Older adults, social inclusion, and digital technology
The Covid-19 pandemic has actualized the need to address older adults’ digital technology use to maintain social contact. Due to the restrictions, lockdown, and minimizing social contact, it is important and interesting to explore how older adults experience the pandemic, and how they experience digital technology to maintain social contact.
Henriette Hovland started her PhD project in September 2020, at the University of Agder at the Faculty of Health and Sport Science, Department of Health and Nursing Science, with a specialization in eHealth. Her project is a part of the Interreg North Sea Region project “From Isolation to Inclusion”. The main purpose of the PhD project is to explore older adults’ experience with digital technology to maintain social contact. This will be approached through three sub-studies:
This study is based on a systematic review of relevant literature to answer the research question: How do older adults experience the use of digital technology to maintain social contact? This is a study that aims to understand and synthesise the current research on the topics, and this research will be a baseline for the other two studies in Henriette’s project.
This study aims to explore the experiences older adults living at home and their relatives have with the use of the digital communication tool Komp to maintain social contact. We plan to do semi-structured interviews with older adults and their relatives and observe when they use Komp in their communication.
This study aims to get knowledge about the implementation process and use of the digital communication tool Komp for older adults living at home from a municipal and community perspective. We plan to do semi-structured interviews with employees and central persons in a municipality in Norway. In addition, we will also perform document analysis of relevant documents which has affiliated with the implementation of Komp.
In 2018 the government in Norway published “A full life- all your life – A Quality Reform for Older Persons” Meld. St. nr 15 (2017-2018). This reform aims to achieve a more age-friendly society where older persons can live good lives and participate in the social community. This is something Arendal municipality is currently working on implementing. It is therefore a natural link between this work in the municipality, Henriette’s PhD-project, and the I2I project. Henriette has a master’s degree in Public Health Science (UiA, 2018), and her PhD-project is aimed to have a health promotion focus and research experiences on how digital technology can promote social contact among older adults.