Date of Award


Document Type

Critically Appraised Topic


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Anne Haskins

Second Advisor

Breann Lamborn

Third Advisor

Gail Bass/Devon Olson Lambert


In the United States, older adults account for about “16% of the population” (Administration on Aging, 2020, p.5). Older adults are defined as anyone aged 60 and older. There has been a steady increase in the number of older adults living in the United States, and that number is expected to continue growing at a rapid rate as it is predicted that by 2040, older adults will make up approximately “21.6% of the population” (Administration on Aging, 2020, p. 5-6). The majority of this population does not reside in assisted living facilities or nursing homes but instead lives in the community (Administration on Aging, 2020, p.7). Of those adults that reside in the community and are living independently, “21.9% are aged 65 to 74, 31.2% of are aged 75 to 84, and 38.7% of adults aged 85 and older live by themselves” (Song & van der Cammen, 2019, p.50). It is important that older adults are able to maintain their independence while living alone, especially since they face more difficulties than other age groups. Some of these difficulties include physical problems such as decreased muscle tone and greater susceptibility to falls, mental problems such as anxiety or cognitive impairments, and social problems such as loneliness and decreased social interaction (Song & van der Cammen, 2019). Technology can assist older adults with addressing these problems and can allow them to remain independent for a longer time.