Connecting Older Adults to the Digital World

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Community and Urban Sociology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 497

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, College of Business, RMIT University, P.O. Box 2476, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
Interests: consumer culture; globalisation; ageing; technology; transformative consumer research; co-design participatory methods; action research

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Guest Editor
Institute of Design Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9BT, UK
Interests: design; ageing; technology; interdisciplinarity; care; co-design; creative methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of the digital world in the lives of older adults, presenting a crucial tool for navigating contemporary society. Simultaneously, the growing population of senior citizens presents both a social phenomenon and a challenge for our societies, with technological advancements playing a pivotal role in connecting and enhancing the lives of older adults in various aspects. However, within current discussions surrounding technology, the human element is often overshadowed. Seniors are sometimes perceived as malfunctioning machines, with their limitations viewed as challenges to be overcome through technological solutions.

To address this issue, new perspectives are necessary, prioritizing the human experience. This shift in perspective allows us to acknowledge the complexities of the relationship between humans and technology, and to adapt technological advancements to better suit the needs of the older population. It is also important to incorporate emerging perspectives looking into digital inclusion and design, cultural models of ageing and technology, digital inclusion, media practices, ageing in place and data, technology paradoxes, feminist perspectives on care regarding relationality and reciprocity and more broadly, the mutual shaping of ageing and technology.

As these ideas and challenges continue to evolve in the context of older adults’ lives, several critical issues arise relating to how technology can promote the quality of life and healthy ageing in later life, and their intertwining with the market to generate and promote technology. These also include studies looking into the barriers to technology adoption and use, age-friendly marketplaces and the relationship consumers have with technologies. Papers looking at emerging technologies such as AI-technologies, personalized learning platforms, voice-activated assistants, virtual reality (VR) experiences, augmented reality (AR) assistance, telemedicine, social robots, wearable health monitors, smart homes for the elderly, accessible design innovations and transportation solutions are also welcome.

By adopting this human-centred approach and addressing these questions, we can better understand the evolving role of technology in the lives of older adults, ensuring it positively contributes to their overall well-being.

Dr. Bernardo Figueiredo
Dr. Jacob Sheahan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • digital inclusion
  • older adults
  • healthy ageing
  • emerging technologies
  • age-friendly marketplaces
  • ageing in place

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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