Technology geared to making life easier for elderly, disabled and caregivers

With a looming shortage of caregivers in the future to help with the growing population of older Americans — especially in Pennsylvania — the technology industry is stepping up to help both groups.

Right now, 14 percent of Americans are over the age of 65. By the year 2030, one in five Americans are expected to fall into that category.

This is an alarming prediction, but here’s something just as concerning: That same year, due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, one in every two Americans will be an “informal caregiver” for elderly loved ones.

For a while now, there has been research focusing on aiding the elderly. But at least in some scientific circles, researchers and engineers have targeted caregivers as well.

“Often it’s the caregivers that are also burning out, so things that can help them are also of importance,” said Dan Sieworek, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the Quality of Life Technology Center — a joint research center between CMU and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Quality of Life Center and affiliated research institutions in the area have recognized that it is paramount to jointly help those who need care and those who give it. Most relevant research areas and topics target either the elderly and disabled or their caretakers, but they take care not to neglect the existence of the other group.

To read the rest of this article, published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, please click here.