Along with the increase in average life expectancy, the world’s elderly population is expected to grow to 2.1 billion by 2050
Qian He, Lianne Simonse and Elisa Giaccardi
Aging marks a sensitive and vulnerable period of life, with loss of roles and functions and increased dependence on others, often reflected in a decline in quality of life. As everyone experiences ageing, the need to achieve a satisfactory old age for all in the future means that more research and a better systematic understanding of aging and elder well-being are needed. Especially as changing demographics put growing pressure on public health and finance and the provision of long-term care becomes increasingly inadequate.
In this study, we have systematically scoped three streams of literature, design, social studies and digital technology, based on Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) methodological framework. We report on our ongoing work scoping our research on three core elements: Aging and elder well-being, Community services and AIoT. Our preliminary review revealed a cluster of ethnographic studies on ‘aging in place’ in which community services appeared to be of interest. Several survey studies confirm that most elders prefer to receive care from their families rather than in institutions. In a cluster with a systemic lens, community services have been studied to become an increasingly important model of long-term care, and a few have demonstrated that community services are more effective in supporting elders’ interests and care preferences.
Within the digital technology stream, an emerging cluster of studies proposes Artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (AIoT) as potential solutions to the challenges associated with an aging society. AIoT integrated into elderly care expands the range of services and supports social well-being. Experimental studies with prototyped technologies are studied in relation to outcomes of improving the self-care experience of elders at home and how AIoT facilitates the development and sharing of their unique coping strategies, thereby maintaining their vitality and independence. However, only a few studies concentrate on AIoT as part of community services.
Overall, our systemic review work in progress unpacks the relevant literature into different clusters and categories, including theoretical lenses, research methods, findings and outcomes. The initial charting of the studies indicates that despite the accumulation of previous research, the current body of knowledge on the interplay of aging and elder well-being, community services, and AIoT is underdeveloped, with unresolved issues at multiple levels of the community care model, including policy, organization, services and individuals.
Keywords: aging, elder, elder well-being, community, community service, care model, digital technology, ai, iot, aiot, systematic review, scoping review