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Social networking to empower older people

ipadSocial isolation is a significant concern in old age. It is linked to a range of health problems and, in extreme cases, associated with growing old and dying alone. While there have been many calls to address this growing problem, current initiatives are limited in their ability to develop and maintain social connections.

Dr Jenny Waycott, from the Department of Computing and Information Systems, says the key to empowerment in old age could lie in social networking.

With older people are increasingly using computers, the Internet and social networking platforms, Dr Waycott says these social technologies present a new potential to drive connections and relationships in this demographic.

Together with colleagues at the University of Melbourne, Dr Waycott has developed a prototype iPad application named Enmesh, which leverages new technologies to alleviate experiences of social isolation. She hopes that this technology will provide older people with opportunities to share information and connect with people in their day-to-day lives.

Read the full story, ‘Social networking to empower older people‘ on Pursuit.

Pursuit places the latest in cutting-edge research and expert commentary, by the University of Melbourne’s world-leading experts, all at your fingertips. 

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