Active Aging in Israel – Games, Consoles, and RobotsNov 16, 2022 | 1 Votes by Aethyna 10 rate Like the rest of the world, the elderly population in Israel is increasing year by year. However, as the most important high-tech center in the world, Israel startups have some interesting ways of helping the elderly stay active as they age.
According to the WHO, the population of elderly, people aged 60 years and above, around the world has increased from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion in 2022, with a projection of hitting the big twos – 2.1 billion – by 2050. This is mainly due to the fact that everyone is living longer in this era, thanks to modern technology and advancements, especially in the field of medicine.
This is also true for the elderly population in Israel. According to the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, a significant increase, from around 670,000 in 2017 to around 1.41 million in 2040, among people over 70-year-old is predicted. With a projected increase in the elderly population, naturally, there’s a certain urgency over developing important tools that can help combat loneliness, social isolation, and elderly boredom, to allow seniors to enjoy active aging.
Side note: "Active aging" here doesn't only mean "get out and move about" but it also refers to being mentally active. Right, let's head back to the article!
One such tool is Elli •Q, an active aging robotic companion that’s designed to accompany the elderly, especially old folks who live alone and aren’t as technologically savvy as their younger counterparts. Named after the Norse goddess of old age, Elli, this robot functions quite like Alexa in a way, since it has access to (and will help regulate) important devices around the house like the thermostat. However, it is more proactive and is designed to help the elderly with their day-to-day, whether that is reminding them of their appointments or their medication, helping them socialize via video call, or setting up social outings with friends.
Elli •Q is developed by Intuition Robotics, a startup based in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv that specializes in developing social companion technologies. You can see Elli •Q in action here:
Another interesting technology called Obie that’s developed by an Israeli startup, EyeClick, that’s also based in Ramat Gan is designed to bring the elderly together in a fun and interactive way. After all, boredom has been linked to a host of physical and psychological issues that makes dignified aging difficult.
Dubbed as a highly-advanced interactive gaming console, Obie works like a high-tech projector, turning any tabletop into a gaming table, whether it is for air hockey or for mahjong. This piece of tech also contains a slew of motion sensors which allows the participants in the game to move various in-game objects around. It even comes with a host of games that is suited for the senior population.
Take a look at Obie in action:
However, if you don’t have funds to spend on consoles or robots for the elderly, BombaGames.co.il might be able to help instead!
The website features fun HTML 5 games for the third age, or as they say in Israel, משחקים לגיל השלישי, that are entirely free-to-play and can even help keep their brains active... that is as opposed to passively watching TV day in and day out. BombaGames is also localized for the Israeli elderly population and comes with plenty of accessibility options that make gaming on the site a lot more comfortable for old folks to navigate and use.
Plus, there’s no need for complicated gadgetry to set up and the games can be played across multiple devices, be it a tablet, a smartphone, or a laptop. For seniors who may not be as confident using modern tech as younger people, this is definitely a huge factor when it comes to finding suitable interactive entertainment for old folks to enjoy.
So, all in all, the Israelis are on the right track in developing various devices, tools as well as games for the elderly that may help the seniors in their population to stave off loneliness, social isolation, and elderly boredom, allowing the old folks to achieve dignified active aging.