Presentation Title

Communication between Older Adults and their Essential Contacts: Social Isolation and Assistive and Interactive Technologies

Advisor Information

Julie Boron, Ph.D

Location

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #907 - U

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2022 12:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2022 1:45 PM

Abstract

This study investigated how essential contacts (caregivers, family members, social contacts) of older adults use assistive and interactive technologies (AITs) to facilitate communication. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the aging population and their contacts, limiting both social and physical interaction with forced isolation and stay-at-home orders. The goal of this research was to explore the preferences and needs of essential contacts for using AITs to connect older adult populations. Participants completed a Qualtrics survey via Amazon Mechanical Turk. An initial sample (N=580) was collected; participants (MAge=44.3±14.3) were dominantly white (81%). To improve the diversity of the study, a sub-sample (N=79) was collected (MAge=38.9±11.6, Female=50.6%, Non-White=87.3%). Results revealed that smartphones and tablets were preferred over other technologies by essential contacts to communicate with older adults in both samples. It may be that participants in this study reported this general preference to phones and tablets as they are convenient, small, and low cost. Additionally, they easily facilitate connection through voice, message, and video (calls, social media, Facetime/Zoom, etc.), qualitatively noted as desired aspects of distanced communication. The results of this study may contribute to the understanding of preferential AITs for essential contacts of older adults, which may help mitigate loneliness in aging populations and improve their quality of life.

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COinS
 
Mar 4th, 12:30 PM Mar 4th, 1:45 PM

Communication between Older Adults and their Essential Contacts: Social Isolation and Assistive and Interactive Technologies

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #907 - U

This study investigated how essential contacts (caregivers, family members, social contacts) of older adults use assistive and interactive technologies (AITs) to facilitate communication. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the aging population and their contacts, limiting both social and physical interaction with forced isolation and stay-at-home orders. The goal of this research was to explore the preferences and needs of essential contacts for using AITs to connect older adult populations. Participants completed a Qualtrics survey via Amazon Mechanical Turk. An initial sample (N=580) was collected; participants (MAge=44.3±14.3) were dominantly white (81%). To improve the diversity of the study, a sub-sample (N=79) was collected (MAge=38.9±11.6, Female=50.6%, Non-White=87.3%). Results revealed that smartphones and tablets were preferred over other technologies by essential contacts to communicate with older adults in both samples. It may be that participants in this study reported this general preference to phones and tablets as they are convenient, small, and low cost. Additionally, they easily facilitate connection through voice, message, and video (calls, social media, Facetime/Zoom, etc.), qualitatively noted as desired aspects of distanced communication. The results of this study may contribute to the understanding of preferential AITs for essential contacts of older adults, which may help mitigate loneliness in aging populations and improve their quality of life.