Discussion Paper Health technologies – are older people interested?
That we are living longer healthier lives is a fact - with over 65s making up 17% of the population in 2010 - an increase of 1.7 million since 1985, projected to rise to 23% by 2035 – and a cause for celebration! It does however, highlight a challenge; we know that the highest users of health services are the over 75s and that the average NHS spending for retired households is nearly double that for non-retired households. As life spans increase society needs to ensure that those lives are active and fulfilling, supporting and encouraging older people to stay as healthy and independent as possible for as long as possible.
Digital technology, already pervasive in our everyday lives, is increasingly a central factor in rising to this challenge. The received wisdom is that older people, and their baby-boomer children who are themselves over 55 years of age, are resistant to embracing technology in this context. This research paper examined whether this is actually true.