CareNet and CNSC Webinar: "At Home and Connected: Digital Technologies and Old Age" (Session 1)

IN3's Care and Preparedness in the Network Society (CareNet) and Communication Networks & Social Change (CNSC) research groups are pleased to invite you to the presentation of the results of the European project "At Home and Connected: Digital Technologies and Old Age" (BCONNECT@HOME).

The project, funded through the Joint Programming Initiative More Years, Better Lives: "Ageing and place in a digitizing world", combines the work of researchers from universities in different countries, namely Utrecht University (Netherlands), the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden), Trent University (Canada) and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain).

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya is represented by researchers from the IN3 groups Care and Preparedness in the Network Society (CareNet) and Communication Networks & Social Change (CNSC).




10/05/2021 12.00h

Organized by

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, IN3's CareNet and CNSC research groups


The findings will be presented in two independent webinars which will set out the results of the two subprojects developed by Care and Preparedness in the Network Society (CareNet) and Communication Networks & Social Change (CNSC).

This first webinar, which will be held on Monday 10 May from 12 noon to 2 p.m. (CEST), will discuss the results of the subproject "Digital Technologies and Spaces in Old Age: A Materialist and Ecological Approach to Social Connectivity".


Daniel Lpez Gmez (co-director and researcher), Andrea Garca-Santesmases (postdoctoral researcher), Roser Beneito Montagut (associate professor), Israel Rodrguez Giralt (director and researcher) from the Care and Preparedness in the Network Society (CareNet) research group.


Gerontological research considers social connectivity and the place where we live as two critical dimensions for ageing with a good quality of life. The popularisation of concepts such as ageing in place and age-friendliness are prime examples of this. There is also a tendency to view digital communication technologies as potential tools for improving the social connections of senior citizens in order to alleviate loneliness and isolation. By contrast, the majority of research on the use of digital technologies in old age does not appear to seriously consider the space-time coordinates of everyday life or the pillars of inequality that form it, as though these had no effect on how we relate to others and the world in old age. The subproject "The Digital Life of the Elderly" looks at the use of digital technologies and social connectivity in old age from an ecological point of view, considering the relationship between ageing, digital devices and the environments in which elderly people live. For three years, we have employed a number of qualitative methodologies to study the "media ecologies" used by older people living in: a) unassisted, non-segregated housing; b) serviced accommodation for the elderly (unassisted), and c) nursing homes. In this session, we will demonstrate the impact of the use of digital devices on the way in which senior citizens live and create a sense of place and belonging, and how these processes associated with their environments affect the way in which they use these technologies. We will also describe the role played by these technologies in the context of the pandemic to maintain social connectivity and restructure forms of social support.

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