In terms of numbers, Japan is now the oldest nation in the world as its 65+ population passed the 20% level in October 2006. Today's senior citizens are expected to successfully fulfil their later years quality-wise. In 2007, members of the baby boomer generation are reaching their retirement age, now mandatory at 60, and businesses are said to be eagerly anticipating the huge new emerging potential of the “silver market”. To cope with functional changes, robotics will play a key role. Toshiba is developing a new robot which can download recipes from the Internet and prepare meals. So, most household equipment in a future home will be closely networked with Information and Communication Technology to enhance quality of life for all. However, looking at reality, we have to face the issue of digital divide. ICT is now part of life, but it is a quite foreign culture for most senior citizens in Japan as many of them have never used – for instance – a typewriter. Two major solutions to this issue are being tested. One consists of class-room lessons organized by local authorities, computer businesses, NGOs, universities and other educational institutes, etc. Another is a certification system. The biggest challenge is to help older people to realize that ICT is a “must” for them to achieve active and healthy ageing. It is obvious that they will face mobility impairment as they age. Impaired mobility limits social contacts and has an important impact on quality of life. ICT can help them to avoid this social isolation.
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