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The Potential of Three Computer-Based Communication Activities for Supporting Older Adult Independent Living
  • Melinda Heinz, Upper Iowa University
  • Jinmyoung Cho, Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Norene Kelly, Iowa State University
  • Peter Martin, Iowa State University
  • Johnny Wong, Iowa State University
  • Warren Franke, Iowa State University
  • Wen-Hua Hsieh, Iowa State University
  • Joan Blaser, Iowa STate University
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Technology has become an increasingly integral part of life. For example, technology allows individuals to stay in touch with loved ones, obtain medical services through telehealthcare, and enjoy an overall higher quality of life. Particularly for older adults, using technology increases the likelihood that they will maintain their independence and autonomy. Long-distance caregiving has recently become a feasible option where caregivers for older adults can access reports and information about their loved one’s patterns that day (e.g., food and medication intake). Technology may be able to offset age-related challenges (e.g., caregiving, accessing healthcare, decreased social networks) by applying technology to the needs of older adults. Solutions for meeting such challenges, however, have been less targeted. In addition, the healthcare system is evolving to focus on providing options and services in the home. This has direct implications for older adults, as the majority of healthcare services are utilized by older adults. Research is still at the beginning stages of developing successful technology tools that are compatible with older adult users. Therefore, the design, implementation, and outcome of such computer-based communication activities will be discussed in this paper in order to guide future endeavors in technology marketed for older adults.

This article is from Information 2016, 7(2), 26; doi:10.3390/info7020026. Posted with permission.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (
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Melinda Heinz, Jinmyoung Cho, Norene Kelly, Peter Martin, et al.. "The Potential of Three Computer-Based Communication Activities for Supporting Older Adult Independent Living" Information Vol. 7 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 26
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