It is not surprising that people 65+ want to continue living on their own for as long as possible, or that health and financial security rank high among their concerns. However, a fair share said they do not need anything in the next five years to live on their own, or don’t know what they will need indicating uncertainty about the future. While many currently use a personal computer (to stay in touch with family members, or search for health information on-line) few currently use home safety technology or personal health and wellness technology. They are willing to use specific types of safety devices and prescription drug management systems, as long as the cost remains low. These devices could help people 65+ reach their goal of continuing to live independently.
The majority of caregivers currently use a personal computer to communicate with others. Yet, few say the person they help currently uses the home safety technology or personal health and wellness technology. Nonetheless, caregivers’ willingness to use three devices exceeded their awareness for: 1) an alarm that alerts when a door or window has been opened or closed when not expected, 2) small electronic devices that can turn off appliances when not in use, and 3) a device in the kitchen that keeps track of where an individual is in the process of preparing food. This suggests these types of technology could help caregivers and the people they assist manage their needs and meet their goals.
Data were collected by Knowledge Networks between November 22 and November 29, 2010 from 940 adults aged 65 and older and 1,152 caregivers aged 45-75 who provide assistance with activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. Please contact Linda L. Barrett, Ph.D. at 202-434-6197 for more information.