Publication Details

L. Burgess, H. Hasan & C. Alcock, "Information systems for the social well-being of senior Australians", Building Sustainable Information Systems: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Information Systems Development. Springer New York, United States, (2013) 89-100.


In most developed countries the ageing population is placing a severe strain on health systems and national budgets. In meeting this challenge, e-Health initiatives seek medically-focused ICT solutions for improved health services that enable senior citizens to remain living at home longer. A literature review and interviews with health-care providers reveal that significant factors affecting the well-being of the elderly are isolation and loneliness. In this paper we report on the first stages of a study on the digital literacy of seniors and the potential development of social media to meet the capabilities of people as they age. Focus groups with senior citizen computer club members tell us that older folk are become more digitally literate. As social media becomes more usable and acceptable, we propose that online communities for senior citizens may have significant health benefits. As this is a multifaceted emergent phenomenon we apply concepts from Complexity Theory to our analysis and to the design of future research on this topic using an action research methodology.



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