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Human Factors

Human Factors Engineering, Mobility And Transportation, Living Environments, Computer Technology And Information Systems, Conclusion

Although most older people live active and relatively healthy lives, increased age is associated with changes in certain abilities, such as vision, hearing, and memory, that make it difficult for some older people to perform tasks such as driving, using equipment such as computers, or remembering to take medications. Furthermore, older people are more likely to suffer from some type of chronic disease such as arthritis, high blood pressure, or dementia. People with these conditions often require assistance with basic activities such as preparing meals, bathing, or finding their way. Aging is also associated with positive changes, such as increased wisdom, knowledge, and experience, and thus older people represent an extremely valuable resource to the community, the workplace, and the family. There are numerous examples, such as senior mentoring, of how older adults continue to make productive contributions to society.

The challenge confronting researchers, designers, and policy makers is to develop strategies to maximize the ability of older people to reach their potential and remain healthy and productive. In addition, strategies are needed to help older people who are frail or disabled receive needed care and support. Human factors engineering, the multidisciplinary science that focuses on user-centered design, can make valuable contributions toward accommodating an aging population and enhancing the lives of older adults. Relevant applications of human factors include: housing design, transportation, equipment and product design, and work

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2