Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

elderly population Related Abstracts

4 Ageing, the Reality, and Its Gender Dimension

Authors: Forhana Rahman Noor, Shafia Jannat Khanam


The image of old age in Bangladesh is associated with graying of hair, wrinkling of skin, with poor physical health, and decreased ability to work. The common expression “bura hoechi”, to be aged, means to be limited in terms of performing economically productive activities, known as ‘work’. For ‘old-old’ age, there is a saying, “uthan akhon onek dure”, which literally means “even the courtyard is like a very distant place (for an old person).” Traditionally, Bengali society had a structure caring the life of older people. It was common in the joint families of Bangladeshi culture. The situation has been changing. Complexities of the societies with growing rapid urbanization are influencing the traditional respects and caring structure of the elderly persons and facing social challenges. Bangladesh is projected to have 10 percent of its population of age 60 years and above in the year 2025. The ageing process is expected to accelerate in the next century, mainly because the large cohorts born in 1950s and 1960s respectively will be joining the ranks of 60 years and over during this period. The decline in mortality, particularly at young ages, also means that a higher proportion of the large cohorts will survive to old age. The country does not have enough policy or strategy to face this upcoming challenge for the aged persons which needs immediate attention.

Keywords: Gender, Ageing, Bangladesh, dimension, elderly population

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3 Analyzing the Effectiveness of Elderly Design and the Impact on Sustainable Built Environment

Authors: Tristance Kee


With an unprecedented increase in elderly population around the world, the severe lack of quality housing and health-and-safety provisions to serve this cohort cannot be ignored any longer. Many elderly citizens, especially singletons, live in unsafe housing conditions with poorly executed planning and design. Some suffer from deteriorating mobility, sight and general alertness and their sub-standard living conditions further hinder their daily existence. This research explains how concepts such as Universal Design and Co-Design operate in a high density city such as Hong Kong, China where innovative design can become an alternative solution where government and the private sector fail to provide quality elderly friendly facilities to promote a sustainable urban development. Unlike other elderly research which focuses more on housing policies, nursing care and theories, this research takes a more progressive approach by providing an in-depth impact assessment on how innovative design can be practical solutions for creating a more sustainable built environment. The research objectives are to: 1) explain the relationship between innovative design for elderly and a healthier and sustainable environment; 2) evaluate the impact of human ergonomics with the use of universal design; and 3) explain how innovation can enhance the sustainability of a city in improving citizen’s sight, sound, walkability and safety within the ageing population. The research adopts both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to examine ways to improve elderly population’s relationship to our built environment. In particular, the research utilizes collected data from questionnaire survey and focus group discussions to obtain inputs from various stakeholders, including designers, operators and managers related to public housing, community facilities and overall urban development. In addition to feedbacks from end-users and stakeholders, a thorough analysis on existing elderly housing facilities and Universal Design provisions are examined to evaluate their adequacy. To echo the theme of this conference on Innovation and Sustainable Development, this research examines the effectiveness of innovative design in a risk-benefit factor assessment. To test the hypothesis that innovation can cater for a sustainable development, the research evaluated the health improvement of a sample size of 150 elderly in a period of eight months. Their health performances, including mobility, speech and memory are monitored and recorded on a regular basis to assess if the use of innovation does trigger impact on improving health and home safety for an elderly cohort. This study was supported by district community centers under the auspices of Home Affairs Bureau to provide respondents for questionnaire survey, a standardized evaluation mechanism, and professional health care staff for evaluating the performance impact. The research findings will be integrated to formulate design solutions such as innovative home products to improve elderly daily experience and safety with a particular focus on the enhancement on sight, sound and mobility safety. Some policy recommendations and architectural planning recommendations related to Universal Design will also be incorporated into the research output for future planning of elderly housing and amenity provisions.

