Various types of technology are being looked at for use in keeping the elderly independent as long as possible.   Remote monitoring via GPS or RFID tags seem to be the most popular.

As reported by Japan Times, Panasonic and the Japanese government have launched the Ubiquitous Platform research project to track elderly who live along in the community.

The residents carry around a small mobile devise that tells the call center computer where they are at all times.    Each resident in the program has a social worker who also carries a device, equipped to alert them to the resident’s whereabouts and to tell at a glance whether the person is at home or out.

The trail has been going on since March 2009 and will continue for 4 years.  Early indications are that results are encouraging with most of the elderly happy and satisfied.

Making this work would not only mean happy seniors but a windfall for companies that can sell to the ‘silver market’.