Enhancing Social Interaction between Older Adults and Their Families

  • Diego Muñoz
  • Francisco Gutierrez
  • Sergio F. Ochoa
  • Nelson Baloian
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8277)


The rise of Internet and ubiquitous technologies have spread and diversified the social media used by people to interact among them. Unfortunately most older adults are not able to use these solutions. This situation isolates them and negatively affects their physical and mental health. Aiming to improve mood in older adults, and helping them overcome the negative effects of social isolation, we have developed a computer-based intermediary system, that we called Social Connector. This system is capable of boosting the social interaction between an elder and his/her close relatives; e.g. adult children and grandchildren. The system can also be used as a sensor of elders’ social interactions and mood. The preliminary evaluation results indicate that the system is well accepted by older adults, and it can be used to boost social interactions with their relatives.


Social interaction social isolation older adults ambient intelligence accessibility 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ames, M.G., Go, J., Kaye, J., Spasojevic, M.: Making Love in the Network Closet: The Benefits and Work of Family Videochat. In: Proc. of CSCW 2010, Savannah, USA (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arnetz, B., Theorell, T., Levi, L., Kallner, A., Eneroth, P.: An Experimental Study of Social Isolation of Elderly People: Psychoendocrine and Metabollic Effects. Psychosomatic Medicine 45(4), 395–406 (1983)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carmichael, A.: Style Guide for the Design of Interactive Television Services for Elderly Viewers, Independent Television Commission, Winchester, United Kingdom (1999)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chile 2012 Census, (last visit: September 15, 2013)
  5. 5.
    Cornejo, R., Tentori, M., Favela, J.: Ambient Awareness to Strengthen the Family Social Network of Older Adults. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 22, 309–344 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dianti, M., Parra, C., Casati, F., De Angelli, A.: What’s Up: Fostering Intergenerational Social Interactions. In: Proc. of the FoSIBLE 2012, Marseille, France (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Eyben, F., Weninger, F., Woellmer, M., Schuller, B.: OpenSMILE: The Munich Versatile and Fast Open-Source Audio Feature Extractor, (last visit: September 15, 2013)
  8. 8.
    Hawthorn, D.: Possible Implications of Aging for Interface Designers. Interacting with Computers 12, 151–156 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Judge, T.K., Neustaedter, C., Harrison, S., Blose, A.: Family Portals: Connecting Families Through a Multifamily Media Space. In: Proc. CHI 2011, Vancouver, Canada (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kirk, D., Sellen, A., Cao, X.: Home Video Communication: Mediating ‘Closeness’. In: Proc. of CSCW 2010, Savannah, United States (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kurniawan, S., Zaphiris, P.: Research-Derived Web Design Guidelines for Older People. In: Proc. ASSETS 2005, Baltimore, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Latin American Internet and Facebook Population – Telecommunications Statistics, (last visited: September 15, 2013)
  13. 13.
    MedlinePlus, (last visit: September 15, 2013)
  14. 14.
    Moser, C., Fuchsberger, V., Neureiter, K., Sellner, W., Tscheligi, M.: Elderly’s Social Presence supported by ICTs – Investigating User Requirements for Social Presence. In: Proc. of SocialCom 2011, Boston, USA (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Roupa, Z., Nikas, M., Gerasimou, E., Zafeiri, V., Giasyrani, L., Kazitori, E., Sotiropoulou, P.: The Use of Technology by the Elderly. Health Science J. 4(2), 118–126 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wu, Y., Van Slyke, C.: Interface Complexity and Elderly Users: Revisited. In: Proc. of the SAIS 2005, Savannah, United States (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Muñoz
    • 1
  • Francisco Gutierrez
    • 1
  • Sergio F. Ochoa
    • 1
  • Nelson Baloian
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations