Why placing older adults at the heart of age-inclusive technology design matters.

With rapid advancements in technology, the concept of age technology has emerged as a powerful force in addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by older adults.

'The number of people aged 65 and over is projected to double between 2011 and 2031 in Ireland'.

Age technology refers to the use of technology to enhance the quality of life, health, and independence of seniors. However, to truly make age tech successful and inclusive, it is crucial to involve the older person themselves at the core of its development and implementation. When designing the Origin Acorn Age Friendly tablet and Origin connects Solutions, the older person was key to its design and functionality.

The Origin Care Group solutions were designed on the premise that “If you design for the young, you exclude the old but if you design for the old, you include everyone”(Glenn Millar, Director of Education & Research, Canadian Urban Development Institute). ​

The significance of having the older person at the core of our age-friendly technology.

User-Centred Design

When it comes to age tech, designing solutions without the direct involvement of older persons can result in products and services that miss the mark. Older adults have diverse backgrounds, abilities, and preferences, which can significantly influence how they interact with technology. By actively involving older individuals in the design process, we gained valuable insights into their needs, expectations, and limitations. This user-centred approach ensures that our technology is intuitive, accessible, and truly addresses the challenges faced by seniors.

Overcoming Technological Barriers

While technology has the potential to empower older adults, it can also be a source of frustration and exclusion if not designed with their needs in mind. Many older individuals face barriers such as limited digital literacy, physical impairments, and cognitive challenges that can hinder their adoption and use of technology. By involving older people in our age tech initiatives, we identified these barriers and worked towards creating solutions that are user-friendly and accessible. Older individuals can provide valuable feedback on the usability, and user experience of age tech products, leading to a design that caters to a broader range of abilities and needs.

Empowering Independence and Autonomy

One of the primary goals of age tech is to enable older adults to live independent and fulfilling lives. Age technology can help seniors live independently for longer periods. A study by the National Council on Aging reported that 90% of seniors prefer to age in their own homes, and technology can support this desire.

Social Engagement

Technology provides opportunities for social engagement, especially for seniors who may have limited mobility or live alone. A study published in the Journals of Gerontology found that older adults who used social media and communication technology reported higher levels of social engagement and reduced feelings of loneliness.


Incorporating the perspectives of older individuals at the core of age tech is essential for creating solutions that meet their needs. By adopting a user-centred design approach and actively involving older persons in the development process, we ensured that our products are accessible, intuitive, and relevant. By embracing the insights and involvement of older adults, the Origin Care Group is able to build more inclusive age technology that empowers older individuals, promotes independence, and enriches the lives of seniors.