Older and Online: Enhancing social connections in Australian rural places

  • Helen R Feist National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GISCA), University of Adelaide
  • Kelly Parker GISCA, University of Adelaide.
  • Graeme Hugo University of Adelaide
Keywords: Rural, Ageing, Social Connections, Community, On-line, ITC

Abstract

Community connectedness and social networks have established links to positive ageing, health and well-being. However, in much of rural Australia time and distance still exercise constraints on interactions outside of the immediate local environment; particularly for older people who may have additional challenges connecting with others because of restricted rural transport options, lack of knowledge and access to new technologies, and physical health limitations. The ‘Linking Rural Older People to Community through Technology’ project is a multi-phase project with people aged 55 years and over living in rural South Australia. This field report presents some short vignettes from the project pilot study of participants’ experiences using different aspects of new technologies to overcome the disadvantages of distance and mobility to enhance their social connections.

Author Biographies

Helen R Feist, National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GISCA), University of Adelaide
Helen Feist works as a Senior Research Associate in the National Centre for the Applications of Geographical Information Sysytems (GISCA) at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Kelly Parker, GISCA, University of Adelaide.

Kelly PARKER is a Research Associate at GISCA, the University of Adelaide. 

Graeme Hugo, University of Adelaide
Graeme HUGO is an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow, Professor of the Department of Geography, Environment and Population and Director of the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GISCA) at the University of Adelaide
Published
2012-02-04
How to Cite
Feist, H., Parker, K., & Hugo, G. (2012). Older and Online: Enhancing social connections in Australian rural places. The Journal of Community Informatics, 8(1). Retrieved from http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/818