Aged care facilities failing to meet residents’ digital needs – Computerworld New Zealand

With people at every age likely to be plugged into the Internet and social media a study undertaken by Auckland University of Technology has revealed aged care facilities in New Zealand doing little to enable residents to get online.

The study, The Social Connectedness of Older People in Residential Aged Communities, funded by InternetNZ, surveyed 80 aged care residents in Auckland with an average age of 86 years. Those interviewed said aged care facilities seldom provided Wi-Fi access for residents, and the majority were not aware of any computers being available in common areas.

“Residential aged care operators currently appear to be relatively divorced from ensuring residents’ online social interactions are maximised, although family members were keen for aged care facilities to become involved and provide opportunities for residents to become digitally connected,” the study reported.

The study aimed to fill what it said was a gap in knowledge about older adults’ efforts to retain their social connectedness when they move into an aged care facility.

“Use of internet-based technologies, in particular, remains largely invisible, with residents not included in many surveys and reports at a population level,” it said.


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