Ambient Assisted Living and Ambient Intelligence: Improving the Quality of Life for European Citizens
by Constantine Stephanidis
The continuous growth of the older population in Europe and worldwide calls for new technological solutions for improving the health, independent living, quality of life, and active ageing of older citizens in the Information Society.
Recent advances in ICT have great potential for meeting the needs of older people and help them stay healthier, live independently for longer, counteract reduced capabilities due to age, and remain active for longer.
Still, today the majority of older people in Europe do not yet enjoy the benefits of the digital age. Vision, hearing, dexterity or memory problems may hinder older people's ability and willingness to adopt interactive technologies, thus preventing their active inclusion and participation in the Information Society.
Introduction to the Special theme - Ambient Assisted Living
by Michael Pieper, Margherita Antona and Ulises Cortés
Over the last 50 years, the number of older persons worldwide has tripled - and will more than triple again over the next 50-year period as the annual growth of the older population (1.9%) is significantly higher than that of the total population (1.02%). The European Commission has predicted that between 1995 and 2025 the UK alone will see a 44% rise in people over 60, while in the United States the baby-boomer generation which consists of about 76 million people and is the largest group ever in the U.S., is heading towards retirement. This situation asks for new solutions towards improving the independence, the quality of life, and the active ageing of older citizens.