Exploring the potential of computers to enrich home and community-based services clients' social networks

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Issue Date
2014-09-25
Authors
Ofei-Dodoo, Samuel
Medvene, Louis J.
Nilsen, Kari M.
Smith, Rachel A.
DiLollo, Anthony
Advisor
Citation

Ofei-Dodoo, Samuel; Medvene, Louis J.; Nilsen, Kari M.; Smith, Rachel A.; DiLollo, Anthony. 2014. Exploring the potential of computers to enrich home and community-based services clients' social networks. Educational Gerontology, vol. 41:no. 3:pp 216-225

Abstract

Older persons receiving services in community settings, rather than Nursing Homes, are at risk of social isolation. Computer mediated communication offers technological resources that recipients of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) might use to reduce their social isolation. The present study involved personal interviews with 40 HCBS clients regarding their interest in communicating with members of their social networks and using computers. At the time of the interview, 30 of the 40 participants did not use computers and reported cost, lack of training, physical limitations, lack of interest and access, and fraud as the reasons for not using computers. After watching a videotape illustrating an easy-to-use computer interface that allows older persons to communicate with families and friends, 90% reported that it would be helpful for people like them. Participants said such a computer would be helpful because it would make communication with friends and family easy, it could accommodate visual and manual disabilities, and would be interesting. Eighty-five percent said they would use a system like the one they were shown if it were available to them.

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