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OCR for page 70
6 Conclusions The increasing number of older people in the population points to the need for concerted research efforts within the area of human factors add aging. As this report suggests, there currently exist large gaps In our knowledge base regarding the unplications of age-related changes for the performance of everyday tasks and activities. It is logical and appropriate for human factors speciadists to direct their attention toward the problems of the elderly, since the discipline is devoted to improving design for particular user populations. We need to make older adults one of the target populations. This report highlights some of the priorities for research ~ the area of human factors and aging. It summarizes what is known and demonstrates what ~ not known. Our conclusion is that hu- man factors research for an aging population is both important and promising as a target. We hope to encourage researchers to address the general Sues rmsed, and we point out some specific directions for research opportunities as examples. This report is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to provide an overview of potential areas of human factors research with regard to aging. It ~ acknowledged that as human factors specialists begin to address the problems of the elderly they will not only discover solutions to problems but wid also discover additional research issues. 70