Brotherhood of St Laurence
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June 2012

This project aimed to examine how communication technologies can be used to help ameliorate social isolation for older people who live independently in their own homes. We provided a group of older people and their care managers with touch tablet devices (iPads), and a new iPad application ('Enmesh' ? Engagement through Media Sharing), which was purpose-built for this study. Participants used the Enmesh application to exchange photographs and messages. By creating and sharing content, the older people in our study were able to build social connections in order to help alleviate their experience of social isolation. Participants used the application for a period of ten weeks. During that time we conducted interviews and observations to gauge their experiences of using the technology. Overall, the results of the trial were very positive. For the older people in our study, the ability to record and share photographs and messages had a positive effect on participants' wellbeing and played a role in alleviating feelings of social isolation.

Mobile and broadband technologies for ameliorating social isolation in older people.pdf

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