Social transformation and social isolation of older adults: Digital technologies, nursing, healthcare

Rozzano C. Locsin, Gil P. Soriano, Phanida Juntasopeepun, Wipada Kunaviktikul, Lorraine S. Evangelista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The incidence of social isolation among older adults is on the rise in today's health care climate. Consequently, preventing or ameliorating social isolation through technology in this age group is now being discussed as a significant social and health issue. Aim: The purpose of the opinion paper is to clarify social transformation through technology and shed light on a new reality for older adults in situations of social isolation. Our goal is to persuade the reader that our position on this topic is a valid one. We support our claims with practice-based evidence and published research studies. Methods: To do so, we checked the most recent literature, most of which came from the last decade. Our literature survey focused primarily on what is known about technology and how technology can affect social transformation and perceptions of social isolation. Findings: Two dominant transformative realities became the focal points: the precarious implications of loneliness for older adults and the emerging reality of social change through digital technology central to eHealth and mHealth. Discussion: To benefit from new technologies and reduce the detrimental effects of social isolation, we must engage older adults in a meaningful way and adapt the system of smart devices to reflect the specific physiological and psychological characteristics of the ageing population. Conclusion: Older adults need to comprehend the meanings of their social experiences to preserve their active lifestyle. Human interactions may be desirable, but technological dominance may also minimize the adverse effects of social isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCollegian
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Digital health
  • Digital technologies
  • Nursing practice
  • Social isolation
  • Social transformation
  • Successful ageing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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