14 February 2019: Say AAHH #3: The New Old Age: The role of technology in ageing and elderly care 17:00-18:30 Spui 25 Spui 25 Amsterdam

The New Old Age: The role of technology in ageing and elderly care


You may reasonably expect to live to a higher age than your parents, whose generation in turn grew older than their parents. Developments in medical science and high standards of life bestow these blessings on us, and many challenges along with them. Greying hair might be our cultural marker for supposed wisdom, but increasingly, ‘vergrijzing’ of populations and the ageing individual pose great societal questions and challenges. Researchers from varied disciplines took us along into the notions of old age and attempted to address a few.


Some answers to the challenges of ageing populations may well be found in technological developments. In care facilities, for instance, a camera system that monitors elderly residents’ walking patterns can accurately predict their risk of stumbling in the near future, saving them and hospitals many treatments.


Elena Bendien was part of a team of scholars that set out into the province Zeeland to find out how the voluntary organization Festival of Recognition run by the older volunteers support inhabitants of the nursing homes and community-dwelling older vulnerable people.


Somaya Ben Allouch is the head of the research group Digital Life at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In her talk she zoomed in on the role of technologies and elderly care with a specific focus on assistive living technologies, virtual reality and social robotics.


We discussed together with the audience the needs and questions of ageing in the twenty-first century, in view of new technologies – as well as their ethical and practical implications.


About the speakers


The main research interests of Somaya Ben Allouch involve design, acceptance, use, implementation and evaluation of technologies, specifically social robotics, ubiquitous technologies, assistive technologies and wearables. She has been working at the University of Twente where she obtained her PhD in 2008. She is now leading the Digital Life group at AUAS. The research focus of the Digital Life group is on innovative technology in everyday life with a special interest in the health and wellbeing domain.


Elena Bendien is a researcher in the field of medical humanities at the AUMC. With a background in social and cultural gerontology, she has made contributions to the Age Friendly City project in Amsterdam, Advanced Care project in Amstelveen and to the Old for Old (O4O) project in Zeeland. Her research focuses on the participatory action philosophy, involving the elderly inhabitants of Zeeland in designing and conducting research as a part of the project team.


“Say AAHH!”


This event is part of “Say AAHH!”: a series on Arts And the Health Humanities organised by ARIAS & SPUI25, convened by Erin La Cour and Maaike Muntinga.


What does it mean to be healthy? How can we promote better practices of wellbeing and care? In what ways can the arts and new technology challenge stigmas about mental and physical health? These are but a few of the questions the Arts And Health Humanities series “Say AAHH!” addressed in a series of five sessions from November 2018 – May 2019.


Forthcoming events:


#4 – 28 March: Mediatizing Physical Disability


#5 – 18 April: Psychopathologies and Media