31 May Broadband and Life as a Senior
It won’t be long before one out of five of us is considered a senior citizen. Folks over 65 years old will account for 20% of the population by 2025. The golden years of these seniors won’t be the same as the lives their grandparents led, thanks to broadband technology and Internet connectivity.
These technologies will play a prominent role in this new era of aging, allowing more people to age in place, in their own homes. Telemedicine services, like in-home monitoring, have already begun to improve senior wellness, especially in rural areas. The Veterans’ Administration, for instance, is leading the field in telemedicine. So far, VA telemedicine programs have reduced bed days by 56 percent, reduced re-admissions by 32 percent, and decreased total psychiatric admissions by 35 percent.
One of the most intriguing aspects of broadband and aging in place is the smart home, a house outfitted with sensors and network devices. Dozens of sensors throughout a house – on appliances, computers, smartphones, thermostats, etc. – could collect information on the location and well-being of the homeowners as well as make it easier for them to accomplish the routines of daily living.
This is just a peek into how technology is improving life for seniors today and will continue to do so in the future. For in-depth insights into broadband and aging in place, take a look at this report from the Foundation for Rural Service, https://www.ntca.org/images/stories/Documents/Press_Center/2012_Releases/aging%20in%20place%20final.pdf.