Sandra Martínez Molina (University of Valencia-The Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy (POLIBIENESTAR)
Name of the Co-authors:
Mirian Fernández Salido – University of Valencia-The Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy (POLIBIENESTAR)
Gertrudis Fornés Romero – University of Valencia-The Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy (POLIBIENESTAR)
Topic: Ageing and new technologies. Two challenges approached from the discipline of social work
Population aging and digital transformation are two global phenomena that require a complementary approach to take advantage of their opportunities. The use of Information Communication Technologies by seniors has reported multiple benefits for their well-being such as the promotion of social engagement and participation with the aim to improve relationships, decrease loneliness and contribute to the development of physical, cognitive and affective skills.
To address the generational digital gap that directly affects seniors, the development of skills and capabilities of using new technologies by seniors is essential. However, it is difficult to find specific platforms or apps considering the heterogeneous needs and characteristics of this population group.
Therefore, the main objective of this study is to identify the desired features for a platform or app focused on seniors that can also have an impact on their active aging, on the whole, and, in particular, on social participation.
To do so, co-creation sessions in three European countries (Bulgaria, Spain and Poland) have been carried out. Co-creation methods are a collaborative one aligned with the social work. They pretend to identify the needs of users while they actively participate during the process. In particular, two co-creation session were organized in each country: one with professionals and other with seniors.
The results showed that to receive continuous training and support on the use of ICTs, adapted to the heterogeneous needs of this group is important. Easy access to digital tools, online support through a “virtual trainer” and the possibility to connect to other users were the main functionalities for a desired APP for seniors.