REPORT TO THE US PRESIDENT Independence, Technology, and Connection in Older Age
The President’s council of advisors on science and technology has released a report on: Independence, Technology, and Connection in Older Age.
Read the full report here (PDF).
Dear Mr. President:
We are pleased to send you this PCAST report on Independence, Technology, and Connection in Older Age. It is the second and final installment of PCAST’s work on the topic of technology for graceful aging. The first was our letter report to you in October 2015 on technologies for hearing assistance. The average age of the American population is increasing, and Americans want to continue to have active and productive lives as they age. The older adult population is diverse, made up of individuals with different economic circumstances, living situations, geographic locations, and language backgrounds, but predictable changes occur as people age. Technology has played an important role in increasing life expectancy, but it also has an important role to play in increasing the quality of life, by maximizing Americans’ ability to function in their later years. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act. At the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, discussions and new ideas inspired the direction of aging policy for the next decade. Building on these ideas, PCAST looks in this second report at three areas where older adults experience change: social engagement and connectivity, cognitive function, and physical ability. PCAST investigated technologies that promote individuals’ continued independence and productivity as these changes happen. The report includes four cross-cutting recommendations that span a wide range of technologies and eight targeted recommendations concerning specific applications to improve mobility, cognitive function, and social engagement. Internet access, telehealth, monitoring technology, emergency preparedness systems, and intentional design are some of the technologies that will support healthy aging for all Americans. The report focuses on near-term Federal actions to advance these possibilities. Older adults can bring the experiences and knowledge of their lifetimes to be vital, contributing, and productive members of society. Implementing these recommendations will help that happen, by ensuring that Americans now and in the future remain independent and connected as they age.