Aging in Place National Research


The Center for Media Research posted national research on Aging in Place in their online newsletter. Clarity did the resesarch. There is a link above. I've copied and pasted the summary below. Basically, seniors want to stay in their homes. Technology can help them. Their baby boomer children can help them. But the seniors don't ask for help and not that many use technology. There has to be a solution somewhere. Read on....

Thursday, November 8, 2007
Seniors Want to "Age In Place," And Want Technology To Help
According to a new research study by Clarity and The EAR Foundation, 26% of senior citizens rated loss of independence and 13% rated moving out of home into a nursing home as their greatest fears. These two possibilities are a much higher concern than death, which was the greatest fear for only three percent of Seniors.
And, the children of Seniors also fear for their parents, with particular concern about their emotional and physical well-being should they have to enter a nursing home.
For the "Aging in Place in America" study, two groups were surveyed to allow a comparative analysis of the attitudes of Seniors age 65 and older who are living at home with those of Baby Boomers who have Senior parents.
Significant key findings include:
The vast majority of Seniors (89%) want to age in place - or grow older without having to move from their homes - and more than half (53%) are concerned about their ability to do so
A large majority (82%) of Baby Boomers fear their parents will be mistreated in a nursing home and 89% fear they will be sad
Seniors living at home are determined to maintain their independence, but they report that they require (and receive) limited support from their children or other caregivers
Not only are Boomers concerned about their aging parents, almost two-thirds (63%) are providing some kind of help or support to them.
Half of Seniors are open to using new technologies to enable independence, including having sensors installed in their homes to monitor their health
Baby Boomers have not turned to technology to assist their aging parents. Only 14% have actually looked for solutions that would help them ensure the health and safety of their parents
Peter Bell, president of National Aging in Place Council, says "These findings tell us that, above all else, older Americans value their ability to live independently..."
And Clarity president, Carsten Trads, agrees saying ".... Independent living is a key determinant of quality of life for seniors... "
Seniors cited three primary concerns that could jeopardize their ability to live independently:
53% say health problems
26% say memory problems
23% say inability to drive and/or get around
They said they do not expect, nor do they receive, much support from those around them.
55% of Seniors view themselves as very independent in that they receive no assistance from their children and seem content with that
75% said their children are involved "enough" in their life
Of the Seniors who do require help from others, 20% receive assistance with household maintenance, 13% with transportation, 8% with healthcare, and 1% reported receiving any financial support.
Almost half of Seniors are comfortable using personal computers, Internet and email. Not surprisingly, Seniors' comfort level with computer technology decreased in older age groups, particularly those over 75 years of age.
65% of Seniors said they are open to or would like to use new technologies that enable independence. 54% would consider the use of ambient technology in their homes (specifically, sensors) to monitor their health and safety.
"Seniors are clearly more open to technology than many people believe," said Trads.
Like Seniors, Baby Boomers are open to new technologies that would help Seniors age in place, but very few are actively seeking these products, says the report.
49% of Baby Boomers are interested in new technologies that would help them monitor their parents' safety and wellbeing
51% of the Baby Boomers also think there are technology products available aimed at meeting the needs of Seniors
50% would be open to the use of ambient technology to monitor the health and safety of their aging parents
But, only 14% of Baby Boomers have actually looked for any technology solutions that would help them ensure the health and safety of their parents
Trads concludes "From the iPod to the Blackberry, technology is such an everyday part of Baby Boomers' lives; however they have not yet realized the potential benefit of technology to help care for their parents. More technology solutions need to be developed to allow aging in place, so that Boomers and other caregivers have more options when trying to help our aging Americans."
Please visit here to read a more complete review of the report.

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