Age and Technology

Experiences and uses of technology in older age

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This creative and innovative cross-disciplinary network will facilitate collaborative dialogue promoting the engagement of older people with technologies.


Judith Sixsmith, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Judith Sixsmith


The infiltration of technology into everyday life has progressed at a rapid pace. While technology is usually designed to improve people's lives, its impact is not always beneficial. Research suggests that the psycho-social and organisational effects of technologies are contradictory, especially concerning the health, social care and participation of older people.

Whilst technology can potentially enhance their access to information/communication and improve quality of life in many ways; it excludes those who cannot gain access to equipment or lack the skills or confidence to use it. Technology can facilitate independent living but there are risks of unintended and harmful consequences as well as exclusion from the benefits that technology could bring.


This preparatory network brings together experts from a range of academic, public and private organizations to explore the individual, psycho-social, engineering and political contexts in which technologies are located. It focuses on providing better understandings of how older people can be supported in accessing and using technology to enhance quality of life. Issues of life course, culture and gender are explored, with implications for policy, product development, new approaches to commercial activities and training and support services.


Unfortunately, this project was not funded by the NDA.

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