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Transitions in Aging

Retirement Planning II

Benefits of Assistive Technology

Photo of woman in wheelchair watering garden

  • Independence
  • Activity Participation
  • Stress Relief
  • Successful Aging


NEXT: Activities of Daily Living


Notes and References

As we age into our retirement years, we may struggle with hearing and seeing the way we used to, we may not be able to reach our arms to grab dishes out of the cabinets, and we may have trouble zipping our jackets or tying our shoes.



Assistive technology can help us with all of these things which can, in turn, help us to remain independent in the community. AT can help us live as independently as possible for as long as possible.1 Instead of asking someone for help to reach the cup out of the cabinet, we can use a reaching device to get it ourselves. Some research suggests that AT can help us feel better about participating in activities since it can help us to be more successful in completing tasks on our own.2 It can also help us feel accomplished and relieve stress from our caregivers.2 It can stress us out when we have to rely on our caregivers for our daily tasks and it can also put stress on them to be the helper all the time. Assistive technology can be our helper in place of our caregivers for many activities and tasks. As mentioned in other modules, remaining independent in the community and choosing the activities we participate in means we are aging successfully.3 And successful aging is something we should all strive for. Next, we will talk about the role AT can play in helping us engage in activities of daily living and our favorite leisure activities.

References:

  1. Hess, J., & Gutierrez, A. M. (2010). Family information guide to assistive technology and transition planning: Planned transitions are smooth transitions. Retrieved from http://www.ctdinstitute.org/library/2014-10-20/family-information-guide-assistive-technology-and-transition-planning
  2. Mortenson, W. B., Demers, L., Fuhrer, M., Jutai, J., Lenker, J., & DeRuyter, F. (2013). Effects of an assistive technology intervention on older adults with disabilities and their informal caregivers: An exploratory randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(4), 297-306.
  3. Janicki, M.P. (1994). Policies and supports for older adults with mental retardation. In Seltzer, M. M., Krauss, M. W., & Janicki, M. P. (Eds.), Life Course Perspectives on Adulthood and Old Age. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Retardation.