Connected Living for Positive Ageing

Connected Living for Positive Ageing

Helen Hasan (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Henry Linger (Monash University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2495-3.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter proposes that social use of digital technologies can play a useful role in meeting the social and economic challenges posed by the ageing populations in developed countries. Many citizens become increasingly isolated as they age and this has a detrimental impact on their wellbeing. The authors present research which shows how, with suitable devices and ongoing support, older people can develop the digital capability to remain connected to family and community. They can also engaged in activities that give meaning to their lives. The research shows the importance of taking an individualized approach to meeting the needs of each older person who is motivated to learn and of making this learning fun. It also demonstrates how mastering just one or two digital applications can not only enhance social wellbeing but also enable citizens to have more control of their lives and be less of a burden on others.
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Background

The societal challenge facing developed countries is the adverse impact on the health, economic and social systems of ageing populations (Harvey & Thurnwald, 2009). The economic consequences of this demographic challenge are high on the agendas of government, business and non-government organizations. A smaller workforce must provide for a growing number of retirees who are increasingly dependent on health care and general living services (Aus Govt., 2010). While attempts are made to meet this challenge, older citizens are becoming increasingly isolated, either because they are less mobile in their home environment or because they move into an aged-care facility, often far removed from their family, friends and familiar community (Wells & Herd, 2013).

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