Attention Goes Home: Support for Aging Adults
Older adults, like younger adults, engage in a variety of activities every day. These activities can be grouped into three: activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and enhanced activities of daily living. The psychological processes of attention are involved in the behaviors associated with many of these activities. Consequently, it is important to understand if and how attentional processes change as individuals age. This chapter examines issues of aging and attention as they relate to the everyday activities of older adults. It reviews the literature on skill acquisition and maintenance, focusing on research on the development of automatic processing for young and older adults. It discusses how such data can be used to design products to enhance the independence of older adults. In particular, it describes some very interesting research on aging and independence in the context of the Aware Home Research Initiative at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which brings together specialists in psychology, computer science, engineering, and design.
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