Creating a Social Learning Environment for and by Older Adults in the Use and Adoption of Smartphone Technology to Age in Place

Frontiers Media SA
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Frontiers in Public Health, 2021, 9, pp. 568822
Issue Date:
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Smartphone technologies can support older adults in their daily lives as they age in place at home. However, they may struggle to use these technologies which impacts acceptance, adoption, and sustainable use. Peer to peer community learning has the potential to support older adults to learn using (smartphone) technologies. This paper studies such a learning community approach and how it can support older adults to learn using and adopt the smartphone application GoLivePhone. This technology assists older adults in their daily living by supporting them through fall detection and activity tracking. In particular, the interface of this application can evolve and adapt as older adults become more knowledgeable during the use process or as their abilities change. This paper shows a field study with seven older adults learning and using the GoLivePhone technology through a living lab approach. These older adults participated in this research in a technology learning community that was set-up for research purposes. For this we used ordinary Samsung A3 smartphones with the simplified GoLivePhone software, particularly designed for older adults. At the end of the learning class we conducted an additional focus group to both explore factors facilitating older adults to learn using this technology and to identify their main personal drivers and motivators to start and adopt this technology. We collected qualitative data via open questions and audio recording during the focus group. This collected data was subject to a thematic analysis, coding was primarily performed by the first author, and reviewed by the other authors. We provide insights into how peer to peer community learning can contribute, and found both super-users and recall tools to be helpful to support sustainable use of smartphone technology to support older adults to age in place.
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