Dr. Barbara Klein Institute of Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO) Barbara Schnückel Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT)
Due to socio-demographic changes in the coming decades the percentage of senior citizens in the whole population will increase from about 20% of the over 60-year-old of today to 35% in year 2030.
Changes within social structures of families lead to the fact that more people live alone and cannot be taken into care by relatives. As a result, the maintenance and support of competence and independence up to old age is of great importance.
The Institute of Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO) and Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT of the University of Stuttgart have been working on a research project which deals with these issues. The research project which has been running from autumn 1996 up to summer 1999 is financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend).
Within the framework of the project, 100 persons over 65 years of age were interviewed about their living conditions, on the usage of domestic appliances in day-to-day life and the advantages and problems which are related to them. Additionally interviews were conducted with service providers and manufacturers of senior citizens' products.
Together with the Central Consultation Office for Living Adaptation for the Aged and the Handicapped, which is under the District Welfare Organization of