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Awareness, Availability, and Accessibility of Assistive Technologies for the Elderly in India: A Review

  • Charu M. MauryaEmail author
  • Nitin Maurya
  • Amarendra Kumar Das
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 135)

Abstract

Old age is associated with various biological and functional changes, which result in physical frailty, onset of diseases, memory loss, etc, in the elderly. Thus, they face lots of difficulties in their daily activities, which make them dependent on others. To facilitate the elderly in their daily activities independently with ease and comfort, assistive technologies (ATs) have proven to be effective. But AT industry, specifically in India, currently remains limited and specialized. Following a systematic approach to review papers/research articles on the subject, an effort has been made to understand the current status of AT industry in India especially with respect to the issues of awareness, availability, and accessibility. The review highlights the availability of mobility aids, hearing, and visual aids for the elderly in India, but there is need to develop and create awareness about other kinds of assistive aids like aids for dressing, self-care, communication, and leisure activities for the elderly. Appropriate ATs not only can help alleviate the problems faced by the Indian elderly but also create a market segment, which largely remains untapped right now. The review also highlights ATs like a multipurpose wheelchair, which also assists in defecation, cleaning, and changing of clothes, a chair with shower system for elderly to take bath independently, a device for managing urinary incontinence, modified wheelchair that can be converted into crutches. But the majority of these aids are at the prototype stage and are not being manufactured. The review, while identifying areas of future research on ATs in India, also urges entrepreneurs to come forward and engage with the researchers so that the benefit of their research can actually reach the elderly.

Keywords

Assistive technologies Assistive aids Elderly 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charu M. Maurya
    • 1
  • Nitin Maurya
    • 2
  • Amarendra Kumar Das
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of DesignIndian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.National Innovation FoundationGandhinagarIndia
  3. 3.Department of DesignIndian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia

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