New technologies: Their potential role in linking rural older people to community

Helen Barrie, Kelly McDougall, Natasha Howard, Graeme Hugo

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Abstract

For older adults in rural regions of Australia the issues of distance, accessibility and social connectivity associated with rural living add another dimension to the physical and social challenges associated with ageing. New technologies offer the potential of increasing connectedness for older rural people. This paper examines the comfort levels with, and attitudes to, technology from a survey of 858 community members aged 55 years and over living in the rural Murray Lands region of South Australia. The survey was part of the three-year ‘Linking Rural Older People to Community through Technology’ project. Survey results showed that comfort levels varied according to age and type of technology. Attitudes to new technologies also varied by age, but positive attitudes were expressed across all ages. Participants had strong community and family ties, although not all were localised, suggesting new technologies have a potential role in connecting older rural people to their communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68
Number of pages84
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Rural
  • Older People
  • ICT
  • Social Connectivity

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