People are growing older, but more and more with chronic illnesses. Political strategies mainly focus on self-management and autonomy, but this comes with a risk of social isolation and loneliness. Currently, loneliness is at an all-time high, affecting approximately 50% of all older adults. This is particularly troublesome as it also increases the risk of both physical and cognitive decline. Importantly, exposure to nature enhances feelings of connectedness. However, older persons often have limited or no access to nature because of mobility constraints. For them, developments in interactive ambient technology hold great promise as exposure to designed nature scenes can provide a substitute for actual nature. Furthermore, nature can be an effective prompt for communication and storytelling amongst older adults in everyday social interactions. In this project, we seek to combine the design science of interactive ambient technologies with the technology-mediated analysis of everyday social interactions in order to develop and test prototypes(s) of interactive ambient landscapes in long-term care.
Sponsor: BMS Faculty University of Twente
Contact: Thomas van Rompay