Friday, 28 December 2012

The rise of the ‘silver surfer’: Online social networking and social inclusion for older adults

an article by Christina Doyle (Australian Department of Human Services) and Sophie Jennifer Goldingay (Deakin University) published on Journal of Social Inclusion Volume 3 Number 2 (2012)


As the proportion of older adults continues to grow in many Western countries, there are increasing concerns about how to meet their needs. Ensuring social connectedness and inclusion is one way to support older adults’ well-being.

Online social networking has become common place amongst younger age groups, suggesting its possible usefulness for older adults, in order to combat isolation and loneliness. Some quantitative studies have already explored the amount and degree of online social networking amongst older adults.

To add further understanding of how older adults experience social inclusion via the internet, the current qualitative study aimed to explore older adults’ subjective experience of online social networking.

Findings demonstrated a number of supports and barriers to social inclusion which reflect barriers to social inclusion of older adults in the non-virtual world. Recommendations to support social inclusion of isolated older adults via online social networking are suggested.

Full text (PDF  15pp)

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