ASSISTIVE DEVICE TECHNOLOGY FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING AND ACTIVE AGEING
Malaysia is expected to become an aged nation by the year 2035, at which point 15% of its total population will be 60 years and older (LPPKN, 2018). Along with the increasing number of elder people, one must acknowledge that the elderly may no longer be able to look after themselves, losing the ability to live independently because of limited mobility, frailty or other physical or mental health problems.
Realising that being independent gives the elders a sense of control over their own well-being while some need assistance due to physical or mental limitations due to aging processes, Prof. Dr. Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim and her team, with the help of Assoc. Professor Chan Chee Seng from the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology are working on a device to assist the elderly to live independently or at with the least supervision. The assistive device could maintain true levels of independence and thus empowering independent living.
She shared her research entitled “Assistive Device Technology for Independent Living and Active Ageing” at the closing ceremony of the third holder of the Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali Chair on 8 December 2018 here at the Institute of Research Management & Monitoring (IPPP), University of Malaya (UM). The ceremony marked the end of Prof. Dr. Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim’s chairmanship as the third holder of the chair.
In collaboration with the Alzheimer Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM), the project aimed at improving the quality of life for the elder population especially those with early cognitive impairment by exploiting assistive living technology. The prototype device will aid the elders in their daily activities via automated audio information and instructions. The device also has the potential to notify the next of kin in cases where the elders continued to remain at one place within their home or when inactivity is detected.