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Current Research Conditions
     The interdisciplinary integration and the concept of ‘successful aging’ are the leading ideas in researches on aging society. These researches integrate technology innovation with the central concern for humanity and social support. Such an integration is exemplified by the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) funded by NIA (National Institute on Aging) in the United States. CREATE is established jointly by the University of Miami, Florida State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. It aims to install an aging technological archive that meets the preferences and needs of the elders by investigating their cognitive ability and how much they know about the daily technology and how they use them. Moreover, it aims to identify what the main problems are and offer solutions. Last, it aims to develop a collaboration system between university research and industry development.  
     In Taiwan, the project conducted by Prof. Wan-I Lin of National Taiwan University in 2005 represents a very comprehensive research on aging. Prof. Lin’s research integrates the research areas of social work with labor relations, architecture, marketing, and transportation. He provides suggestions for future polices after investigating the current condition in ‘health care’, ‘social care and participation’, ‘economic safety’, ‘employment and labor resources’, ‘elder housing’, and ‘transportation and communication’. The Institute of Gerontology in the College of Medicine at National Cheng Kung University provides medical and public health resources for their researches on aging. The Institute of Gerontology also tries to integrate social policies with education and learning.
     However, the interdisciplinary integration on aging research in Taiwan is just getting started. There leaves much to be desired. For example, the ideas such as physical and mental health cares for elders, the research of current policies, social participation, and research of laws on aging have been largely ignored in current researches. More importantly, the concept of ‘successful aging’ has not been well implemented in these research projects on aging.
     Our researches in this project will take CREATE in the United States as an example of cross-university collaboration. Base on the concepts of ‘elder-centered’ and ‘successful aging’, we will be the hub to integrate the area of laws and regulations with technology research and development, cognitive research, policy research, and education learning to reach two goals: understanding and application. Understanding means that we understand the mental state, cognition and behaviors of the elders, their feeling and thinking, needs, and the ways for communication and their adaptability to the new technology and changing environment. Application means that the elders are able to actively participate in social affairs and community activities. The government and industry are also able to look for new directions for the development of technology and industries in an aging society.
Web  Last Update:2010.11.10