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  • 1. Ballesteros, Soledad
    et al.
    Toril, Pilar
    Mayas, Julia
    Reales, José M.
    Waterworth, John
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics.
    An ICT-mediated social network in support of successful ageing2014In: Gerontechnology, ISSN 1569-1101, E-ISSN 1569-111X, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 37-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background The idea is that an active lifestyle rich in social interactions and active engagement may mitigate age-related decline and reduce healthcare costs. The main aim of the AGNES project was to investigate the potential of new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environments to help maintain the independence and wellbeing of elders. The innovative applications developed in this research project could have wide application for a large number of older adults living alone.  Method We used a web-based social network platform, enhanced with devices to detect users´ states and collect activity data. The effectiveness of the ICT-based solution was assessed throughout the project with user and control groups in Spain, Sweden and Greece. User interviews and psychological testing were conducted at the beginning of the project and after a year of deployment of the equipment. Both groups completed the same assessment protocol. Results & discussion We found that only the user group showed an improvement from pretest to posttest in the affective dimension of the wellbeing SPF-IL scale. This dimension relates to the degree of confidence, social acceptance, and level of satisfaction with the people around them. Exploring new ways to maintain the cognitive and functional state of older users is today a critical issue, for individuals, their families, and for whole societies. The study suggests the potential of AGNES to improve older adults’ perceived wellbeing. However, more research may be needed to determine if AGNES is a tool to maintain mental health and independent living in older adults, especially those with MCI.

  • 2.
    Larsson, Ellinor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy.
    Larsson Lund, Maria
    Luleå Tekinska Universitet/Enheten för Arbetsterapi.
    Nilsson, Ingeborg
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy.
    Developing social contact and participation in social activities: Seniors experiences from a social Internet-based intervention process2017In: Gerontechnology, ISSN 1569-1101, E-ISSN 1569-111X, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 101-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To explore seniors’ experiences of the intervention process after participating in a social internet-based occupational therapy intervention.

    Method: A qualitative interview study was conducted. Twelve women and 3 men (66–87 years old), from the completed intervention study participated. The study was placed in northern Sweden. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using the constant comparative method, and two categories with subcategories were generated in the analysis.

    Results: The seniors experienced a need to participate in social internet-based activities (SIBAs) due to their decline in social activities and the ever-increasing digitalization of society. In the intervention process, the seniors’ experiences reflected two divergent directions. The first consisted of seniors who had experiences of being hampered in participating in the SIBAs in the intervention process. They did not completely reach their intervention goals, but they did describe increased ability to use SIBAs and increased self-reliance. The other direction of the process reflected experiences of reaching their goals in the intervention, and they developed habitual participation in SIBAs as well as increased participation in social activities outside the Internet.

    Conclusion: The social internet-based intervention can support seniors to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from participating in SIBAs. By participating in SIBAs, the seniors might enrich their social activities and social contacts both on the Internet and outside, if the intervention is individually targeted to meet their needs.

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