Improving the quality of life for dependent elderly adults

Improving the quality of life for dependent elderly adults
Can ICT improve the quality of life of elderly adults living in residential home care units?

Western populations are aging. As a result, there is an increase in elderly adults living in specialised institutions. A 'paradoxical side effect' of this is a feeling of solitude and isolation. Can information and computer technologies prevent this and work to improve the quality of life for such adults? Research published in Behaviour & Information Technology suggests it can.

The study examines the psychological profiles of a group of (with a mean age of 87) living in residential home care units (RHCU). The residents were introduced to software comprising three different activities: leisure games, a journal editing tool and an intuitive emailing device. They were examined before the software use, during the introductory training stage and afterwards.

The authors of the study hypothesised that the 'social seclusion' that can arise from living in an RHCU can be decreased through adjusting to a new technological environment, an environment that provides residents with new skills. Despite initial reluctance from the subjects of the study, the research suggests that elderly adults observed can both grasp a technological universe and use it to improve their quality of life. The study shows that on a personal level, technology increases both the self-esteem and self-confidence of the residents. More interestingly, perhaps, the experiment also prompted the individuals to play a greater role in social activities where they helped and supported one another.

More information: Marc-Eric Bobillier Chaumon, et al. "Can ICT improve the quality of life of elderly adults living in residential home care units? From actual impacts to hidden artefacts." Behaviour & Information Technology, Volume 33, Issue 6, 2014. DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2013.832382

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

date 11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

date 11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date 14 hours ago

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.