Keywords: Sustainable built environment, Innovative Design, elderly population, universal design

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2 Assessment of Psychological Needs and Characteristics of Elderly Population for Developing Information and Communication Technology Services

Authors: Sunghyun Cho, Seung Ah Lee, Kyong Mee Chung


Rapid population aging became a worldwide demographic phenomenon due to rising life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Considering the current increasing rate of population aging, it is assumed that Korean society enters into a ‘super-aged’ society in 10 years, in which people aged 65 years or older account for more than 20% of entire population. In line with this trend, ICT services aimed to help elderly people to improve the quality of life have been suggested. However, existing ICT services mainly focus on supporting health or nursing care and are somewhat limited to meet a variety of specialized needs and challenges of this population. It is pointed out that the majority of services have been driven by technology-push policies. Given that the usage of ICT services greatly vary on individuals’ socio-economic status (SES), physical and psychosocial needs, this study systematically categorized elderly population into sub-groups and identified their needs and characteristics related to ICT usage in detail. First, three assessment criteria (demographic variables including SES, cognitive functioning level, and emotional functioning level) were identified based on previous literature, experts’ opinions, and focus group interview. Second, survey questions for needs assessment were developed based on the criteria and administered to 600 respondents from a national probability sample. The questionnaire consisted of 67 items concerning demographic information, experience on ICT services and information technology (IT) devices, quality of life and cognitive functioning, etc. As the result of survey, age (60s, 70s, 80s), education level (college graduates or more, middle and high school, less than primary school) and cognitive functioning level (above the cut-off, below the cut-off) were considered the most relevant factors for categorization and 18 sub-groups were identified. Finally, 18 sub-groups were clustered into 3 groups according to following similarities; computer usage rate, difficulties in using ICT, and familiarity with current or previous job. Group 1 (‘active users’) included those who with high cognitive function and educational level in their 60s and 70s. They showed favorable and familiar attitudes toward ICT services and used the services for ‘joyful life’, ‘intelligent living’ and ‘relationship management’. Group 2 (‘potential users’), ranged from age of 60s to 80s with high level of cognitive function and mostly middle to high school graduates, reported some difficulties in using ICT and their expectations were lower than in group 1 despite they were similar to group 1 in areas of needs. Group 3 (‘limited users’) consisted of people with the lowest education level or cognitive function, and 90% of group reported difficulties in using ICT. However, group 3 did not differ from group 2 regarding the level of expectation for ICT services and their main purpose of using ICT was ‘safe living’. This study developed a systematic needs assessment tool and identified three sub-groups of elderly ICT users based on multi-criteria. It is implied that current cognitive function plays an important role in using ICT and determining needs among the elderly population. Implications and limitations were further discussed.

Keywords: ICT, needs assessment, elderly population, population aging

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1 Smartphone Addiction and Reaction Time in Geriatric Population

Authors: Anjali N. Shete, G. D. Mahajan, Nanda Somwanshi


Context: Smartphones are the new generation of mobile phones; they have emerged over the last few years. Technology has developed so much that it has become part of our life and mobile phones are one of them. These smartphones are equipped with the capabilities to display photos, play games, watch videos and navigation, etc. The advances have a huge impact on many walks of life. The adoption of new technology has been challenging for the elderly. But, the elder population is also moving towards digitally connected lives. As age advances, there is a decline in the motor and cognitive functions of the brain, and hence the reaction time is affected. The study was undertaken to assess the usefulness of smartphones in improving cognitive functions. Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to observe the effects of smartphone addiction on reaction time in elderly population Material and Methods: This is an experimental study. 100 elderly subjects were enrolled in this study randomly from urban areas. They all were using smartphones for several hours a day. They were divided into two groups according to the scores of the mobile phone addiction scale (MPAS). Simple reaction time was estimated by the Ruler drop method. The reaction time was then calculated for each subject in both groups. The data were analyzed using mean, standard deviation, and Pearson correlation test. Results: The mean reaction time in Group A is 0.27+ 0.040 and in Group B is 0.20 + 0.032. The values show a statistically significant change in reaction time. Conclusion: Group A with a high MPAS score has a low reaction time compared to Group B with a low MPAS score. Hence, it can be concluded that the use of smartphones in the elderly is useful, delaying the neurological decline, and smarten the brain.

Keywords: smartphones, elderly population, reaction time, MPAS

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