Anti-Technology for the Elderly

In: Social Issues

Submitted By FERNY1270
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ANTI-TECHNOLOGY FOR THE ELDERLY

By Fernando Flores

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service defines “Assistive Technology” (also known as “Adaptive Tools”) as any service or tool that helps the elderly or disabled do the activities they have always done before but must now do differently.
Simply reading the above definition, one assumes that Assistive Technology is the best thing for the elderly shy of not aging at all. However, in the following essay, I will make my attempt to inform the reader that this is not always the case.

Those who support assistive technologies assume that increasing our elderly’s ability to age “in place” automatically improves their quality of life; therefore, successful aging. However, assistive technologies do not consider that “successful aging” is very subjective. Aging is a complicated event and is not limited to issues only associated with biological and/or functional means, which assistive technology focuses on and attempts to resolve. By relying heavily on assistive technologies and allowing the elderly to “adjust” to their environment as a means of adapting to their biological and/or functional limitations associated with old age, assistive technologies diminish the concept of “social aging”. Through a social gerenotlogical view, the argument is raised that assistive technologies harm the elderly’s successful aging by underling only the physical challenges involved with aging and not enough on the social aspects of aging.

Many believe that assistive technologies are designed to provide society with functional remedies to the physical and mental limitations that are associated with aging, thus allowing elders to age…...

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