In the UK, an estimated 4 million people have unaddressed hearing loss. It takes most people at least 10 years, before they do anything about it. What a waste. During this time, they miss out on 10 years worth of good hearing, at the same time as making themselves less likely to accept and adapt to wearing assistive devices.
Gerontologist, ageing aficionado, Apple Computer veteran, journalist and radio broadcaster. Interests lie in the demographic transition underway and the potential to optimise the contribution of older people. This cohort is currently navigating the lengthening transition between midlife and old age and their evolving remit is vast. First, innovation is not the exclusive purview of the young. Next, the talent pool presently residing in the members of the "experienced economy" can no longer be ignored. Finally, the nurturing of inter-generational relationships are fundamental because they represent the connective tissue of the future. Shifting the narrative to design a world where age does not matter will demand confidence, product innovation, disruption to our entrenched socio-cultural inclinations, bolder policies and greater expectations for the governance and behaviour of established institutions. Fortunately, these are all under intense scrutiny at present.
There are concerns: fears about inauthentic relationships, particularly with respect to end of life care. Our acceptance of introducing human-like but not actually human helpers might qualify as an infringement on personal dignity. So, the next step should be targeted attention on specialized 'bots that will be able to assist and care for older adults.
06/05/2014 15:48 BST
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