Aging and the Internet of Caring Things


We’re getting old and living longer. Most Americans, in fact, want to live to be 100. In many countries, there are more elderly people than children for the first time in history.

This is creating a societal crisis as many countries face the challenge of supporting an aging population with increasing costs of healthcare and decreasing numbers of caregivers. Helping people live an entire century will depend heavily on enabling this demographic to better manage life’s vital decisions – health, wealth and lifestyle – as physical and cognitive abilities decline.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.