The population is aging, and by 2050, there will be more individuals over the age of 60 than any other age group. Older adults are the least likely to engage with computers and tablets, and are the smallest demographic using digital social networks. Within this context, some older adults experience physical, financial or social constraints, more so than other age groups. Consequently, this research study explored new opportunities for community engagement using computers and tablets. Fifteen interviews were conducted among three populations: older adults experiencing social isolation, therapeutic recreation practitioners and volunteer coordinators. The findings suggest that although there are programs and resources available to help older adults engage with their community, such as online communities and virtual lectures, the biggest barrier for older adults is the lack of knowledge they have with using such devices. Therefore, therapeutic recreation practitioners and volunteer coordinators are encouraged to facilitate more digital literacy programs.
Author Kelly Christine Leonard, Shannon Hebblethwaite
Volume Vol. 51, No. 4 (2017)