Age is an intrinsic phenomenon to the population of any country. The increased vulnerability to severe conditions has prompted most governments and medical experts to pay particular consideration to the senior citizens.
In EU and UK, the ageing population has been increasing. In 2010, the percentage of the elderly population was at 17.4% an increase of 5.7% compared to 1990. Due to the improved care for the elderly, the rate is expected to rise to 30% by 2060.
Researchers from University of Manchester carried out a survey and found out that there is an increased gap between carers and the population of ageing. Besides establishing that there was an unmet need in the care of the aged population, the researchers were also looking into how technology can be used to improve the health of the ageing.
Inactivity has been the leading cause of deteriorated life among the elderly. It is the cause of weaker bones, deteriorated muscle strength, increased risk of falls, mental inactivity, and lifestyle diseases.
Ideally, advanced age comes with unusual conditions like impaired vision, hearing and even reduced mental activity. However, inactivity can make ageing to be a scary phenomenon due to other factors like disability, heart and lung problems, and other chronic diseases.
Inactivity is one of the factors that have been associated with most health issues related to ageing. It has been established that even the little of activities such as regular chores, walking, and cycling could help to boost the lives of the elderly.
Despite the importance of physical activity to the ageing, educating and motivating the old to lead an active life has been low. The use of assistive technology is one of the ways that has been used to encourage the old to lead an active life to extend their live-ability.
Already, the researchers have developed two technologies that promote active ageing. Two other projects are underway. The projects use a mobile application with some games that are used to increase the activity of the elderly.
The innovations from University of Manchester back up the efforts of the WHO. The WHO has been carrying out a health campaign to encourage the old to embrace an active life. According to WHO, technology is one of the ways that can be used to encourage seniors to lead a healthy and active ageing.
In the EU and UK, a third of the ageing population uses the internet. 25% of the old internet users use the internet to access news, financial news, and healthy living information. One of University of Manchester’s projects entails the use of a mobile application to encourage the elderly to improve their body activity.
In a second project, the researchers aim to use games that encourage exercises. The games aim to improve strength, balance and confidence levels in the users. Improved confidence implies an improved mental and physical activity.
Physically active seniors have an improved immunity. Exercise minimizes the adverse effects associated with chronic diseases. It also helps to reduce stress and mood swings thus improving both mental and physical well-being.