support the use of telemedicine to diagnose or monitor health conditions remotely in their home, while more than 9 in 10 support the use of telepharmacy to have their doctor monitor their medications and send prescriptions to the pharmacy.
  • Like older adults, caregivers also say that they would be willing to use new technologies to meet their needs in the caregiving role; however, more than 8 in 10 think they will have difficulty persuading the people they care for use these items.
  • Both groups are concerned about the costs associated with new technologies.

 

Data were collected by Knowledge Network between December 7 and December 18, 2007, from an online panel of 907 adults age 65+ and 1,023 caregivers age 45-75. The completion rate for the 65+ sample was 77% (with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent), while the completion rate for caregivers was 71% (with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent). Further information about the study may be obtained by contacting Linda L. Barrett, Ph.D., at 202-434-6197. (140 pages)

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