This application is a request for continued support for the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). CREATE is a multidisciplinary, cohesive Center whose goal is to ensure that current and future generations of older adults are able to successfully use technology and that the benefits of technology are realized for older populations so that they can continue to lead healthy and independent lives. The objectives are to develop a comprehensive database on aging and technology that includes information regarding user preferences and needs, problems with existing systems, and efficacy of design solutions. Additional objectives are to: gather systematic data on the value of technology for older adults;promote new areas of research on aging and technology;train and develop new investigators;and disseminate the outcomes from CREATE to the scientific literature and the communities. CREATE III will examine technology applications within living environments, work and health care settings. The research projects will focus on existing technologies (home monitoring systems) and emerging technologies (cognitive prostheses). The study populations with include older adults who vary in age, ethnicity/culture, education, social resources and functional status and those who live in rural locations. The Center will continue to involve the collaboration between the University of Miami, Florida State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Each site will have interrelated but independent research programs that include research projects and collaborative projects with business/community partners. The outcomes of the research will include design guidelines for technology development and implementation. The projects will also generate an extensive database on aging, component abilities, attitudes about usefulness, and usability of a variety of technologies. We will also engage in a cross site field trial that will evaluate the impact of access to a home-based technology system that supports social connectivity, memory and access to information and skill building on measures of well-being, quality of life and independence. The research programs will be supported by an administrative core, data management/statistical core, dissemination core and an External Scientific Advisory Board. The Center will also encompass a Pilot Research Program. CREATE is unique in terms of its multi-disciplinary research team, a comprehensive approach to issues regarding aging and technology, and access to diverse study populations.
To ensure that the large population of older adults is able to live independently and maintain a good quality of life an important issue is the ability of older people to adapt to rapid developments in technology. Available data indicates that there is an age-related digital divide and that older people still have difficulty using technology. Unless we understand problems of aging and technology, use of technical systems will continue to be a challenge for current and future generations of older adults.
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