Techno-elderly increases geriatric projects

7.11.2022 -

In the world population statistics, the following information was underlined in 2018: For the first time in the world, the elderly population exceeded the population of children under 5 years old. An old world prediction was made that the number of children under the age of 5 peaked in this century and then plateaued.

Global population data shows that the elderly population has increased by more than 50 percent in the last 50 years. According to the World Health Organization, people over the age of 65 are considered elderly. Looking at this rate in Turkey, as of 2021, 9.5 percent of the population is elderly people. The elderly population increased by 19.57 percent between 2017 and 2021, exceeding 8 million. In the projection of the Ministry of Family and Social Services, it is predicted that our elderly population ratio will be 11 percent in 2025, 12.9 percent in 2030, 16.3 percent in 20240, 22.6 percent in 2060 and 25.6 percent in 2080.

Returning to Turkey from Germany in 2006 and establishing the country's first gerontology department at Akdeniz University, Prof. Dr. According to İsmail Tufan, an important social dimension should be added to this picture: “The population over the age of 65 in 2030 does not live like the old people we know. There are demands for a good life, intertwined with technology. A suitable elderly care market is emerging. Universities, companies and institutions need to produce projects together for the new generation of elderly people. The establishment of 36 gerontology departments in Turkey since 2006 is an indicator of this preparation. Gerontologist employment needs to be increased.”

prof. Dr. There have been studies at Akdeniz University for a long time for the projects for the gerontology market that İsmail Tufan mentioned. Refreshment University, which is among these, draws attention with a different curriculum such as meeting the academic education, hobby, social and technological needs of individuals over the age of 65. prof. Dr. Another project that excites Tufan is YAÇUMER (Aging Studies Study and Application Center). prof. Tufan draws attention to the works that will start in 2023 within the scope of YAÇUMER.

“On January 1, 2023, our IGP (Innovative Gerontological Projects) works will be activated. These projects aim to develop innovative gerontological products and services by putting our aging society in focus. My dream is to create employment opportunities not only for gerontologists but also for people from many disciplines. Aging should not be evaluated only in terms of health and disease concepts. A completely different new generation of elderly population is coming, from lifestyle to education level. Expectations from life, short and long-term life plans, social relations, habit and familiarity with technology should be considered in gerontology. From this point of view, meaningful projects will be implemented within YAÇUMER for both the aging individual and the aging society.”

Technology and smart housing project BED

YATAK, one of the projects carried out within the scope of YAÇUMER, is focused on building the life that will meet the demands of the techno-elderly. Prof. He explains that there are job opportunities for both the elderly and young people in the project, which is planned to start in January 2023. Dr. Ismail Tufan. He describes the plan: “There are great opportunities in gerontology. I would like to make a call to technology and construction companies from here. Let them come together, let's prepare the designs of technological products and houses suitable for the elderly together. Let's combine our gerontological knowledge with engineering knowledge to improve the quality of life of the elderly and create new employment opportunities for our youth. Let's conquer this huge market that has not been perceived yet. Gerontotechnology, smart housing, housing suitable for the elderly and disabled, medical technology and software are some of the investment areas that come to my mind right now. Why not realize the technological revolution we have realized in UAVs and SİHAs in gerontotechnology and in the construction sector as well?”