Improving the quality of life for dependent elderly adults

May 19, 2014
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.

Explore further: Exercise proves to be ineffective against care home depression

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

Employment may lead to improvement in autism symptoms

January 15, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—More independent work environments may lead to reductions in autism symptoms and improve daily living in adults with the disorder, according to a new study released in the Journal of Autism and Developmental ...

Recommended for you

Children born in the summer more likely to be healthy adults

October 12, 2015

Women who were born in the summer are more likely to be healthy adults, suggests new research published in the journal Heliyon. The authors of the study, which involved almost half a million people in the UK, say more sunlight ...

Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: office meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink, and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists ...


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.