Using Information and Communication Technologies to Promote Healthy Aging in Costa Rica: Challenges and Opportunities

  • María Dolores Castro RojasEmail author
  • Ann Bygholm
  • Tia G.B. Hansen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9755)


Several authors have suggested that ICTs have the potential to promote healthy ageing by supporting social inclusion, access to products and services and learning. However, older people often do not use ICT and information about patterns of usage is scarce. Data from the Costa Rica Census 2011 and two questionnaires showed that older people between 65 and 74 years old, living in urban areas, with more education and higher socioeconomic status are the most active ICT users. They presented a tendency to mobility and connectivity when using ICTs, reported positive perceptions of technology and were favorably disposed to learning about and using ICT. Based on the analysis of data we conclude that opportunities to promote healthy aging through use of ICT include use of public infrastructure and community-based learning services to increase the number of ICT users and facilitate progression from social networking activities to activities supporting the maximization of functional status such as instrumental activities and learning for personal development.


Older adults ICT literacy Healthy/Active aging ICT and active aging 


  1. 1.
    Baltes, P.B., Baltes, M.M.: Successful Aging: Perspective from the Behavioral Sciences. Cambridge University Press, Canada (1993)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fernández-Ballesteros, R., Molina, M.A., Schettini, R., Del Rey, A.L.: Promoting active aging through university programs for older adults an evaluation study. GeroPsych 25(3), 145–154 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Health Organization: Active Aging: A Policy Framework.
  4. 4.
    Rowe, J.W., Kahn, R.L.: Successful aging. Gerontologist 37, 433–440 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fernández-Ballesteros, R., Caprara, M., García, C.: Vivir con vitalidad-M: a european multimedia programme. Psychol. Spain 9(1), 1–12 (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ala-Mutka, K., Malanowsky, N., Punie, Y., Cabrera, M.: Active Ageing and the Potential of ICT for Learning. [Version Adobe Digital editions] (2008). doi: 10.2791/33182
  7. 7.
    Charness, N., Boot, W.: Aging and information technology use. Curr. Dir. Psychol. Sci. 18(5), 253–258 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Czaja, S.J., Charness, N., Fisk, A.D., Hertzog, C., Nair, S.N., Rogers, W.A., Sharit, J.: Factors predicting the use of technology: findings from the center for research and education on aging and technology enhancement (CREATE). Psychol. Aging 21(2), 333–352 (2006). doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.21.2.333 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sagayo, S., Forbes, P., Blat, J.: Older people becoming successful ICT learners over time: challenges and strategies through an ethnographical lens. Educ. Gerontol. 39, 527–544 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vroman, K.G., Arthanat, S., Lysack, C.: ‘‘Who over 65 is online?’’ Older adults’ dispositions toward information communication technology. Comput. Human Behav. 43, 156–166 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC): Censo 2011 (2012).
  13. 13.
    Folstein, M.F., Folstein, S.E., McHugh, P.R.: “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J. Psychiatr. Res. 12(3), 189–198 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Scherer, M.J., Craddock, G.: Matching Person & Technology (MPT) assessment process. Technol. Disabil. Spec. Issue Assess. Assistive Technol. Outcomes Eff. Costs 14, 125–131 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fernández-Ballesteros, R.: Active Aging: The Contribution of Psychology. Hogrefe & Huber, Göttingen (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schaie, K.W.: Developmental Influences on Adult Intelligence: The Seattle Longitudinal Study. Oxford University Press, New York (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schaie, K.W.: What can we learn from longitudinal studies of adult development? Res. Hum. Dev. 2, 133–158 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Willis, S., Tennstedt, S., Marsiske, M., Ball, K., Elias, J., Koepke, K., Wright, E.: Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 296(23), 2805–2814 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Baltes, P.B., Staudinger, U.M., Lindenberger, U.: Lifespan psychology: theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 50, 471–507 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Dolores Castro Rojas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ann Bygholm
    • 1
  • Tia G.B. Hansen
    • 2
  1. 1.E-LearningLab, Department of Communication and Psychology, Center for User Driven Innovation, Learning and DesignAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Communication and Psychology, Center for Developmental and Applied Psychological ResearchAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations