America is aging quickly. By 2050, the largest age group of women in this country will be 80 years or older. Today, many of our elderly have trouble functioning in their own homes or remembering important tasks, such as paying bills or taking medication. Yet, if even 10 percent of our population lived at home one to 10 years longer, it would not only ensure them and their families significant lifestyle benefits, it could save the state about $9.4 million a day. How can we help people with age-related and other cognitive impairments live longer and healthier lives at home—while also promoting the health of their caregivers?

Professor of Psychology Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe is finding many of the answers through interdisciplinary research on the “smart home” project at WSU. Dr. Schmitter-Edgecombe and her colleagues combine neuropsychology with applied technology to explore the benefits, drawbacks, and limits of using assistive technologies in the home setting. Her work promises more than high-tech apartments filled with sensors and computers—it offers new techniques and new hope for aging independently in place.


Featuring: Maureen Schmitter, Edgecombe, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts