CARERS and service providers should use more innovative technology when providing services to the elderly, says the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong (勞工及福利局局長羅致光), who cited the example of an ‘automated shower machine’ developed for the elderly.
In a recent blog post, Law said the machine was the first product that caught his attention when he visited Tokyo to study the development of gerontechnology, the scientific research in technology for the elderly, in August.
“A slippery bathroom is often a high-risk place for falls or sprains for elderly or carers. Well-designed equipment can prevent many accidents,” Law wrote. A picture taken during Law’s visit showed a device with three handles installed in a bath tub, with a shower facing it.
Hong Kong scientists have, in fact, developed similar elderly-friendly products.
In 2017, a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (香港科技大學) research team created an innovative bathing chair with dual shower and toileting functions. In Law’s blog, he wrote that the government has earmarked HK$1 billion for setting up the ‘Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care’ in December 2018.
The fund is to subsidise elderly and rehabilitation service units so as to procure, rent and trial technology products that could improve the quality of life of service users as well as reduce the pressure on carers.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 28 November 2019)
Bathing for elderly made easy – HKUST
The next hottest thing in Silicon Valley: Gerontechnology – Forbes