Anthropology of Aging: Assessment of Old Age Needs and Ethical Issues regarding the Use of Assistive Technologies
Description: The main goal of this research has been to investigate elderly people's needs, perceptions, fears, hopes, and expectation regarding elderly care, including ethical issues linked to assistive technologies. As faith seems to take an important place in how some elders face the aging process, the spiritual dimension was also included. Therefore, the research was conducted among 15 church congregants. Results show that most respondents fear the physical and mental decay due to aging, often resulting in becoming a burden to someone else, along with abandonment and lack of financial resources. Most ethnic groups perceive that other cultures take better care of their elders than their own. Faith seems to offer a great support, as it gives the confidence that divine power will always be there for them even beyond death. The respondents in this research suggest that guidance should be provided in a more structured way, more focus should go on the youth and the elderly, more activities should be organized and practical information should be shared. Regarding the ethical issues of assistive technologies, they are not well informed about their possibilities but acknowledge their potential usefulness, combined with human care. They don't want technology to be too intrusive in their daily life, but they are willing to sacrifice (part of) their privacy for more (medical) safety. There is a general concern that the access to qualitative care would be depending on financial resources.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Atibaka, Sunday O
Partner: UNT Libraries