The present volume is concerned with the new subject of gerontechnology - the study of technology and aging with the aim of improving the functioning of the elderly in daily life. A first international congress on gerontechnology was held in Eindhoven in August 1991 under the auspices of the Biomedical and Health Organisation of Eindhoven University of Technology. The pursuit of this subject arises from the insight that a directed effort is necessary for making technology instrumental in solving problems of the elderly who are an increasing proportion of the population.
The project leading up to the present book was financially supported by the following organisations:
Directorate General V of the European Communities
The Dutch Ministry of Welfare, Health Care and Culture, department: Policies for Aging
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Eindhoven University of Technology
We are grateful that the initiative reflected in this volume gained such enthusiastic support from both the University and governmental bodies.
The volume starts with a section (1) where relevant research findings on aging processes in society, of which there is already considerable information available, are reviewed by experts. The other sections concentrate on areas in technology where such knowledge may be applied, divided into: (2) mobility and transport, (3) communication and information processing, (4) housing, and (5) home healthcare technology. Apart from individual papers, a general view of each is also presented. In these chapters both technological advances and practical applications in society are documented.
It is hoped that this volume marks the beginning of a period in which focused efforts will bring the benefits of technology to a far greater proportion of the elderly population in society.
Jan A.M. Graafmans