University of Twente Student Theses


Go for (G)old : reducing loneliness among elderly with ICT

Plantinga, K. (2020) Go for (G)old : reducing loneliness among elderly with ICT.

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Abstract:Purpose: Many elderly are lonely and this has various mental and physical consequences. At the time of writing this master thesis, loneliness is an even more relevant problem because the COVID-19 pandemic forces many elderly to stay alone at home. Several studies show that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can prevent and reduce loneliness among the elderly. The present research looks at the important variables demographics, personal characteristics, and ICT usage to reduce loneliness among the people aged 55 and over (elderly). Method: A survey was conducted to examine, with structural equation modelling, the direct and indirect effects of demographics, personal characteristics, and ICT usage on loneliness among the elderly. Results: The results show that ICT skills, age, gender, marital status, living situation, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism were important predictors of emotional and social loneliness. Additionally, the social loneliness among the elderly was higher than the emotional loneliness. To reduce loneliness with ICT, the determinants of ICT usage were also studied. The results show that age, openness to experience, neuroticism, and living situation are important predictors of ICT usage. Conclusion: Overall, an important outcome of the present research is that loneliness is explained by a unique set of determinants. From previous research, it is known that demographics, personal characteristics, and ICT usage have an influence on loneliness. The present research adds value by dividing loneliness into emotional loneliness and social loneliness . Furthermore, the results substantiate that loneliness among the elderly can be reduced by using ICT as a tool. Elderly could use ICT to schedule offline appointments with friends and inform themselves about activities for lonely elderly.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
1997, Zwolle
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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