The MIT AgeLab has given birth to a new understanding of how people over 50 can thrive, from mobility issues to lifelong productivity. How can elders be safe drivers? When should they give up their car keys? How can businesses create products and services that help this group? How can technology promote healthy, independent living? The AgeLab is working on all these questions.
Joseph Coughlin leads the AgeLab, which is set to celebrate its 10th birthday in February. Ever-dapper with a bow tie and ready grin, Coughlin was trained as a political scientist who turned his passion into new ideas and products to promote healthy, vital aging of the burgeoning post-50 population. A Boston Globe Q&A probes recent developments and a local television video takes you on a virtual spin of the Aware Car, a test car that tracks road conditions and the driver’s responses including fatigue levels. In fact, when the driver is stressed, the built in massager kicks on.
Check out the AgeLab Website to learn about new research, volunteer for a study, check resources for links to organizations that work on policy or services for older people, and download a new publication, Your Road Ahead: A Guide to Comprehensive Driving Evaluation.