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: Diets high in animal protein may help prevent functional decline in elderly individuals

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

Diets high in animal protein may help prevent functional decline in elderly individuals

March 11, 2014
A diet high in protein, particularly animal protein, may help elderly individuals function at higher levels physically, psychologically, and socially, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics ...

Accepting what cannot be changed is key to happiness in old age after loss of independence

July 11, 2013
When older adults lose control as they move into residential care, they adapt and accept what cannot be changed in order to stay happy. According to a new study, by Jaclyn Broadbent, Shikkiah de Quadros-Wander and Jane McGillivray ...

Cognitive impairment common among community and nursing-home resident elderly

April 7, 2014
More than 70% of elderly Medicare beneficiaries experience cognitive impairment or severe dementia near the end-of-life and may need surrogate decision makers for healthcare decisions. Advance care planning for older adults ...

Exercise proves to be ineffective against care home depression

May 2, 2013
Researchers at the University of Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London have shown that exercise is not effective in reducing burden of depression among elderly care home residents.

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

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

0 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.