Older Adults-Potential Users of Technologies.

Affiliation

Geriatric Department, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania. [Email]

Abstract

Background and objective: The successful adoption of technology is becoming increasingly important to functional independence and successful ageing in place. A better understanding of technology usage amongst older people may help to direct future interventions aimed at improving their healthcare. We aimed to obtain the first data regarding technology use, including gerontechnologies, represented by fall detectors, from older adults in Lithuania. Material and methods: The research was carried out in the framework of the project Smart Gerontechnology for Healthy Ageing, which involved assessing the use of technologies and the readiness to use gerontechnologies, as represented by fall detectors. A total of 375 individuals that were more than 60 years of age were enrolled in the study. The self-reporting questionnaires were completed by geriatric in-patients, hospitalized in the geriatric department, and also by community-dwelling older adults. Results: Geriatric in-patients' use of computers and the internet was associated with age (every year of age decreased the probability of computer and internet use by 0.9-times) and a positive attitude towards new technologies-this predictor increased the use of a computer by six-times in comparison with people who did not have such an attitude. Sex and education had no influence on computer use for geriatric in-patients. For community-dwelling older adults, the use of computers and internet was associated with age, education (a university education increased the use of computers and the internet by four times), and a positive attitude towards technologies. Conclusions: Lithuanian older women in the study used computers, the internet, and cell phones equally with men. Increasing age was a strong negative predictor of technology use. A positive attitude to new technologies was a strong positive predictor of technology use. Most geriatric patients and community-dwelling older adults were ready to use technologies that permit ageing in place.

Keywords

falls,geriatric in-patients,older adults,technology,