Nafath

Nafath aims to be a key information resource for disseminating the facts about latest trends and innovation in the field of ICT Accessibility. It is published in English and Arabic languages on a quarterly basis and intends to be a window of information to the world, highlighting the pioneering work done in our field to meet the growing demands of ICT Accessibility and Assistive Technology products and services in Qatar and the Arab region.

Aging and Technology: A Success Story

Aging and Technology: A Success Story

Aging is an inevitable transition in
human life that could lead to facing
challenges in performing dayto-
day activities. The elderly often face
different progressive challenges that can
be overcome with the help of Information
and Communication Technology (ICT) and
Assistive Technology (AT) that enable them
to live independently and interact with
society without barriers.
AT in this context is any technology that
helps older people successfully perform
difficult or impossible activities at this age.
Research and studies have shown that the
positive impact of ICT and AT on the lives of
the elderly contributes towards improving
the quality of their lives. It also plays a
role in stimulating the mind and body,
providing access to services, and supporting
independent living.
A need for programs and initiatives to bridge
the gap between the elderly and ICTs was
identified. In response to this need, Assistive
Technology Center “Mada”, launched the “@
Wasal” program for training the members
of the elderly community on the use of ICT.
“@Wasal” program is a course based on the
guide to “Aging and Technology” released
by Mada. This initiative was carried out in
partnership with the General Retirement and
Social Insurance Authority and Ehsan Center
for Empowerment and Elderly Care.
Technology has opened up new horizons
for the elderly, promoting the possibility
of independent living in a way that
preserves their dignity and enables them
to communicate with friends, family and
others. One of the most important benefits
of this program was enabling the elderly
to use electronic services and smartphone
applications to communicate and access
various government e-services without
having to physically go to the concerned
locations, making their lives easier.
Mada released the “Aging and Technology”
guide to raise awareness and serve as
a reference material for institutions,
organizations and various agencies involved
in the provision of care and services for
the elderly. The guide addresses the most
important ways through which the elderly can
utilize assistive technology effectively, and
identifies the best solutions and technological
options available and classifies AT solutions
according to the different needs of the elderly.
The guide discusses four areas related to
age and technology, the first of which is
telecommunications, including e-mail, games
and smart phone applications. The second
area deals with home security and safety
through sensors, Internet-connected cameras
and digital communications systems to assist
in case of domestic accidents. The third area
focuses on health, including tele-health care
and drug management tools and applications.
The fourth area addresses vital aspects of the
lives of older people, such as participating
in online learning and volunteer activities,
developing capabilities and contributing to the
community by keeping them in contact with
family and friends, and so on.
In conclusion, the elderly are often reluctant
to deal with technologies, but different
experiments have shown that in order to
change this situation, it is vital to educate
this community about the benefits of the
use of ICT and AT in their daily life. This will
lead to making the elderly more interested
in technology as they discover the positive
change it will potentially make to their lives.
The impact of ICT and AT reaches beyond
improving the ability of the elderly to perform
daily tasks efficiently, while protecting and
preserving their dignity and independence.

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