Understanding the potential of technology to support enhanced activities of daily living (EADLs)

Wendy A. Rogers, Tracy L. Mitzner, Michael T. Bixter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

W. A. Rogers, T. L. Mitzner, M. T. Bixter. Understanding the potential of technology to support enhanced activities of daily living (EADLs). Gerontechnology 2020;19(2):125-137; https://doi.org/10.4017/gt.2020.19.2.005.00 Background Much of past research has focused on the importance of ADLs and IADLs for successful aging in place, independence, and health. Current state of the science shows engagement in enhanced activities of daily living (EADLs) is also critical for quality of life and health outcomes. This term first appeared in Rogers, Meyer, Walker, and Fisk (1998) and has been a focus of subsequent research. Technology advancements have the potential to support EADLs and enhance the quality of life for older adults. Research aim Describe the history of EADLs and discuss a sampling of research studies focusing on technology supports for older adults' engagement in EADLs. The review focused primarily on research from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Methods We provide a brief history of assessments of everyday activities. We then focus on EADLs, reviewing the citations of Rogers, Meyer, Walker, and Fisk (1998), and updating the definition of EADL. We discuss the relevance of these activities to quality of life. We provide a sampling of research on technology to support EADLs. Results EADLs encompass a range of everyday activities. We review technology support examples from the following categories: new learning and training for technology use; assistive and social robotics; telework; family caregiving; physical activity; digital gaming; social engagement and intellectual pursuits. We discuss the potential of autonomous vehicle technologies to support a broad range of EADLs. We describe the cross-cutting relevance of technology acceptance. Conclusion Technology developments can support EADLs and enhance the quality of life. Future research directions should include developing a valid and reliable measure of EADLs to determine where there are needs for interventions. Broader samples of older adults should be included in EADL technology research such as individuals aging with a disability. Additional focus should be on the long-term benefits of active engagement in EADLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalGerontechnology
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Everyday activities
  • Quality of life
  • Social engagement
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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