When it comes to technology, we often immediately think of robots and complicated algorithms. For some of the elderly, smartphones and apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp are already rather hard to comprehend. This social technology can help the elderly to be connected, one of the most important social needs. Tina ten Bruggencate, lecturer in applied psychology at Fontys Hogescholen, obtained her Ph.D. at the beginning of July with research into the social needs of the elderly and the role that social technology plays in fulfilling these needs. “With social technology, they stay informed about the lives of their children and grandchildren, that’s nice of course,” she says. But how far do we want to go with this digital communication? To what extent can a device replace the need for human contact?
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