Welfare Technology : An Advancement in Assisted Living | Author: Geoff Lenox

Welfare technology is technology that can help and assist users in their daily lives. Examples of welfare technology are intelligent aids such as cleaning robots, sensors in clothes, smart homes, etc.  Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is a European programme whose main objective is to improve the quality of life for elderly citizens through the development of age-sensitive Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions. Welfare technology is closely linked to Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) but whereas AAL focuses on "addressing the needs of the ageing population". Welfare technology addresses not only the elderly but also other users of public services such as the handicapped, schools, day care centres, abusers, etc.
Welfare technology can improve the everyday life of the elderly citizens considerably. That's why the wish for more welfare technology takes up space on the city's wish list. The Department of the Elderly and Disabled applies for funding to two projects namely The Carephone and the Patient Briefcase. The Carephone gives the elderly and the disabled a chance to live at home for a longer period and receive the help they need in surroundings they know instead of in a nursing home. By pressing an alert button on the Carephone the citizen will get in immediate and direct contact with the home care staff. The Patient Briefcase makes it possible for the patient to be hospitalized in his own home. The patient can via the briefcase see and talk to a doctor or nurse, who is situated in the hospital.
E-health is the central theme of research in Health, care and welfare. With the help of information and communication technology, we seek to improve the quality of care and the availability of services and information for clients and elderly patients.  The development of new technology is combined with new methods of organizing work in home care and hospitals. The unique combination of research expertise in disciplines such as health sciences, technical psychology,  systems sciences/informatics, systems engineering, language and culture, etc. results in knowledge that enables entirely new ways of working with health, care and welfare. The concept of welfate technology is intended to address the needs of the ageing population, to reduce innovation barriers of forthcoming promising markets, but also to lower future social security costs. If technology is deployed to increase the living conditions and diminish effects of chronic diseases and variations in health, it has to be seen in context with the entire health community and the services related to it. Welfare technologies are in full swing of developments of new technologies that are useful in assisting the elderly community in their daily lives.

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