Inspired by theories from the field of social and emotional aging, we studied the use of ICTs by older adults with cognitive impairments. By means of qualitative interviews (N=30) with older adults with cognitive impairments and their relatives, we got a detailed picture of the role of ICTs in their daily lives. First, our data showed that older adults with cognitive impairments used ICTs to enhance their social and emotional wellbeing. This involved social interaction, feelings of belongingness, and engagement in hobbies and regular daily activities. Second, our research provided insight into the strategies applied when ICT use became too difficult, with a considerable role for the social network. When the network offered help upon request or proactively encouraged the older person, this increased the perception of control. This also applied to the indirect use of ICTs, when someone from the social network operated the devices. Denying the older person the use of ICTs undermined the perception of control. The findings provide insight into how the potential of ICT can be exploited for this target group. We end the paper with practical recommendations.
|Translated title of the contribution||ICT as an instrument for social and emotional ageing. A qualitative study with older adults with cognitive impairments|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Jul 2020|
- Cognitive impairment
- Informal care
- Older adults