The health of the caregivers and the health of the care receiver must be jointly considered. What benefits the caregiver can result in less staff turnover. For example, the technology that can be employed for patient lifting and moving may not be immediately perceived as having such a beneficial effect, but the reciprocal nature of the provision and the receipt of care is too often lost. The incorporation of technology into long-term-care settings thus plays a dual role that enhances the environment from both the perspective of the patient and the care provider.
The relationship between technology and aging underscores the importance of functional ability for maintaining the independence of the elderly, along with maximizing their options and improving their quality of life. The growth of the aging population is likely to increase the demand for long-term care and the need for increased assistance, principally for those age 80 or older who face a combination of incapacitating and largely unavoidable infirmities.
Technology has been the major factor in the growth of the older population and its increased longevity. Technology can now respond by providing both knowledge and ways to apply that knowledge in the long-term-care setting. It is clear that a major challenge into the twenty-first century will be the maintenance of the health and functional ability of the older population, particularly as the proportion in the oldest age groups continues to rise.
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