Gerontechnology versus Multigenerational Technology

May 18, 2013 at 7:31 am Leave a comment

The month of April was busy with Spring conferences and the ‘geek at heart’ that I am, I had the opportunity to present on technology!  At the American Occupational Therapy Association conference I co-presented on ‘Assistive Technology and Home Modifications for Independence and Productive Aging’ with Kim Furphy, Director of the Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton College of NJ.  The Universal Design Summit was a few weeks later and I co-presented ‘Meeting Multigenerational Needs through Technology’ with Esther Greenhouse, an Environmental Gerontologist.

As an Assistive Technology Specialist, I have a love for all technology, but more and more I have been looking critically at products and devices to analyze their usability.  Although each presentation discussed technology, the main focus at AOTA was to discuss technology in terms of Gerontechnology. Gerontechnology, as defined by the International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG) is ‘designing technology and environment for independent living and social participation of older persons in good health, comfort and safety.’  The focus on technology at UDS5 was a bit different.  The UDS5 presentation was an exploration of how technologies can meet sensory and behavioral needs across the lifespan and enable greater functioning and independence.

There was some crossover of the technologies discussed at each presentation, but the main take away in each was that our technology world is ever-changing.  More and more technology is going mobile and has multigenerational benefits.  However, some products may be multigenerational, but not Universally Designed. Feature-matching is still key!  We still need to wade through the choices of stand-alone versus ‘bundled’ and expandable systems, as well as systems that are controlled by hardware components versus wirelessly via a cell phone or tablet. However, the continuously growing market brings along innovations that are becoming more appealing, convenient and meeting common interests among generations. Having the knowledge of what is available and on the market is integral in assisting the consumer in determining best possible options for technology to maximize personal safety, health and wellness and control in and around one’s home environment.


Here is a listing of devices discussed at the presentations:


Entry filed under: Aging-In-Place design, Assistive Technology, Home Safety, Universal Design. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Even Lady Gaga can benefit from Universal Design….. A workshop on train station design and the building is not accessible…..

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