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Empowerment of the elderly through the use of technology

Grant number: 11/19147-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Carla da Silva Santana Castro
Grantee:Carla da Silva Santana Castro
Host Investigator: George W. Leeson
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Oxford, England  


The digital inclusion can be considered a tool for social skills of these people, it also improves the quality of life. Another important fact is that digital inclusion for older people makes you feel that this group belongs to the globalized world we live in - which in many cases makes exercise their citizenship. This includes empowering the disadvantaged groups should allow significant gains to change their condition of oppression (Bernstein et al., 1994). Freire (1975), refers that by developing a critical consciousness is that one gains power. A critical consciousness involves understanding how power relations in society shape the experiences and perceptions of each person, and to identify how each one can have a role within a social change. This is particularly important in situations of inequality, in which individuals have internalized beliefs about their own identity and power in potential. Understanding how members of a group can affect the circumstances of life, is crucial to identify the lack of power as a source of problems in achieving social change more than the individual. The empowerment of the elderly as a priority, justifying that with longevity, there is usually a process of disempowerment. Social changes in the modes of action can lead to a loss of power of individual autonomy and independence. Typically, the interaction of individual and social factors in old age brings a negative cycle of disempowerment, resulting in the need to reverse this cycle through "re-empowerment" (1993 apud Cusack, 1999:13). Senior citizens have increasing expectations in terms of full inclusion in society and the economy, quality of life and exercise of rights, recovery of status and social and family relationships and the use of technologies can be a way for this inclusion. The access of the elderly population in the digital age makes possible the maintenance of their social roles, the exercise of citizenship, autonomy, access to a dynamic and complex society, maintaining their cognitive skills of evaluation and judgments, to make choices, make decisions and be responsible for them. The proposed study aims to describe the process of empowerment of older people using technology, assessing changes in cognitive abilities, social and autonomy from the use of technology and understand how the use of this approach can contribute to rapprochement process the elderly and young. Specifically it aims: - Describe the perceptions of the elderly about changes in cognitive and social skills through the use of technology; - Identify if the use of technology has changed the sense of efficacy, self-esteem and autonomy of the subject; - Identify the process of empowerment for the elderly through the use of technologies; - Describe how the difficulty in the use of electronic equipment is perceived by younger relatives; - Identify ways to cope with problems and strategies used by the elderly to the difficulties with the use of everyday technologies; - Identify changes in relationships with young people and families from the use of technology in everyday life.. Materials and methods: it's an exploratory, longitudinal and descriptive study, the procedures for data collection involves structured interview with open and closed questions; the Acceptable Range of Technologies Scale based on "The attitudes to computer usage (ATCUS)" (Gilbert, D., Lee-Kelley, L., Barton, M., 2003); The World Health Organization Quality of Life for Older Persons - WHOQOL-OLD; The Ways of Coping Checklist - Revised (Vitaliano, Russo, Carr, Maiuro and Becker, 1985), derived from the Transactional Model of Stress Lazarus, adapted for the Brazilian population by Gimenes and Queiroz (1997) and validated in Brazil by Seidl (2001). The subjects include elderlies and their relatives. The data will be analyzed by the technique of content analysis described by Bardin (1977) from the formation of categories of analysis, associated with descriptive statistics. (AU)

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