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From The CriticsReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This multiauthored book describes how technology works for older persons and how clinicians can use technology to help older persons.
Purpose: The purpose is to review recent research and to describe the state of the art in technologies that assess and monitor older persons and assist them in their activities of daily living. This is a broad charge and the book highlights these areas nicely.
Audience: The authors intend their audience to be "eldercare practitioners," students of medicine, nursing, social studies, technology, engineers and designers. The authors are a wonderful catholic blend of scientists, engineers, and clinicians, all of whom are experts in their fields.
Features: The book covers technologies for assessing function and cognitive decline. Among them are technologies for assessing gait and mobility, smart mobility devices and devices for hearing and visual impairment, and devices to help sleep disturbances and falls. Throughout, the end-user aspects are emphasized. In other words, these devices have to be able to be used by older persons themselves, not just by the designers.
Assessment: This is a useful book that covers a wide area. A chapter on architecture and urban planning would complement the others in this book. It is not only that the smart assistive device senses the motion of the user and adapts to it, but what the older person goes through in space colors the interaction of man and machine as well. This book provides a vista of the future in which advanced technology will help older persons and their caregivers.